The 5-step Method


Addiction workers often engage with whānau who want and need support to address the impact of their relatives drinking or gambling behaviour.

The 5-Step Method is an evidenced based and trauma informed approach to supporting whānau members who have a relative experiencing addiction issues to respond and cope more effectively.

It was developed in the UK and extensively researched in other countries and cultures by members of the Addiction and Family International Network https://www.afinetwork.info/ and evidence suggests it is effective for whānau members in Aotearoa New Zealand.

A brief summary of the NZ research has been produced in an infographic.

Infographic - click here

Provided by trained addiction workers it involves;

  1. Getting to know whānau member’s and hearing their story

  2. Providing relevant and accurate information specific to their situation

  3. Exploring ways of coping and responding to reduce stress and improve communication

  4. Exploring and enhancing social support

  5. Reviewing and arranging further help if needed

5-Step Method training is developed for addiction workers who assist whānau members, whether their relative with addiction to alcohol, other drugs or gambling is in treatment or not.

It equips workers with knowledge and skills to help whānau focus on their wellbeing and the needs of family members including children.


Training is available through Te Pou for workers in addiction services with an accredited trainer and supports accreditation of workers who can also go on to be accredited as trainers and assessors.
** (2 days in person training when Covid restrictions are lifted-not available on-line in New Zealand)