An understanding Smart Recovery programmes
SMART Recovery uses techniques from Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), and Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET, a non-confrontational approach to helping people change behaviors). Our organization helps you apply these techniques to your recovery, as guided by our 4-Point Program®.
Understanding Smart Recovery and how it works:
- We help you look at your behaviors so you can decide what problems need your attention. We also help you stay motivated if you make the decision to change.
- If you feel you need to work with a therapist in your recovery, we encourage you to do that. If this isn’t an option because you can’t afford it or live in an area where help is not easily accessible, SMART can still help you.
- We encourage you to attend SMART meetings. Interacting with others in recovery will help you understand you’re not alone as you struggle with the challenges of recovery. At the same time, you’re helping others. Many of us who have walked the path of recovery have found great strength in the heartfelt words of others overcoming similar issues. If you choose to pursue recovery without attending meetings, we’re still here to help.
You can use SMART’s tools, strategies, and resources from the start of your journey to long after you reach your recovery goals. You can stay in SMART as long as you wish. You aren’t making a lifetime commitment to the program. Many find that participating in SMART after they recover helps them avoid relapses. Some volunteer to facilitate SMART meetings or lend their talents and skills in other ways. Others simply continue to attend meetings to share their experiences with people new to SMART, like you.
We focus on the present — and what you want for your future — rather than the past. We discourage the use of labels such as “addicts,” “alcoholics,” “druggies,” “overeaters,” etc. because we believe they interfere with a healthy self-image. Instead, we focus on behaviors and how to change them.
Addictive behaviors can arise from both substance use (psychoactive substances including alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, food, illicit drugs, and prescribed medications) and activities (gambling, sex, eating, shopping, relationships, exercise, etc.). Most of us experience an addictive behavior to some degree in our lives. Many people have more than one, either at the same time or they overcome one only to find themselves dealing with another one later.
It’s important to remember as you begin your journey that there is not a single “right” way to recovery. We all do it a little bit differently.
The 4-Point Program is the heart of SMART. Each point provides you with tools, techniques, and strategies that can help you on your journey. Many of these tools and techniques are skills you can use after you have fully recovered to help you deal with future problems and achieve more satisfaction and balance in your life.
These points are not steps. For some people they are sequential, for others they are not. For example, some people come to SMART when they are coping with urges, having built their motivation on their own.
The four points are:
- Building and Maintaining Motivation
- Coping with Urges
- Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors
- Living a Balanced Life