Monthly Archives: November 2011

Building Confidence With SMART Recovery®

Posted on November 29, 2011

by Julie Myers, PsyD

Sometimes, when you slip in your recovery, your confidence may slip with you. You may believe that you don’t know how to change your behaviors, that somehow the slip means that you are right back to square one. But is this a rational belief? Have you really forgotten all that you learned? The answer is no.

When you move towards recovery, you begin to change your behaviors, thoughts and emotions, sometimes in subtle ways. You may have some favorite SMART tools to help you, such as the wave (urge surfing), ABCs, or making changes to your lifestyle. Sometimes, when people slip, they forget about these tools or simply stop practicing the tools that were effective to change their behaviors in the beginning.

Here are some suggestions if you find yourself faced with a slip and feel discouraged:

  • Review the SMART tools. Are you still practicing them?
  • Brainstorm by writing down all the things that are going on right now under the headings Thoughts, Behaviors, Emotions. Do you notice a pattern?
  • Begin by using some of the tools that were most effective for you in the past to address some of the issues developed in your brainstorming.
  • Next, add a new tool by looking in your SMART Recovery Handbook or on the tools page of the SMART Recovery website.
  • Finally, be confident that you know how to change your behaviors! Then, write in your journal or post a reply to this blog article about how you managed to regain your footing; it will help you consolidate your confidence.

  • Reprinted with permission:
    Copyright (2011) Julie Myers, PsyD: Psychologist in San Diego. All Rights Reserved

    Journaling, the SMART Recovery® Way

    Posted on November 15, 2011

    by Julie Myers, PsyD


    Here are some thoughts about “journaling”, the SMART Recovery® way.

    Some people enjoy writing down their thoughts in a diary or journal. This can be cathartic, helping a person feel less alone. It may be a wonderful way to express gratitude, love, or to get perspective on one’s life. However, sometimes writing down negative or irrational beliefs can reinforce and strengthen the belief. When the negative thought is there on the paper, in black & white, it may give it more validity and power.

    If you find yourself feeling better after you write your thoughts down, you are probably using a good strategy. But, if you feel worse or no better, try this strategy:

    Write down your thoughts.

    1. Next, assess how you feel. Do you feel angry, sad, or just plain miserable?

    2. If you are experiencing a negative emotional reaction, stand back and review the thoughts you just wrote down. Are you using self-defeating beliefs that are illogical, unhelpful, or just plain untrue? Ask yourself if you are using absolute and literal demands, such as “musts”, “should” and exaggerated needs. Are there common thinking errors in your statements, such as blame shifting or rationalizations?

    3. Just below your written thoughts, dispute or rewrite your original thoughts (beliefs). Do these make more sense? Are they more logical?

    4. Now, assess how you feel again. Did disputing the original thoughts improve your mood? If so, your journaling is helping you to gain control over your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

    Happy Journaling!

    Reprinted with permission:
    Copyright (2011) Julie Myers, PsyD: Psychologist in San Diego. All Rights Reserved

    A Court-Ordered Recovery Journey

    Posted on November 8, 2011

    Support is available for those who struggle with alcohol
    Clarence L. Hinman II, Bay City, MI

    Social drinking has been a way of life for me since the age of 17. Of course, this progressed to everyday drinking in my 20s and 30s, leading me to quit at age 40 in 2000. In 2002, I moved back to Bay City and boredom lead me astray, again attending the bar on an everyday basis right where I left off when I quit in 2000. I opened the bars and I closed the bars every day. I was out of control.

    In 2011, on the night of Jan. 23, I rolled my car into a farmer’s field. I began walking down the road and was picked up by the sheriff’s deputy and arrested for drunk driving.

    I was ordered to take 20 weeks of alcohol therapy, 20 weeks of AA or SMART Recovery Program, suspended driver’s license, random breathalyzer, random urine testing, fines and community service.

    Court orders have helped encourage me to quit and begin my recovery process. I have been alcohol-free as of Feb. 13. Although I still have urges to drink I have no desire to drink, making it my choice and therefore my lead-in to a successful recovery. I know this is a long and hard road to follow, but I have a support group with SMART  Recovery and those around me that help guide me in the right direction.

    I took the appropriate classes and passed my testing and became a certified SMART Recovery facilitator. I began working with Jane Doe with the SMART Recovery program now offered at the Opportunity Center (Bay City, MI).

    I continue every day with a struggle I will have to bear for a very long time and hope I can help others as well as I have been helped by those before me. I hope this letter will encourage others to begin their own recovery process and know there are places and people to help guide them, too.

    SMART Recovery is for anyone interested, not just those who are court-ordered. The program offers many areas of aid. Go online for more info: