Frequently Asked Questions

The Craving Change™ Approach FAQs


What does “a cognitive-behavioural approach” mean?

The cognitive-behavioural model is an approach to understanding wellbeing and behaviour that has received strong support in research for decades.  The model looks at how ‘internal’ events such as thoughts and feelings, affect behaviour.  All three of these core elements strongly impact one-another.  Interventions based on this model have been demonstrated as effective across a wide range of psychological difficulties including eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.  This model has also been well supported by research for interventions that are relatively short-term, and interventions that are offered in either individual or group modalities.


Is Craving Change™ a weight loss program?

No. Research has clearly demonstrated that the most effective weight loss programs include information about a healthy, reduced energy intake and increased physical activity. Craving Change™ does not include these components.

However, including behaviour modification and cognitive behavioural techniques similar to those used in Craving Change™ has been shown to enhance weight loss and long-term weight maintenance when combined with weight-loss regimens. What’s been missing from this research is clear direction about what specific techniques should be taught, who should teach them, and standardized materials with certified facilitators. Craving Change Inc. provides a clear response to this overwhelming need.


Is the Craving Change™ program a treatment for eating disorders?

No. The program is not a treatment for someone diagnosed with an eating disorder or someone with a significant psychiatric condition. While many of the techniques used in the program are similar to those found in eating disorder treatment programs, such treatment requires extensive professional training and significant interdisciplinary collaboration. Craving Change Inc. does not provide that training.

However, there are a significant number of people who are in distress about their eating habits, yet do not meet diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder. Craving Change™ is an ideal intervention for many of these people.


What is stepped care?

Demand for specialized psychosocial services for those who struggle with their eating far outstrips available resources. Several authors have suggested a stepped-care approach as a strategy to address this crisis. The stepped-care approach asserts that a significant number of people will benefit from a general intervention provided by educated professionals who are not necessarily experts in problematic eating. Clients who are identified as requiring more intensive individualized services at the end of the intervention are then encouraged to follow up with additional specialized resources.

Craving Change™ is an appropriate program for this initial step as a general intervention.


License FAQs


Do I or my organization need to buy a license to use the materials?

Yes. Craving Change™ is a licensed and trademarked program. Anyone wishing to own or use the materials must purchase a license.

For more information about the different licenses available, please go to the License page.


I work with two other clinicians and we're all interested in using the materials in our practice. Do we have to buy three licenses?

Yes. You can either purchase 3 Complete Certified Facilitator’s Packages (each of which comes with a Clinician License, a Facilitator’s Manual, access to the Professional Training Video and Certification Exam, and 10 client Workbooks and fridge magnets), or your organization can purchase a Clinic / Organization License for use by up to 15 , 25, or 50 clinicians.

Please click here for more information about the best fit for you.


Do I/we need to renew the license?

A Clinician License does not require renewal and the license and materials stay with the clinician throughout their career. An Organization license includes the use of materials for a three-year term that stays with the organization regardless of staff turnover and is renewable at 50% off the original price.


Which type of license should our organization purchase?

  1. I work at a diabetes clinic and I want to offer Craving Change™ workshops to my clients.
    The Clinician License permits you to use Craving Change™ materials with your patients, in both individual and small group (under 20 clients) settings. Should you leave your job or start working in another setting such as private practice you are still entitled to use the Craving Change™ materials as this license is an agreement between you and Craving Change Inc.
  2. I want all of my staff to understand the basic concepts in Craving Change™ and be able to describe it to clients. I want about 16 clinicians to get trained and start implementing the program, but then later this year there are about 5 other clinicians that I’m going to want to train. We intend to use your logo on our website – we want to affiliate ourselves with the brand of the #1 cognitive-behavioural program for problematic eating in Canada! How do I deal with staff turnover?
    The Organization License was designed with you in mind! Go to the Resource Catalogue for more information.
  3. I have 3 colleagues at my clinic who also want to use Craving Change™ materials with our clients.
    You have a choice – either each of you can purchase a Complete Facilitator Certification Package OR your clinic could purchase an Organization License Package. While the Organization License involves a higher up-front fee, there are numerous additional benefits for the clinic. If you move on from your job at this clinic you would need to forfeit your materials back to the clinic and purchase your own individual license to use in your new setting.
  4. I am the owner of a private weight management clinic (or pharmacy chain, surgical clinic, wellness clinic, physiotherapy clinic, insurance provider, etc). The clinic is a “for-profit” business and aligning with Craving Change Inc. could really increase our profile and attract more customers. We have ads in the paper and on the web or TV.
    A Corporate License is required – and we’d love to work with you! Aligning your company with the Craving Change™ brand and logo could give you that competitive edge you’re looking for. The cost for this relationship depends on many factors, including the size and “reach” of your company and the extent of consultation services you’d like from us. Please contact Craving Change Inc. for more information.


Training FAQs


What experience do I (my staff) need to use Craving Change™?

Craving Change™ is designed to be helpful for a number of different regulated health care professionals, such as dietitians, nurses, physicians, social workers, and psychologists. It was designed by a registered dietitian and psychologist. The materials can be used when working with groups and individuals. The certification process is designed to build clinician confidence and competence with the resources and fundamental messages of the program, in addition to providing access to updated resources.

All of the program resources for facilitators are written with the goal of providing direct, specific, and thorough suggestions for incorporating the material into practice. Countless suggestions for running a successful program are included, as well as a new 35 page Individual Counselling Guide on the Behind the Scenes CD that includes dozens of ideas for incorporating the Craving Change™ resources and key messages into 1:1 practice. However, the health care professionals for whom the program is written are assumed to have fundamental facilitation and counselling skills consistent with the requirements of their profession under their belt already.

Craving Change™ is a skills-based psychoeducational program that uses self-awareness tools and guided discussions. The program does not give dietary advice, it is not psychotherapy, and it does not provide education on specific health conditions (e.g. diabetes).


Do I (my staff) need to be a therapist to use cognitive-behavioural techniques?

No. A wide range of regulated professionals can use techniques born from a cognitive-behavioural approach in their work with their clients, IF they work within their scope of practice and remain vigilant to the limits of their competence.

For example, there is a considerable difference between teaching a group how to reframe repetitive negative thoughts into more positive or realistic thoughts, versus probing a group to think about the roots of their negative thinking and uncover core beliefs. The former is appropriate in Craving Change™, the latter is not. Craving Change™ does NOT give you license to “dig deeper” into your clients’ very personal thoughts and feelings and the roots of those thoughts and feelings. However, it does teach you to teach your clients how to become more aware of thoughts and emotions that might be triggering problematic eating.

The Craving Change™ Facilitator’s Kit attempts to outline this distinction several times throughout the program, and very specific guidelines are given for the group discussions to responsibly contain group discussions.That being said, if you are a registered psychologist or social worker trained in providing psychotherapy, feel free to incorporate Craving Change™ materials into a psychotherapeutic program as you see fit.

Facilitators are encouraged to be knowledgeable about local and online resources, as it is common for participants to decide at the end of the program that they’d like to follow up what they learned  about their relationship with food on a “deeper” and more personal level.  For instance, therapy to address marital difficulties, stress, anxiety or mood difficulties.  We’ve received consistent feedback that when these people attend therapy they are ready to “hit the ground running” as their self-awareness and familiarity with the cognitive-behavioural model has already taken hold.  This is an excellent example of stepped care service delivery in action!


Can we purchase and use the online Professional Training Video as a group?

Each person wishing to watch the video must have purchased online access and will receive a login. An Organization license provides access to the video for a certain number of staff over the three-year period of the license. Staff could go through the video together however each individual clinician will still require a login (included in the cost of the Organization license) should they wish to write and submit the certification exam.


Can completion of the training workshop (online or in-person) earn credits for a Certified Diabetes Education portfolio?

Individuals must submit their request for CDE portfolio credits on a case by case basis. Completion of the Craving Change™ professional training in-person or online video workshop may be eligible for a 2A short course for 5 credits.


Certification FAQs


I purchased a license prior to 2013. Do I have to get certified now?

You would only need to purchase the Craving More! Update and Certification Package. You will then be able to access the online certification exam and can refer to your original Facilitator’s Kit when answering the exam questions.


How do I (my staff) become certified if I (they) have a license and Facilitator's Kit but have never attended a Craving Change™ Professional Training workshop?

You would purchase one Video Training and Certification Package per clinician. Each package will provide the Craving More! Update package plus access to the online training video and certification exam.


How long is the certification valid? How do I (my staff) re-certify?

The Craving Change™ Facilitator Certification is valid for three (3) years from the date of issue of the certificate. At that time, Clinician License holders will need to purchase and complete the online re-certification exam – see Certification page for details. Staff under an Organization License can re-certify for no charge. Re-certification perks include on-going access to the online Resource Library and discounts on workbook orders. Re-certification is valid for another three years.


Intellectual Property FAQs


Can I use your logo on my website?

Only organizations with Organization Licenses, or businesses with a Corporate License may use the Craving Change Inc logo on their website.  Aligning with Craving Change Inc.’s brand, credibility, and reputation can provide a competitive edge! The cost for this license depends on the size of your organization or company. Please contact us at info@cravingchange.ca for more information.

Individual clinicians with Clinician Licenses are not permitted to use the Craving Change Inc. logo, however they are welcome to describe their status as licensed (and/or certified) clinicians.  For instance, “Joan Smith, RD is a Certified Craving Change™ facilitator”.

All licensed clinicians and organizations may use our “Promotion Postcards” to advertise that they offer Craving Change™ workshops and/or our unique counselling approach. To find out more about the Promotion Postcards, check under the yellow tab for all license holders on the Resource Catalogue page.


I love the name! Can I use it in my practice?

The details of how the name “Craving Change™” may be used are contained in the clinician license.

In short, if you wish to incorporate some of the materials from your Facilitator’s Kit into your existing program you are welcome to do so, but you may not call your entire program “Craving Change” as it is a trademarked name. If you run a workshop program as written and outlined in the Facilitator’s Kit, please call your program “Craving Change™”.


Can I deliver Craving Change™ online or translate the program into a different language?

A derivative work is a new, original product that includes aspects of a pre-existing, already copyrighted work. The translation of any of the Craving Change™ resources is considered a derivative work. Examples include translation into different languages and translation into other formats such as webinars and video posts. Craving Change Inc. is the owner of this intellectual property. By law, permission from Craving Change Inc. to produce a derivative work is required.


Can I or my organization charge for the workshops I/we offer? If yes, how much?

Yes, you may charge for the workshop or you may offer it free. We decided at the outset that we would not collect royalty fees. Some settings just use Craving Change™ materials as reference materials, some offer full programs at no charge or a minimal charge to recover costs, and some clinicians are offering full programs in private practice for full fee – these are all great applications of the materials – it’s your business what you charge. Our primary concern is that the intellectual property is being purchased by each clinician or organization and that its integrity is protected according to the conditions in the license agreement. How much you charge is up to your discretion.

Here is what some other clinicians and organizations have charged per client:

  • $7.00 – to cover the cost of the workbook for the client
  • $10.00 – $45.00 – to cover the cost of the workbook and the venue rental
  • $10.00 – $300.00 – private practice health care provider


Resources FAQs


Why is the Facilitator's Kit written in a workshop format?

Because group work, works! You are encouraged to consider using the concepts and materials in Craving Change™ in your individual practice, however some of the advantages to offering the Craving Change™ program in a group format include:

  • Time and cost-saving benefits
  • Group synergy, support, and energy
  • Drawing on the knowledge and expertise of group participants
  • Normalization of problematic eating
  • Increases participants’ self-efficacy

It’s much easier to adapt the material presented in the workshop format to your individual practice needs than to take over a dozen strategies and countless recommendations and design your own workshop. The background, advice, and paraphrased information prepares you to present the material clearly and confidently, whether it’s to 15 clients or one individual.


What does a Craving Change™ workshop actually look like?

We recommend 8-18 participants as an ideal size for a Craving Change™ workshop. The material takes approximately 8 hours to facilitate, that we recommend breaking down into 3, 4, or 6 sessions. The Facilitator’s Manual is written as though you are facilitating the program over 3 sessions, and suggestions for changing the format to a 4 or 6-session workshop are provided on the CD-ROM. You are encouraged to adjust the format as needed to meet your own or your organization’s needs.

The workshop uses a variety of techniques, including guided, interactive discussions, brainstorming activities, brief written exercises, and homework tasks. We strongly encourage a relaxed atmosphere with no “lecture” component. Materials spanning the entire workshop are prepared for you as overhead projector masters or power point slides. The slides provide very brief information and should be used sparingly, with the focus instead being on thought-provoking, relaxed group discussion.

Participants should receive either their own copy of the client Workbook, or stand-alone worksheets from the CD-ROM.


What's the difference between the Client Workbook and the worksheets?

The client Workbook is a resource that can be purchased for your clients. It is a bound booklet with a colour cover available at a cost we’ve strived to make as accessible as possible for you and your clients (7 dollars each, plus tax, shipping and handling). Over 40 000 of these workbooks have been sold across Canada with overwhelmingly positive feedback. 

The client Workbook can be used as a supplement in your work with individual clients, or in Craving Change™ workshops. A sample workbook is included in the Facilitator’s Kit. Please note that copying any information out of the Client Workbook is strictly prohibited by law. If you want to use materials from this resource with your clients, you must purchase copies of the workbook for your practice.

The workbook is designed to be a helpful resource for your clients while you’re working with them. It can also be a handy reference to refer back to for years to come. If you’re working with groups, we believe that each participant will get the most benefit from the program if they have their own copy of the client Workbook. The client Workbook includes:

  • Key messages from the program.
  • Activity and self-awareness worksheets.
  • A how-to guide outlining how to apply more than a dozen different strategies for changing problematic eating.
  • Short personal stories from people who have shared their struggles with food.

If purchasing Client Workbooks is not an option for you or your organization, or you only wish to “pick and choose” from various Craving Change™ activities and strategies, the stand-alone worksheets may be the answer for you. Thirteen stand-alone worksheets spanning various components of the program are available on the CD-ROM in the Facilitator’s Kit and in the online Resource Library. You are free to reproduce these selected workbook worksheets for your clients. All other materials on the CD-ROM are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in any format.


Can I buy a copy of the materials and photocopy them for my clients and colleagues?

The CD-ROM includes 12 stand-alone worksheets and evaluation forms that you are welcome to print and distribute to your clients.  Many more are included in the online Resource Library for certified clinicians.

Under the conditions of the license agreement, you are not permitted to share these forms with your colleagues – they need their own license agreement to use the materials.

The Facilitator’s Manual, client Workbook, and workshop organization and facilitation tips on the CD-ROM are protected under copyright law and must not be copied or reproduced in any manner.


How can I offer long-term follow-up for clients who have attended the workshop?

Great idea! Follow-up sessions can be very helpful in the change process and many clinicians across Canada are now offering them to graduates of their Craving Change™ programs. Clients love to meet up after completing a Craving Change™ workshop to share their successes, ideas, and their frustrations. There is a document included in the resource materials entitled ‘Keep the Change Going’ that provides direction for using content already in your Facilitator’s Manual to lead follow-up sessions.


Can we use the Craving Change™ approach with children and teens?

The Craving Change™ program per se has not been validated with this unique population, and neither author is a youth specialist.

However, several clinicians in Canada have used some of the core concepts in Craving Change™, including introducing the concept of eating triggers and selected cognitive-behavioural techniques with this age group. Of course, children and youth are actively developing an important relationship with food. There are many Craving Change™ guided discussions, activities and techniques that could be used with children and teens. Please email us if you would like more information.


Research/Outcomes FAQs


Can you direct me to some evidence that backs up the Craving Change™ approach?

Two sites using Craving Change™ recently shared their outcome data with us. An urban Primary Care Team in Alberta (N= 197), and a Family Health Team in Ontario (N = 52, data collected at both an urban and rural site). We are very grateful for their generosity and applaud their hard work – the challenges of collecting data in clinical settings are well-documented.  An outcome summary is available for download here outcome data June 2015.  The Association of Family Health Teams in Ontario (AFHTO) is currently in the process of organizing a multi-site outcome study across dozens of clinics.

As in the 2010 Eating Behaviors von Ranson et al published study, statistically significant improvements in eating self-efficacy were demonstrated from both sets of results. To quote one site’s summary, “after attending the Craving Change™ program, most participants are better able to control eating in both Socially Acceptable and Negative Affect scenarios, and these benefits are sustained over time.” (6 months follow up).  Engagement/retention rates are also notable, with one site quoting 70% attendance at least 3 of 4 classes, and the second site (which offered the program over 3 classes) reporting 73% complete attendance.

Clinical practice guidelines for obesity and chronic disease management in several countries recommend the incorporation of behavioural and cognitive strategies into patient care.  For instance, CanadaAustralia, the UK, and the USA.

Here’s an abridged list of published data highlighting the logic and evidence underlying the Craving Change™ curriculum:

  • Affenito SG, Backstrand, JR, Welch, GW, Lammi-Keefe, CJ, Rodriguez, NR, & Adams, CH. Subclinical and clinical eating disorders in IDDM negatively affect metabolic control. Diabetes Care. 1997; 20: 182-184.
  • Byrne, SM, Cooper, Z, & Fairburn, CG. Psychological predictors of weight regain in obesity. Behavior Research and Therapy. 2004; 42: 1341-1356.
  • Canadian Diabetes Association 2008 clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes in Canada. Canadian Journal of Diabetes. 2008; 32: Supplement 1.
  • Devlin, MJ, Yanovski, SZ, & Wilson, GT. Obesity: What mental health professionals need to know. Am J Psychiatry. 2000; 157: 854-866.
  • Ellis SH, Speroff T, Dittus RS, Brown A, Pichert JW, & Elasy TA. Diabetes patient education: a meta-analysis and meta-regression. Patient Education and Counselling. 2004; 52: 97-105.
  • Hay, P & Fairburn, CG. The validity of the DSM-IV scheme for classifying bulimic eating disorders. Int J Eat Disord. 1996; 23: 7-15.
  • Hollis, JF, Gullion, CM, Stevens, VJ, Brantley, PJ, Appel, LJ, Ard, JD, Champagne, CM, Dalcin, A, Erlinger, TP, Funk, K, Laferriere, D, Pao-Hwa L, Loria, CM, Samuel-Hodge, C, Vollmer, WM, & Svetkey, LP. Weight loss during the intensive intervention phase of the Weight-Loss Maintenance Trial. Am J Prev Med. 2007; 35: 118-126.
  • Kenardy, J, Mensch, M, Bown, K, Green, B, Walton, J, & Dalton, M. Disordered eating behaviours in women with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Eating Behaviors. 2001; 2: 183-192.
  • Lowe, MR, Gleaves, DH, DiSimone-Weiss, RT, Furgueson, C, Gayda, CA, Kolsky, P, Neal-Walden, T, Nelsen, LA, & McKinney, S. Restraint, dieting, and the continuum model of bulimia nervosa. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 1996; 105: 508-517.
  • Niemeier, HM, Phelan, S., Fava, JL, & Wing, RR. Internal disinhibition predicts weight regain following weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Obesity. 2007; 15: 2485-2494.
  • O’Rourke, SK, Del Mar, C, & Kenardy, J. Psychological interventions for overweight or obesity. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2005; Issue 2 Art. No: CD003818.
  • Rodin G, Olmsted MP, Rydall AC, Maharaj SI, Colton PA, Jones JM, Biancucci LA, & Daneman D. Eating disorders in young women with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 2002; 53: 943-949.
  • Scarano, GM, & Kalodner-Martin, CR. A description of the continuum of eating disorders: Implications for intervention and research. Journal of Counselling and Development. 1994; 72: 356-361.
  • Shisslak, CM, Crago, M, & Estes, LS. The spectrum of eating disturbances. Int J Eat Dis. 1995; 18: 209-219.
  • Stahre, L, & Hallstrom, T. A short-term cognitive group treatment program gives substantial weight reduction up to 18 months from the end of treatment. A randomized controlled trial. Eating Weight Disord. 2005; 10: 51-58.
  • Stice, E, Ziemba, C, Margolis, J., & Flick, P. The dual pathway model differentiates bulimics, subclinical bulimics, and controls: testing the continuity hypothesis. Beh Therapy. 1996; 27: 531-549.
  • Sullivan, PF, Buli, CM, & Kendler, KS. The epidemiology and classification of bulimia nervosa. Psychological Medicine. 1998; 28: 599-610.
  • Tylka TL, & Subich, LM. Exploring the construct validity of the eating disorder continuum. Journal of Counselling Psychology. 1999; 46: 268-276.
  • von Ranson, KM, Stevenson, AS, Cannon, CK, & Shah, G.Changes in eating pathology and associated symptoms among chronically ill adults attending a brief psychoeducational group.  Eating Behaviors.  2010;  11: 186-189.
  • Wilson, GT, Vitousek, KM, & Loeb, KL. Stepped care treatment for eating disorders. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 2000; 68: 564-572.
  • Wing, RR, Marcus, MD, Epstein, LH, Blair, EH, & Burton, LR. Binge eating in obese patients with type II diabetes. Int J Eat Dis. 1989; 8: 671-679.
  • Yager, J. Weighty perspectives: Contemporary challenges in obesity and eating disorders. Am J Psychiatry. 2000; 157: 851-853.


How can I (my organization) measure outcomes for the Craving Change™ program?

We encourage data collection related to using the Craving Change™ approach and resources in your practice. Questionnaire selection depends on a number of factors such as availability, budget, length, and most importantly- the variables you are hoping to measure.   Self-efficacy is widely considered a significant predictor of behaviour change, and people who attend Craving Change programs have been shown to have higher levels of eating self-efficacy after completing the program.  Some questionnaires to consider for your project include:

  1. Eating Disorders Examination- Questionnaire (EDE-Q). 36 items. Fairburn CG & Beglin,, SJ (1994). Assessment of eating disorders: Interview or self-report questionnaire? International Journal of Eating Disorders, vol 16, p 363-370.
  2. Eating Self-Efficacy Scale (ESES). 25 items. Glynn, SM & Ruderman, AJ. (1986). The development and validation of an eating self-efficacy scale. Cognitive Therapy and Research, vol 10, p 403- 420.
  3. State Shame and Guilt Scale (SSGS). 15 items. Marschall DE Sanftner JL, Tangney JP. The State Shame and Guilt Scale. Unpublished manuscript, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.
  4. Another questionnaire that you may find useful and that is appended at the end of Nolan, Halperin & Geliebeter, 2010, Appetite, vol 54, p 314-319. is the Emotional Appetite Questionnaire. It is available in the public domain for free. The literature review in this paper does a good job of reviewing the emotional eating questionnaires currently available.

We are always grateful when sites share their outcome data with us, please consider contacting us for this purpose.  We respect requests for sharing results without site identifiers.


Customer Service FAQs


Can I get my money back if I want to return resources?

No. Purchases of Craving Change written materials are final.


How do I get help if I am having technical problems with the online video or certification exam?

For the individual clinician license holders, online access is available for both the video and the exam for 120 days from the date of purchase. A three-year organization license includes online access for 120 days per clinician from the time of individual clinician registration.


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