CLARE|MATRIX has worldwide recognition for its evidence-based outpatient treatment program, the Matrix Model®. The Matrix Model is a structured, multi-component behavioral treatment model that consists of evidence-based practices, including relapse prevention, family therapy, group therapy, psycho-education, and self-help, delivered in a sequential and clinically coordinated manner. The model consists of 16 weeks of group sessions held three times per week, which combine Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, family education, social support, individual counseling, and urine drug testing.
The Matrix Model is an easy-to-use manualized treatment protocol that gives patients the skills and understanding they need to overcome addiction. It has been refined over the past 30 years to integrate cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management, motivational interviewing, 12 Steps facilitation, family involvement, and other elements to successfully treat individuals struggling with substance use.
The Matrix Model is acknowledged by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as an effective and scientifically-based approach. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration lists the model on its National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. The Matrix Model also was listed as a recommended evidence-based treatment model in Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health, a 2016 report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General.
A Tribute to a Dedicated Member of the CLARE | MATRIX Family
Sam Minsky, longtime partner and staff member of CLARE | MATRIX began his journey with us in 1989 as an intern at the former Matrix Institute on Addictions. Sam quickly grew as a clinician and proved himself to be a masterful teacher and trainer. Sam went on to lead trainings on the Matrix Model in various places throughout the world including the Philippines, Abu Dhabi, Vietnam, Curacao, Bismarck, Guam, Vietnam, New Mexico, Japan, South Africa and many more. He passed away at the age of 72 on March 12, 2020. We wanted to share some tributes from those who worked with him.
Tributes to Sam Minsky
Sam was very loved by his family and everyone who knew him. He started with Matrix as an intern after taking a class I taught at California Family Study Center and came to work at Matrix after he graduated. He went from being an intern, to a therapist, very quickly. We often gave him the patients that were the most challenging, as he was exceptional as a counselor. Sam helped with the training between clients at Matrix and his private practice.
Sam traveled with me and others from Matrix, all over the world, training. He was gifted at relating to his audiences and to everyone in the treatment world - administrators, politicians, therapists, supervisors and fellow recovering human beings. He was very proud of all the wonderful photographs he took during those travels. We will all miss his genuineness, gentleness, quiet strength, wellness approach to life and his huge heart. He will never be forgotten by the people at CLARE | MATRIX or by the countless lives he’s impacted over the years.
Rest in peace, Sam. Thank you for your many years of dedication and partnership. You will be sorely missed!
Co-Founder of Matrix Institute on Addictions
Board Member of CLARE | MATRIX
Sam and I worked over 18 years together as trainers for the Matrix Institute on Addictions and CLARE | MATRIX. One thing that is certain is Sam loved training and educating others. He loved meeting new professionals from all over the world and sharing his expertise and experiences with not only the Matrix Model, but in many other areas of behavioral health. Sam had an amazing ability to connect with those he trained and share his experiences and successes that everyone appreciated.
In training and providing certification reviews across South Africa, we often had time to chat, not only about training but our personal interests as well. Sam loved to hike and walk. He really loved nature. The sites of our international travel always gave us many things to discuss and share. We both loved the adventure of seeing new places and meeting new colleagues from around the world. After training, Sam was always out walking or hiking and taking in all the sites of our location; and then telling me all he had discovered. I could always count on hearing his amazing stories. On one of our trips to South Africa, we enjoyed sharing the fact that we were both bitten by lions and lived to tell about it.
Sam was one of the first people I met in starting my career with CLARE | MATRIX. I always appreciated his willingness to assist me and will forever remember his thoughtfulness and kind heart. He was one of a kind and both the former Matrix Institute on Addiction and CLARE | MATRIX have been fortunate to have had him as a trainer, colleague and friend.
I will certainly miss Sam and his warm, calm nature as will so many professionals around the world who learned from him. His memory lives on through them as they continue to share the knowledge and skills to so many other individuals who are now living a beautiful life of recovery. This is an amazing gift that Sam has left so many.
Director of Training, CLARE | MATRIX
Sam and I did talks and trainings together in Vietnam, Abu Dhabi, Saskatoon and numerous other far flung places, around the world. Sam was a rock star as a trainer. His students really loved him and really appreciated his compassion, patience and non-judgmental approach. He always found a way to give praise, compliment people for making progress and tried to role play patient encounters. He was a master at adjusting to people of very different cultures. His respect for the people he trained and the others he worked with, was clear and heartfelt.
Sam was a tremendous representative of Matrix and of the United States. He recently told me a bit about his early life and how he could have never imagined all the places he would travel in the world and all the people he would meet, and get to know as a teacher and trainer for Matrix. He was very proud of the work he did with us and he was extremely grateful to Matrix, Jeanne Obert and Mickey McCann, for the opportunities he had as a representative of Matrix. Sam was a good man, and I will miss seeing him in random airports and hotel lobbies all over the world.
Founder of the former Matrix Institute on Addictions
Professor at UCLA Dept. of Psychiatry
Sam had every quality you would want in a clinician: intelligence, empathy, warmth and a deep understanding of addiction. As a person, he was even more impressive. He was genuine, funny, considerate, with a sprinkle of self-deprecation; not ego-driven in the least. He was an amazing trainer and probably spread the Matrix Model over a larger area of the world, to more people than anyone else. He has affected the lives of thousands of people and will continue to do so for many years. Sam would return from training trips with stories and insights to share. During my travels, whenever I gave a presentation and mentioned Sam, people knew who he was because he trained them. They lit up at the sound of his name, with expressions of admiration and affection. He will be missed greatly, but his impact lives on.
-Michael “Mickey” McCann
Associate Director, the former Matrix Institute on Addictions
Sam Minsky loved training and teaching the Matrix Model. He was willing to travel all over the world, to speak about something that he was so passionate about, while having the pleasure of meeting all types of people, from different cultures; and the realization that they were connected through his trainings. Whether it was right after or months after training, Sam always made himself available to answer questions. He was selfless in that way. No different from the way he operated personally. Sam was a kind and caring individual, who always put the people he cared about before himself. He loved his CLARE | MATRIX family and was sad when he knew he would not be able to travel and see us anymore. It is still very difficult to wrap my head around the fact that Sam is no longer with us. There is no doubting that he will be greatly missed by every person, whose life he touched; and that list is a long one that includes me.
Former Director of Training, CLARE | MATRIX
My deepest condolences. All of us had a great time with Sam. He was a great teacher, trainer and friend. He was so patient and selfless in sharing his knowledge and expertise. May he rest in peace.
-Takayuki Harada, PhD
Professor, Faculty of Human Sciences
University of Tsukuba