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Brad Donohue

Brad Donohue

University of Nevada at Las Vegas, USA

Title: Latest empirical developments in family behavior therapy

Biography

Brad Donohue is Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he Directs Family Research & Services. He is one of the developers of Family Behavior Therapy (FBT) for substance abuse, which is an evidence-based treatment listed in national clearinghouses, such as SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Practices and Programs, and the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare. His specific interests include the development and adoption of evidence-based treatments, psychometric development of clinical measures to assist in understanding and measuring treatment outcomes, and improving the functioning of mental health clinics through effective supervision and quality assurance. Although his primary interests concern severely troubled populations, he is also interested in the concurrent improvement of mental health and sport performance in athletes. Dr. Donohue is a recipient of the Western Psychological Association Early Career Research Award, Barrick Scholar Award for Distinguished Research, and UNLV Alumni Association's Outstanding Faculty Award and Student-Focused Award. He has directed projects funded by NIDA, NIMH, and SAMHSA, and is currently the Editor for the Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse.

Abstract

Family Behavior Therapy (FBT) for substance abuse was developed in field implementation efforts funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) and controlled clinical trials funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). FBT is one of the very few interventions to demonstrate reductions of drug and alcohol use in both adults and youth, and in a meta-analysis of dually diagnosed youth conducted by an independent research group, FBT was found to be one of only 2 interventions to demonstrate large effect sizes across drug use and internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors. Owing its theoretical underpinnings to the Community Reinforcement Approach, FBT includes: (1) behavioral contracting, (2) skill-based interventions to assist in spending less time with individuals and situations that involve drug use and other problem behaviors, (3) skills training to assist in decreasing urges to use drugs and other impulsive behavior problems, (4) communication skills training, and (5) job getting skills training. This will focus on the latest empirical developments of FBT occurring in NIDA-funded controlled trials of child neglect and substance abuse referrals from county child protective services, and athletes referred from a university athletic department.

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