SMART Recovery is a support group that focuses on scientifically validated therapeutic techniques, incorporating aspects of MI and REBT, as well as social support to help empower individuals to overcome all types of addiction. SMART is an acronym for Self-Management and Recovery Training.
SMART Recovery is presented as an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs. SMART differs from AA in particular by not encouraging clients to admit powerlessness over their addictions, not using the concept of a higher power, and rejecting the disease theory of alcoholism. They don’t view addiction as a disease, but rather as a dysfunctional habit, while still allowing that it is possible for certain people to have a predisposition towards addictive behavior.
According to them, SMART:
- Teaches self-empowerment and self-reliance.
- Encourages individuals to recover and live satisfying lives.
- Teaches tools and techniques for self-directed change.
- Meetings are educational and include open discussions.
- Advocates for the appropriate use of prescription medications and psychological treatments.
- Evolves as scientific knowledge of addiction recovery evolves.
SMART Recovery helps people overcome addiction using methods based on scientific knowledge, such as their 4-point program:
- Build and Maintain Motivation
- Cope with Urges
- Manage Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors
- Live a Balanced Life
This program employs a variety of tools and techniques meant to help individuals gain independence from addiction and addictive behavior. These tools include:
- Stages of Change
- Change Plan Worksheet
- Cost/Benefit Analysis (Decision Making Worksheet)
- ABCs of REBT for Urge Coping
- ABCs of REBT for Emotional Upsets
- DISARM (Destructive Images and Self-talk Awareness & Refusal Method)
- Hierarchy of Values
- Role-playing and Rehearsing
- USA (Unconditional Self-Acceptance)