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Computer-Assisted Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Abstinence-Based Contingency-Management (cMET/CBT/CM)


cMET/CBT/CM is a computer-delivered intervention for cannabis use disorders, incorporating features of three evidence-based treatments: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement therapy (MET), and contingency management (CM).

Nine sessions presented over 12 weeks offer computer-assisted instruction and queries to assess knowledge, computer simulation of coping skills, and interactive exercises to enhance learning and personalize content.


Theoretical Approach(es):

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Contingency-Management (CM)


Target Substance(s):



Target Outcome(s):

Continuous cannabis abstinence
Program attendance and retention
Frequency of cannabis use
Change in coping skills

Young Adults (18-30)
Adults (30+)


African American

Remote access

Geographic Location:



  • An initial trial of a computerized behavioral intervention for cannabis use disorder.

    Budney AJ, Fearer S, Walker DD, Stanger C, Thostenson J, Grabinski M, Bickel WK. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2011. 115(1-2):74-79. PMCID: PMC3071451.

    Summary: In this comparative study, two computer modules of MET therapy followed by seven modules of CBT were delivered either via a computer program or individual sessions with a therapist. Participants in the computer-based intervention also received 45-90 minutes of individual therapy. Abstinence-based incentives were provided upon receipt of negative urine samples.

    19 participants (50%) completed treatment. No difference between treatments was observed for cannabis use. Attendance and retention did not differ significantly between groups, nor did changes in coping skills. Participants provided positive ratings of the computer delivered sessions.

    Take Away: Computer-assisted MET/CBT/CM treatment for cannabis use disorders did not adversely affect compliance or outcomes. Participants who received the internet-based program achieved comparable results to in-person therapy. There was high attrition over the 12 week period for both groups.

  • Computer-assisted behavioral therapy and contingency management for cannabis use disorder.

    Budney AJ, Stanger C, Tilford JM, Scherer EB, Brown PC, Li Z, Li Z, Walker DD. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. 2015. Advance online publication. PMID: 25938629.

    Summary: In this randomized controlled trial, the effectiveness of cMET/ICBT/CM was compared to two therapist delivered treatments for cannabis use disorders. Adults with cannabis use disorders were recruited (n=75) and randomly assigned to: 1)cMET/ICBT/CM; 2) Nine sessions of a therapy incorporating MET, CBT, and CM delivered in-person with a therapist (THERAPIST); or 3) Two motivational interviewing sessions, in-person with a therapist (BRIEF). Cannabis use was assessed pre-treatment, post-treatment, and at 3- and 9-month post-treatment follow-ups. Post-treatment, participants in the cMET/ICBT/CM and THERAPIST conditions had significantly longer durations of continuous abstinence from cannabis than the BRIEF group. Participants in the THERAPIST and cMET/ICBT/CM conditions were also significantly more likely to be abstinent from cannabis at the end of treatment. While 47% and 45% of the cMET/ICBT/CM and THERAPIST groups, respectively, were abstinent, only 13% of the BRIEF group was abstinent from cannabis post-treatment. There were no post-treatment differences in cannabis use between the cMET/ICBT/CM and THERAPIST conditions. At the 3- and 9-month follow-ups, the rates of participants abstaining from cannabis use were similar across all three treatment conditions. Participants in the THERAPIST group, however, used cannabis on a greater percentage of days at 9-months, compared to the cMET/ICBT/CM group.

    Take Away: cMET/ICBT/CM demonstrated greater short-term effectiveness than a brief therapist-delivered motivational intervention. More research is needed to examine how to sustain program effectiveness over time.