Motivational Enhancement Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - 5 Sessions (MET/CBT5)

Note: The MET/CBT5 program was not responsive to the CEBC's inquiry. The following information was obtained from publicly available sources.

About This Program

Target Population: Adolescents with cannabis use disorders

Program Overview

MET/CBT5 is a brief treatment approach for adolescents with cannabis use disorders which consists of two individual motivational enhancement therapy (MET) sessions followed by three group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions. The two initial individual MET sessions are primarily intended to enhance adolescents' motivation to address their marijuana use and to prepare the clients for the group sessions, with an introduction to functional analysis and the concept of triggers. The purpose of the three group sessions is to assist clients in the development of skills useful for stopping or reducing marijuana use. The CBT sessions focus on the following skills:

  • Learning basic skills for refusing offers of marijuana
  • Developing a plan for pleasant drug-free activities
  • Establishing a social network that will support recovery
  • Coping with high-risk situations
  • Recovering from a relapse, should one occur

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Motivational Enhancement Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - 5 Sessions (MET/CBT5).

Manuals and Training

Publicly available information indicates there is a manual that describes how to deliver this program, and there is some training available for this program.
See contact info below.

Training Contact:

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Dennis, M. L., Godley, S. H., Diamond, G. S., Tims, F. M., Babor, T., Donaldson, J., & Funk, R. R. (2004). The Cannabis Youth Treatment (CYT) study: Main findings from two randomized trials. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 27, 197-213.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 600


  • Age — 13-18 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 61% Caucasian/White, 30% African American/Black, 4% Hispanic/Latino, and 6% Other/Mixed
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were adolescents and their families who were recruited from sequential admissions to 4 treatment sites.

Location/Institution: Farmington, CT/University of Connecticut Health Center, Madison County, IL/Chestnut Health Systems, Philadelphia, PA/Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and St. Petersburg, FL/Operation PAR

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
This article presents the main outcome findings from two interrelated randomized trials conducted at 4 sites to evaluate the effectiveness of 5 short-term outpatient interventions for adolescents with cannabis use disorders. Trial 1 compared Motivational Enhancement Therapy/Cognitive Behavior Therapy – 5 Sessions (MET/CBT5) with a 12-session regimen of MET and CBT (MET/CBT12) and another that included family education and therapy components (Family Support Network [FSN]). Trial II compared the MET/CBT5 with the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) and Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT). All 5 Cannabis Youth Treatment (CYT) interventions demonstrated significant pretreatment-posttreatment improvements during the 12 months after random assignment to a treatment intervention in the 2 main outcomes: Days of abstinence, as measured by self-reports using Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) and the percent of adolescents in recovery (no use or abuse/dependence problems and living in the community). Overall, the clinical outcomes were very similar across sites and conditions. Limitations include the reliance on participant self-report and the lack of a no-treatment control group.

Length of postintervention follow-up: Approximately 8-11 months.

Mason, M., & Posner, M. (2009). Brief substance abuse treatment with urban adolescents: A translational research study. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 18(2), 193-206.

Type of Study: Nonrandomized comparison study
Number of Participants: 102


  • Age — 13-20 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 44% white, 36% African American, 9% Hispanic, and 11% Mixed/Other
  • Gender — 80% Male and 20% Female
  • Status — Participants were enrolled in a brief, manualized substance abuse treatment program between January 2004 and September 2006 and were referred by health care providers, schools, and the juvenile justice system.

Location/Institution: Philadelphia, PA

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
Note: The comparison group is drawn from the sample in the Dennis et al. (2004) study. The purpose of this translational research study was to test a brief, manualized adolescent substance abuse treatment [Motivational Enhancement Therapy/Cognitive Behavior Therapy – 5 Sessions (MET/CBT5)] protocol's effects in an urban community setting compared to a sample in an experimental study from which the treatment was first employed. Participants in the community group were adolescents who were treated with MET/CBT5 and followed for six months post-intake. Comparison group data were drawn from participants in the Cannabis Youth Treatment (CYT) Study (Dennis et al., 2004) who received MET/CBT5. The Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) assessment was used to measure substance use and mental health. Results showed that, by month 6, alcohol use for the comparison group increased 0.72 days while alcohol use for the community group decreased 0.58 days. Limitations include the lack of randomization, lack of control group, and reliability on self-reported measures.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 3 and 6 months.

Belur, V., Dennis, M. L., Ives, M. L., Vincent, R., & Muck, R. (2014). Feasibility and impact of implementing motivational enhancement therapy–cognitive behavioral therapy as a substance use treatment intervention in school-based settings. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 7(2), 88-104.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 2,905


  • Age — 13-18 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 54% Caucasian, 6.5% African American, 23.5% Hispanic, and 15.5% Other/Mixed
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were adolescents with substance use disorders.

Location/Institution: 37 substance use disorder treatment sites across 21 states in the Midwest, Southwest, Southeast, Eastern, and Pacific regions of the USA

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
Using data from the 37-site Effective Adolescent Treatment (EAT) initiative where all subjects were given Motivational Enhancement Therapy–Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – 5 Sessions (MET/CBT5), this article explored the feasibility of implementing sessions of MET/CBT5 in school settings relative to a matched cohort of implementing sessions of MET/CBT5 in community settings. Measures utilized include the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) and the Treatment Transition Log. Results indicate that MET/CBT5 in school settings is feasible, effective, and cost-effective. Results also indicate that treating youth in school-based settings reaches more girls, ethnic minorities, first-time users of services, those younger, and those earlier in the life course of addiction, and that these same youth have had less treatment exposure, are less ready to enter treatment, have more health problems, and have greater severity of mood/trauma disorders. Even with imperfect implementation, MET/CBT5 consistently led to reductions in several problem behaviors in school settings. Limitations include use of recruitment source and assessment location as an indicator that school-based settings were being used for intervention delivery; client reports to assess the quality of the intervention received; and not assessing for socioeconomic status.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 6 months.

Additional References

Dennis, M., Titus, J. C., Diamond, G., Donaldson, J., Godley, S. H., Tims, F. M., …Scott, C. K. (2002). The cannabis youth treatment experiment: rationale, study design and analysis plans. Addiction, 97(Suppl 1),16-34.

Sampl, S., & Kadden, R. (2001). MET and CBT for adolescent cannabis users: 5 sessions, CYT series, volume 1. (BKD384). Rockville, MD: CSAT, SAMHSA. Retrieved on April 1, 2010, from

Contact Information

Randolph D. Muck, M.Ed.
Title: Senior Clinical Consultant
Agency/Affiliation: Advocates for Youth and Family Treatment
Phone: (240) 397-3918

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: April 2021

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: April 2010

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: April 2010