Stay Current and Sound SMART

Posted on July 26, 2011

Continuing Education Opportunities for SMART volunteers
John11, SMART Recovery® Tool Training Host and Message Board Volunteer


Online Volunteer Training

How do SMART Recovery® volunteers and facilitators ensure they are providing the highest level of help to other SMART members? One way is to stay current by taking refresher courses. In my career, construction, I am expected to hold several certifications: first aid, fall protection, WHMIS, operator’s ticket for forklifts and various machines. All these licenses are only valid for 2 to 5 years and require costly refresher courses and re-certification. Pilots have to take periodic check rides with a flight instructor to keep their licenses.

Fortunately for SMART facilitators, volunteers and anyone considering volunteering in the future, ongoing tool training discussions are provided online and free of charge. These discussions may also be of great interest to family & friends (CSOs) of those with addictive behaviour. The goal of these discussions is to keep volunteers informed and up to date on Rational Emotive Behavior Theory (REBT) principles and practices. Past topics have included:

    • Motivational interviewing
    • The CBA ( simple method of evaluating the pros and cons of a behaviour)
    • The ABC (behaviour chain tool) for urge coping & for managing emotional upsets
    • The Stages of Change

The speakers at these sessions are very qualified and highly educated in their field. Speakers of this calibre are seldom heard for free and we at SMART are very fortunate to have this opportunity extended to us. Unlike speakers in some other programs these are mostly medical professionals sharing their experience and knowledge with us for an hour. Their contributions are tremendously appreciated by all of us at SMART who realize we would be cheating ourselves and those we have volunteered to help, by not attending.

Two training sessions are offered each month. For those of you who are thinking, “I took the course and attended these talks a while ago, no need to do it again,” I offer the following points for your consideration:

    1. What grade would you score on a pop quiz today?
    2. Refreshers never hurt. They will better enable you to help others while appearing to be a genius representative for SMART.
    3. Is it possible that you might have overlooked some subtle nuances the first time? Or missed things that did not make sense without having some practical time in the field?
    4. The discussions and especially questions are never exactly the same.
    5. Where else can you get answers from a pro for free?
    6. The sessions are enjoyable and the atmosphere is jovial. These are not tedious lectures.

Online Volunteer Training (OVT) sessions are currently scheduled for the first Saturday and the first Tuesday of each month. These sessions are offered for the benefit of all volunteers, both online and face-to-face. All are welcome and encouraged to attend as their schedule permits. Session times and online locations are posted on the SMART message board meeting schedule calendar. Upcoming sessions are announced on the message board for a week prior to the event.

If you have attended one of these training sessions recently please leave a comment here about the experience.