The 5-Step Method Resource Hub

Training information & Self Directed Learning for people to deliver the intervention to help family members

All text in yellow is a link to more information - either in a pop up box, a videos or documents that can be downloaded. Note that you may need to have completed 5-Step Method training or be an AFINet member to access some of the materials. You can use the language translator at the top right of the screen to translate the text on these web pages - Select Language. All Videos can be viewed with English subtitles - press play, click on full screen and the icon 'subtitles/closed captions' (the videos may take a little time to load). There are also resources in Other Languages- go to Guidance, Handbooks, Reading and Other Languages and see box marked Resources in Other Languages.


The 5-Step Method is a simple, brief, semi-structured psychosocial intervention that helps family members affected by a loved one’s addiction* problem (Affected Family Members, or AFMs for short). It is one of the few interventions that supports AFMs in their own right rather than viewing them as being solely or primarily supporters for their loved one’s treatment.

The 5SM can be carried out by trained practitioners/lay people and is delivered with individuals, couple or in groups. This can be done via video or face to face.

It has a rigorous research evidence base, and a clear theoretical model (SSICS: the Stress-Strain-Information-Coping-Support model) which underpins the intervention. This is supported by a training and accreditation programme, ongoing research and evaluation, and a growing library of resources to support 5-Step Method practice.

For details of zoom training with accreditation, please contact for an application form. Please click here for more information

For the southern hemisphere, for details of zoom training with accreditation, please contact


  • Step 1: Family member story - Listen, reassure and explore concerns
  • Step 2: Identify relevant and targeted information
  • Step 3: Explore ways of coping and responding
  • Step 4: Explore and enhance support and communication
  • Step 5: Review previous steps and explore further needs


  • A refresher for previously trained practitioners
  • Practitioners, managers or organisations who want to know more about all aspects of the 5SM programme of work
  • Practitioners who are undertaking hybrid (combined online and face-to-face) training
  • Trained practitioners who want to become accredited. SELF GUIDED PACKAGE: VIEW DETAILS
  • For those who want to find out more, are waiting for training or are a student and wish to find out more for your studies, we have a short self guided introduction in three parts

"Thanks, this is the first time I have spoken to someone and it was amazing not to feel judged and to be given time to reflect on what is stressing me."
Family Member

"It’s a focused, excellent practical model which is helpful to the family member and to me as a practitioner."
5-Step Method Practitioner

"Knowing there was not a right or wrong way of responding made me feel a lot better. I felt before that people were blaming me, and that I was getting it wrong. I now think about my approach and try to remember that I do have options."
Family Member

Welcome Video to the 5-Step Method


We have organised the 5SM Resource Hub into 4 main sections. These are:
  • • Guidance, Handbook, Reading & Resources in Other Languages
  • • Delivering the 5-Step Method
  • • Other Resources
  • • Self Guided Package
  • Click on whichever area (boxes below) is of interest or relevance to you and you will be taken to the content which includes documents, videos and other resources. We will also make suggestions as to how to get the most out of the resources depending on your needs. Using the materials on this website alone, without undertaking training, will not make you skilled and competent as a practitioner. However, you can make a start by following a Self-Guided package. The essential items in such a package are shown in "View Details" box:


    This area will be useful for practitioners, managers and organisations who want to find out more about the 5SM. This area also offers suggestions of resources that may be useful for AFMs.
    • Key Articles & Books
    • Resources for Family Members
    • Pocket Guides/Leaflets
    • Handbooks
    • Guidance Sheets
    • Resources in Other Languages


    This area is for practitioners who are completing hybrid training, who want a refresher or to continue with 5SM learning after training, and who want to become accredited. There is also information on adaptations of the 5SM.
    • Introduction to the 5-Step Method- the Evidence Base & Model
    • Competency Framework & Accreditation
    • Core Counselling
    • Family Member Questionnaire
    • Step 1,2,3,4,5​
    • Gambling
    • Steps to Cope


    This area includes information about training (for practitioners, managers and supervisors), resources for trainers & assessors, guidance on supervision, and becoming a self-sufficient service or country.
    • Training for Practitioners, Managers and Supervisors
    • Guidance/Materials for Assessors and Trainers
    • Becoming Self Sufficient
    • Supervision




    The development of the 5-Step Method Resource Hub, and the videos, was supported by Turning Point, Aquarius, Jellinek, Northern Gambling Service, Gamcare, and we are grateful for their financial support. We would also like to thank our amazing practitioners, assessors and trainers from around the world who helped to develop the videos.

    • Logo Nhs
    • Logo Jellinek
    • Logo Aqaurius
    • Logo Gamcare
    • Logo Turning

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