Description — Contingency Management Strategies and Ideas


About this intervention

This intervention is a planning guide for using rewards and star charts to reinforce goal setting, early engagement, and retention in treatment settings.

Modular applications in this intervention include:

  • Part 1 — CM: Getting Started provides background and considerations for developing simple contingency management (CM) or reinforcement protocols for use in substance abuse treatment settings. Information from research-based interventions developed for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is included, along with issues to consider for protocol design, implementation, and management. This chapter is designed as a primer for treatment staff interested in simple, yet effective reinforcement strategies to strengthen motivation and engagement in treatment.
  • Part 2 — StarCharts and Rewards presents ideas for a sample protocol for implementing CM with existing clients using simple incentive charts (StarCharts) and prizes. This section provides counselors and caseworkers with guidelines for getting ready for the protocol and for introducing and discussing CM participation with clients. Samples of client information sheets and informed consent forms are included, along with examples of incentive chart templates.
  • Part 3 — Rewarding Effort and Initiative provides a framework for conducting a goal-setting counseling session with clients to help identify tasks related to accomplishing goals as part of a CM protocol. The client and counselor work together to set a star “value” for each task, along with timelines and how accomplishment will be objectively assessed. A scripted sample interview is included, along with a planning template for charting agreed upon tasks and how stars will be awarded.
  • CM Bibliography

The Contingency Management Strategies and Ideas intervention may be freely used for personal, educational, research, and/or information purposes only. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce and distribute copies of content material (except reprinted passages from copyrighted sources) for nonprofit educational and nonprofit library purposes, provided that copies are distributed at or below costs and that credit for author and source are included on each copy. No part of any material may be copied, downloaded, stored in a retrieval system, or redistributed for any commercial purpose without the expressed written permission of Texas Christian University.

Recommended Citation: Bartholomew, N. G., Rowan-Szal, G. A., & Simpson, D. D. (2005). Contingency management strategies and ideas. Fort Worth: Texas Christian University, Institute of Behavioral Research. Available: the IBR Website: