SMART Recovery SMART Recovery: A Powerful & Effective Option No matter what stage of recovery you’re in, you are probably looking for ways to prolong your sobriety. One way to do this is to surround yourself with people that have similar struggles–for a mutual exchange of experiences and support. Most people have heard of 12-step recovery support groups. Not as well-known, the SMART Recovery is a powerful alternative with a philosophy and methodology of its own. SMART Recovery vs. 12-Steps Programs SMART (Self-Management And Recovery Training) Recovery differs from 12-step programs in significant ways. First, it doesn’t adhere to a fixed set of beliefs. Instead, it relies on evidence-based research, scientific analysis, and careful action. SMART recovery takes a self-empowering not a spiritual approach to your sobriety. It rejects the idea that you are powerless against temptation. Rather than appealing to an omniscient power, the SMART philosophy teaches complete self-reliance, including the ability to make sensible decisions and act effectively. SMART treatment imparts the skills necessary to reach your own, self-directed change. No Labels, No Judgment As with 12-step programs, meetings are discussions, not lectures. They allow you to explore and discuss your own emotions and experiences, and listen to those of others. There’s a strong prohibition against judgment and confrontation. But the differences abound. Unlike 12-step programs, SMART programs avoid using terms like addict and alcoholic, labeling them as defeatist. They do not treat addiction as a permanent affliction or disease to be suffered. Similarly, relapse is not viewed as a failure, but rather as another opportunity to share. You are encouraged to attend meetings, but only as long as you benefit from them. As a bonus, you can even participate online. A Potential Complement SMART recovery support groups do not claim to be better that 12-step groups, only to be a viable alternative. In some cases, a SMART recovery support group can even complement a 12-step program. At its core, SMART Recovery’s philosophy is that the fundamental element in change is the decision to change, and that decision, when backed up by sensible action, is what creates recovery. SMART Recovery’s 4-Point Program SMART Recovery’s 4-Point Program helps you gain independence from your addiction, but it’s not a step program. You can address a specific point in any order, at any time, based on your needs. The four program points covered throughout your experience include: Building and maintaining motivation Coping with urges Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors Living a balanced life Is SMART Recovery For You? SMART Recovery treatment was designed to help with all types of addiction and addictive behavior. If you or a loved one have tried the 12-step programs and still haven’t found what you’re looking for, a SMART Recovery support group could be a good alternative. We can help you decide.