Documents library

The documents library is available to AFINet members and is a useful resource containing a number of downloadable documents. Click here to login and view the documents.

The library is constantly updated by AFINet members and here you will find a wealth of up-to-date items relating to addiction and the family such as:

  • Journal articles and reports
  • Book reviews
  • Conference talks
  • Training videos
  • Research resources such as questionnaires
  • Information about the 5-Step Method
  • Reference lists for information regarding policy, the experiences and costs of being an affected family member, the stress-strain coping model
  • And much more….



AFINet retains copyright to all materials on our website, unless the name of an author is otherwise stated. The materials may not be altered, re-published, or sold without permission. You may download, use and read material from the site for personal use only and downloaded documents must not be distributed without permission of the author(s). We require that you provide the appropriate citation and credit information along with the document you have reproduced. If you require permission to use a document produced by AFINet or an AFINet member, please contact them directly or email


5-Step Method

Documents in this category are available to download by AFINet members only.

If you have not done so already, please login if you are already a member or register to apply for membership.

5-Step Method: Website Information

5-Step Method

The 5-Step Method is grounded in rigorous research and has a clear theoretical model (the Stress-Strain-Coping-Support model) which underpins the intervention. The approach is both simple and effective in filling a gap that exists for family support that doesn’t see family members solely as supporters for their loved one with addiction problems but as people needing support for themselves in their own right. Numerous international research papers have been published about this well respected model.

The current developers of the 5-Step Method are members of Addiction and the Family International Network

  • Richard Velleman (Professor, University of Bath, UK & Sangath Community NGO, Goa, India).
  • Gill Velleman (Freelance Management Consultant & 5-Step International Assessor).
  • Jim Orford (Professor, University of Birmingham).
  • Lorna Templeton (Independent Research Consultant).

5-Step Method Training Courses and 5-Step Method Accreditation

Practitioners working with family members in a range of services can use the 5-Step Method. The training focusses on participants learning about the 5-Step principles, the evidence base and on participants practicing the skills needed for them to use this method effectively. Feedback from training courses is very positive Focused, excellent practical model which is so helpful” “Liked the research-based, structured approach and focus on empowering family members”. Most importantly, family members find it very helpful and report being less stressed, coping in a better way, and developing helpful support. The 5-Step Method covers:

  • Letting the family member tell their story- listen & reassure
  • Providing relevant information
  • Discussing ways of coping and responding
  • Exploring sources of support
  • Arranging further help if needed

Courses are run for up to 18 practitioners and are generally 2 days, with 2 trainers. The training has been run across the world (England, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Canada). The course assumes that participants have competent basic counselling skills, so participants need to have these competencies in order to come on a course, or there needs to be a preliminary course training people in these counselling competencies. Practitioners also must have a job which provides access (or have other ways of gaining access) to affected family members with whom they can work, to use the 5-Step Method once trained. In order to ensure the training has maximum effectiveness, we need sign-up from both the practitioner who is being trained that s/he will implement the training AND from their organisation / line-manager, guaranteeing management support for the time they will take in providing help to these AFMs – this agreement covers time available, the collection of basic data and of course that the practitioner has a job which involves seeing family members.

We recommend that trained practitioners become Accredited Practitioners. This involves submitting audio-recordings of sessions carried out with consenting family members. Practitioners self-assess themselves against key competencies and only submit once they assess that they are competent. An accredited assessor then listens to the recordings and rates the practitioner against the same key competencies. Irrespective of whether they meet the competency thresholds, a numeric score and useful feedback to improve competency is given for each Step. Practitioners have told us that they find this very useful and it has really helped improve their skills. Certificates are given on completion and Professional Development points have been gained in various countries (depending on country and profession-requirements).

5-Step Method System

We can provide a system so either an organisation or a country can become self-sufficient in 5-Step Method training and delivery. This has happened in Ireland and has started in New Zealand. This is by providing training in three areas.

  • Accredited Practitioners (as outlined above)
  • Accredited Trainers (2-day course followed by the participants running and video-taping their own 5-Step Method training. The video-tapes are then assessed against a different set of clear criteria. Accredited Trainers can then go on and run 5-Step Method training which will allow participants to follow the process described above to become Accredited Practitioners)
  • Accredited Assessors (Accredited Practitioners are trained to assess others to become Accredited Practitioners via an Instruction sheet and repeated feedback until trainee assessors reach the same standard as existing Accredited Assessors)

5-Step Method Resources / Materials

All the materials below are only appropriate to be used after practitioners have received training.

5-Step Method: Practitioner and Self-Help Handbooks. There are two handbooks. One for Practitioners and a Self-Help handbook for Family Members.

5-Step Method: Family Member Questionnaire. This is a validated questionnaire which is useful both during the 5-Step Method sessions, and (if completed either before or at the very start of the first session, and then at the end of the intervention) as a good way for practitioners, organisations, commissioners (and family members themselves) to assess whether the 5-Step Method has helped family members.

5-Step Method: Practitioner Competency Assessment - These contain five information sheets.

  • Instruction Sheet for Scoring Competency Assessments for Self/ Peer/ Expert and How to become an Accredited Practitioner – this gives you all the information to assess your own or other practitioner’s competency. It also provides information on the accreditation process. View document
  • 5-Step Method Competency Assessment Form - this is designed so you can self-assess how well you meet each of the 5-Step competencies. The same sheet is also used in the accreditation process by the Accredited Assessor. View document
  • 5-Step Method Competency Checklist - this is similar to the competency sheet but in a handier checklist format. This is useful to use while you are facilitating the session - this helps you to ensure you remember all the competencies for each Step. This can also be used after the session and by peers/supervisors. View document
  • 5-Step Method Example of Good Practice in Completing the Assessment by Accredited Assessor - this will also help guide you in completing your own self- assessment. View document
  • 5-Step Method Competency Assessment. Examples of Common Problems and Feedback Statements - this summarises common problems that practitioners may experience in each step. It also gives useful tips and guidance. It is particularly helpful in giving examples of useful phrases to use when providing feedback when rating either someone else’s session or reflecting on one’s own competency. View document

5-Step Method: Accredited Assessor - If you are an Accredited Practitioner, you can also become an Accredited Assessor, and be able to assess whether other practitioners have reached the competency requirements.

Where to Find Out More Details

For more details, please email:

Please note that the documents in this library are for members personal use only and not to be distributed without the authors permission

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