Monthly Archives: August 2013

Webinar: Mindfulness…and More

Posted on August 27, 2013

Integrating ‘ACT’ into SMART Recovery
with Dr. Hank Robb


Register Today

Hank Robb, Ph.D., will present a webinar this Saturday (August 31 at 5pm edt) on the topic of mindfulness and other Acceptance Commitment Therapy strategies, and how they can be helpful in addiction recovery.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT offers powerful alternatives for dealing with difficult thoughts and feelings. Some of the strategies that Dr. Robb will be discussing are: acceptance, mindfulness, cognitive defusion, values, and committed action.

About Dr. Robb

Dr. Robb brings a unique perspective to this topic, as an expert in CBT, REBT, and as an ACT practitioner. He has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Nebraska (1978), and is a Supervisor for the Institute for Rational-Emotive Therapy, New York. He is board certified in both Counseling and Behavioral Psychology and is certified in the Treatment of Alcohol and Other Psychoactive Substance Use.

He previously served as President of the American Board of Counseling Psychology and is listed as an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Trainer. Dr. Robb is a founding member of SMART Recovery and continues to write regularly for the SMART News & Views newsletter on topics related to cognitive behavioral (CBT) and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT).


There is no cost to attend this event. Advance registration is required.

Register Today

The Driving Force Behind Addictive Behaviors

Posted on August 20, 2013

The Heart Of Addiction
~Lance M. Dodes, M.D.
Reviewed by “Deltafox”, SMART Recovery ® Online Participant


Dodes’ book, The Heart of Addiction, is very compatible with the SMART program and the psychological writings of Dr. Ellis and REBT. Dodes emphasizes the role our beliefs play in addictions. His emphasis is on discovering the driving force behind addictive behaviors. Other treatment modalities deal with the addictive power of the substance or behavior itself, i.e., how the drug or behavior effects an individual and why this occurs in physical terms or how the brain responds. Dodes, like SMART, says that in most cases, this is putting the cart before the horse.

While it may be interesting to see how certain parts of the brain respond to a substance or behavior, it is a mistake to ascribe those reactions as somehow the cause of the behavior. The activating cause or event is not nearly as important as the beliefs associated with that event. The problem is discovering what those beliefs are and learning how to manage the feelings of helplessness that are the real culprits behind real addictive behaviors, whether they involve a substance or not.

The SMART ABC(DE) tool is a perfect example of what both Dodes and Ellis might agree is a way to deal with addictive urges. Continue reading

Managing Your ‘New Life’

Posted on August 13, 2013

Adjusting to a richer, fuller life experience
~Green-In-MI, SMART Recovery Volunteer

“Getting used to sober life can be a process of adjusting in a number of ways.”

Life in the Fast LaneOne of the things the SMART community talks about is making changes in your life as part of the process for sustained abstinence from your drug of choice or problem behavior. People share experiences like creating new circles of friends or even moving to new places or cities.

SMART specifically talks about finding one or more VACIs (Vitally Absorbing Creative Interests). A number of us spent an awful lot of time planning on using, using, and recovering from using. For many of us, our drug of choice was the focus of day-to-day life. Without it, many find themselves clear-headed but with nothing planned for the evening and wondering what to do. As you continue to build a new life, you re-engage old friends and pick old hobbies back up. You also find new friends and new activities. These are all good signs of progress.

If you’re like me, you might find yourself very busy all of the sudden. At some point you threw yourself into your life, dominated by your drug of choice. Now you’ve thrown yourself into a new life, a life of addiction recovery. There’s family, work, friends, hobbies, and keeping up with the general demands of day-to-day life, Continue reading

Join Us in San Diego! 2013 Annual Conference

Posted on August 6, 2013

October 11-13, 2013 San Diego, CA
Leading the Way in Innovation

SMART Recovery Annual Conference The 2013 SMART Annual Conference will be held in San Diego, “America’s Finest City.” The theme for this year’s conference is Leading the Way in Innovation. It will begin on Friday, October 11, and run through Sunday, October 13. This conference is geared to inform and inspire, with session topics covering the science supporting SMART, organizational updates, addiction recovery professionals speaking on mindfulness, locus of control, empowerment and more.

Volunteers, online and face-to-face meeting participants, Board members and friends of SMART Recovery can expect to enjoy an impressive line-up of accomplished speakers and topics:

Joseph Gerstein, M.D., FACP, Harvard Medical School: Update on HOV tool

Reid K. Hester, Ph.D.: Research Findings RCT/SMART

Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP: President’s address: On the Road Ahead

Richard Phillips, Director, SMART Recovery UK: The Science of SMART Recovery

Hank Robb, Ph.D., ABPP: Centering v. Mindfulness

David Saenz, Ph.D., EdM, LLC: Locus of Control and Empowerment

Henry Steinberger Ph.D., MSSW, APA-CPP: Reestablishing Trust in Recovery

…and more

SMART Recovery Annual ConferenceAn optional, narrated trolley tour of historical San Diego will kick off the event on Friday afternoon at 2:30 PM. This is a wonderful way to enjoy the company of other conference goers in a casual setting, while taking in the sights of this beautiful city. Friday evening’s agenda includes a casual dinner and SMART Jeopardy to round out a fun day!

After Saturday’s conference events, we will be celebrating the hard work and dedication of our volunteer-based community with the 2nd Annual Community Awards Recognition Ceremony and dinner. Dinner, sponsored by Aton Center, will be held off-site at the nearby Yacht Club. Award nominations may be submitted online. Deadline for Community Award Nominations is September 1, 2013.

We’re looking forward to this year’s Annual Conference with plenty of information, conversation, and just plain fun for everyone. We acknowledge and thank the many volunteers in the San Diego SMART community for their generous contributions of time and assistance.

For agenda and lodging information, and to register or reserve a guest room, visit our website. Registration Deadline: September 10, 2013. Continue reading