Monthly Archives: April 2013

Webinar: Tracking Your Progress

Posted on April 30, 2013

“Checklists for Recovery” with CBT Founder
Donald Meichenbaum, Ph.D. and Julie Myers, Psy.D.

Friday, May 10, 2013
5:00 pm EDT

Checklist for Addiction Recovery The SMART Recovery approach to addiction recovery is based on SELF-Management. Effective management includes measuring progress. What better way to assess your personal progress with the SMART tools than to use the newest addition to the SMART Recovery toolbox, the Activities Self-Assessment Checklist.

SMART Recovery will host a webinar featuring Donald Meichenbaum, Ph.D. and Julie Myers, Psy.D. on May 10, 2013 at 5 pm EDT.  They will be discussing how checklists, such as the SMART Recovery Activities Self-Assessment (SRAS), can be used by participants, facilitators, and professionals to help guide and assess the recovery process. Dr. Meichenbaum, one of the founders of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), will be sharing with the audience his extensive knowledge and experience with such checklists in both self-help and therapy settings. 

The Activities Self-Assessment Checklist, designed by Dr. Myers and Dr. Meichenbaum, specifically for use by members of SMART Recovery, is a practical and effective tool for navigating through the addiction recovery change process.  Two versions of the recently updated checklist (one for participants and one for professionals) are available on the SMART Recovery website .
Register today for this SMART Webinar.

The webinar will be recorded and may be made available on SMART Recovery’s podcast site. . 

SMART Recovery is pleased to offer free webinars on topics of interest as a public service. Please share with your friends, family and colleagues. 

 Donald Meichenbaum, Ph.D.Donald Meichenbaum, Ph.D. is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Waterloo, Ontario Canada from which he took early retirement 17 years ago to become the Research Director of the Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention, Miami: He is one of the founders of Cognitive Behavior Therapy. In a survey of clinicians, Dr Meichenbaum was voted ” one of the 10 most influential psychotherapists of the 20th century.” Dr.Meichenbaum recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Clinical Division of the American Psychological Association. He has presented in all 50 U.S. States and internationally. He has published extensively. His most recent book is Roadmap to Resilience

Julie Myers, Psy.D., MSCPJulie Myers, Psy.D., MSCP is a clinical Psychologist in San Diego, specializes in teaching self-regulatory strategies for coping with addictive behaviors, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. She is a Master Addiction Counselor, holds a Postdoctoral Masters Degree in Clinical Psychopharmacology, and serves on the California Psychological Association, Psychopharmacology Division Board. Dr. Myers has been a long-time contributor to SMART Recovery and is the co-author with Dr. Meichenbaum of the SMART Recovery Activities Scale (SRAS). You can find her blog and other helpful resources on her website:  
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Dealing With Negative Emotions

Posted on April 23, 2013

No Complaining
by Mary Russell, M.S.


When you hear the word “complaining” you probably have some sort of negative reaction. It probably conjures up images of people in your life who whine or routinely throw themselves pity parties but don’t do anything to improve their circumstances. What you may be less likely to think of are the times when you yourself were the whiner. So why might that be? I’ll be the first to admit out loud the dirty little secret many of us hold…

Complaining often feels VERY GOOD

No one likes being faced with difficult situations but when we are, our natural reaction may be to seek support from others. We may search for validation and compassion to help soothe ourselves in our times of need. Complaining is an excellent way of garnering such attention. When we whine, people pay attention – see how well it works for babies? But the big difference between a whining infant and ourselves is that – luckily – we are capable of changing and improving our circumstances! Continue reading

It’s Here! New Edition of the SMART Handbook

Posted on April 16, 2013

3rd Edition now available

SMART Handbook 3rd Edition

This newest edition of the SMART Recovery Handbook (for participants) is the culmination of many months of in-depth review and revision work by a dedicated team of volunteers. It provides additional tools, exercises and strategies to help people recover from their addictive behaviors. It features:

    •New content – new program tools and strategies,
    •Simplified writing style to improve readability,
    •Worksheets compiled in the appendix for easy use.

Tom Horvath, President of SMART Recovery, calls this new edition of the Handbook, a “quantum leap” in providing techniques and tools for recovery. “The Handbook has been transformed and is really a pleasure to read.”

The 3rd edition is easy-to-read and offers tools and techniques to help people abstain from their addictive behaviors using SMART’s 4-Point Program®:

    1) building and maintaining motivation;
    2) coping with urges;
    3) managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors; and
    4) living a balanced life.

Rosemary Almond, Editor and head of the revision work done by the Handbook Team, believes that this new Handbook will introduce SMART to new audiences and help people to recover and lead healthy, balanced lives. “The addition of a handy section of worksheets in the appendix allows readers to find the worksheets and easily make copies to use as part of their daily recovery routine.”

SMART Recovery Handbooks are available through SMART’s online bookstore.

SMART Recovery, founded in 1994, bases its programs on scientific approaches to addiction recovery, and empowers its users to achieve abstinence goals. Operated almost entirely by volunteers, SMART sells its publications at a nominal cost to help support the organization.

Feel Like You’re on an Emotional Roller Coaster? Here’s Why!

Posted on April 9, 2013

~Green-In-MI, SMART Recovery Volunteer

Emotional Roller Coaster

If you are new to addiction recovery you may be surprised to notice that your emotions can be a bit of a whirlwind. You are not alone; the emotional roller coaster is a natural part of the recovery process for many people. There are a couple reasons for this experience.

First, you’ve been soaking your brain in your drug of choice, often for months or years. Depending on your personal use pattern, it’s going to take some time for your brain to adjust to not being soaked. In the meantime, you might experience your brain’s adjustment as a cascade of emotions. I like to tell a story about crying at a song from The Muppet Movie — one of the happy songs.

Second, many people use alcohol or other substances to avoid dealing with difficult or painful emotions like grief, anger, or anxiety. For example, you might be attempting to avoid mourning a lost loved one. Or you might be avoiding dealing in a more effective way with something like anxiety issues. In any of these cases, when you stop using, those painful emotions are going to be welling back up in full force, and arguably you will feel them more acutely due to the adjustments going on in your brain.

It Does Get Better

The good news is that this experience does get better. Continue reading

SMART: A Community of Volunteers

Posted on April 2, 2013

Volunteer Appreciation Month
Join the Volunteer Team and Pay it Forward

Scholarships for Addiction Recovery Volunteer  TrainingSMART Recovery celebrates Volunteer Month in April of each year, as a way to recognize the efforts of its many dedicated volunteers.

SMART is a “volunteer organization” and the robust growth in meetings during the past year is a direct result of the enthusiastic efforts of its volunteers. They have done a terrific job. In the last year, the number of weekly SMART face-to-face meetings has grown by 35% and at SMART Recovery Online, 245 new “seats” have been added to the weekly meeting schedule.

During Volunteer Month, SMART not only celebrates its current volunteers, but also encourages others to join in, to help meet the growing demand for more SMART Recovery meetings throughout the world. Any volunteer at SMART Recovery will tell you that volunteering is a rewarding experience — and what better place to share your energy and expertise in all things recovery-related?!

Training Scholarships Available

Thanks to an anonymous donor, a number of Volunteer Training Scholarships are available during Volunteer Month for those who qualify for financial assistance to cover the cost of the SMART Recovery Facilitator and Support Team Distance Training (FAST Training).

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