Monthly Archives: April 2017

The importance of “choice” in recovery

Posted on April 25, 2017

New video from Choice in Recovery, showcasing the many options now available

Click to watch:

From Choice in Recovery’s new website:

Choice in Recovery is an organization that unites the many pathways to recovery in order to educate professionals in the field, and the public, about the existing options; empowering people to CHOOSE the recovery pathway that works for them.

What we’ve found is that many professionals do not know about the many pathways to recovery AND that Choice effectively fills this gap in knowledge.

We are now hosting events in Colorado for professionals in the field.  Educating counselors, therapists, probation officers, and students about the many pathways to recovery; empowering professionals, and those entering the field, to run a client-centered practice.

We are honored to be a part of this project and are grateful to Paul and Spencer, volunteer meeting facilitators,  who represented SMART so well in the video.

 

Irina Bogonolova, Choice’s Founder and CEO, and everyone involved have created a wonderful public service resource with this video.  We applaud their efforts and look forward to seeing their ongoing impact on the recovery community. Continue reading

Get Involved! Help Us Grow!

Posted on April 22, 2017

Training Scholarships Available

Volunteer Training Scholarships

As we are now into our third decade, more and more people are “discovering the power of choice” and are eager to benefit from SMART’s approach to overcoming addiction.

This is great news!

We currently have an incredible team of hard-working volunteers who are providing over 2,000 face-to-face meetings around the world PLUS a menu of online services including daily meetings, a 24/7 chat room, and message board forums. But as you may already know, the demand for SMART’s services continues to grow at a rapid pace.

We set aside the month of April each year to celebrate our amazing volunteers and the work they do and to encourage others to help us start even more meetings to meet the growing demand.

Here’s How You Can Help!

Volunteer: Share in the rewarding experience of volunteering by joining our dedicated team of trained volunteers. [ More Information ]

Scholarships for training are available

All SMART facilitators and online volunteers are required to become thoroughly familiar with the SMART 4-Point Program by participating in our Distance Training Program. Volunteer training scholarships are available during April to cover the cost of the training for those who need financial assistance.


Volunteer Training

 

Support the Volunteer Scholarship Program

During the month of April, you can help someone become a trained volunteer by making a gift to the Volunteer Training Scholarship Fund. Donations of any amount are helpful and welcome — and thanks to generous matching challenges this year, you can double your impact!

UPDATE:

We’ve already received a record number of new volunteer applications this month, far more than we anticipated! Your gift to the Training Scholarship Fund makes it possible for us to provide the training to ready our new volunteers to start new meetings, Thank you for your generous support!

Support Volunteer Training

Partner with us

The rewards of helping others make a difference in their lives are many and long lasting. We invite you to partner with us to grow SMART, either as a volunteer, a donor, or both. You’ll be glad you did! [ More Information ]

Together, we can make more meetings available to those wishing to make positive changes in their lives, and the lives of their loved ones.

Thank you for your support during Volunteer Month.
YouMaketheDifference-med

Handout for Local Facilitators


Local Facilitators
:

Please provide these flyers (click on the image) to interested parties in your meetings.

Your qualified participants can apply for Volunteer Month Training Scholarships!

 




Continue reading

Mindfulness: How to do it

Posted on April 18, 2017

Part two of a three part series
By Bill Abbott, MD

If you paid careful and mindful attention to Part One of this series on Mindful Awareness enough to want to try it, you might be asking, “How do I do it?”

Practice, practice, practice

Mindful Awareness among other things is a practice in the fullest definition of that word. It is an intention that needs to be acted upon repeatedly, that is not just “one and done” – all fixed. As with any other learned behavior or skill, the more you do this, the more the benefits will grow and accrue.

Repetition means near daily practice and it matters less as to the duration of each practice as it does to the frequency of them; better five minutes a day for a week, than 35 minutes on only one day.

Of course, since Mindful Awareness can be many different things as noted in Part One, there are several aspects to these practices; basic – informal versus formal practices.

Informal practice

Informal practices are many and are all based on the single premise of remembering to pay attention, albeit even briefly, to the present experience many times a day. Many people use reminders or cues over the course of the day Continue reading

Mindfulness: What is it?

Posted on April 11, 2017

Part one of a three part series
By Bill Abbott, MD

I’ve heard much talk lately about Mindfulness with many questions about how useful it might be, so it seems timely to write about it here.

First Mindfulness or Mindful Awareness as I like to call it, is not new, in fact, it is over 2500-years-old. It’s part of the teachings of a man in India named Siddhartha Gautama who is also known as the historical Buddha.

However, in the last century the philosophy and psychology of the Buddhist idea have been transferred here into the West to become a pragmatic secular approach to managing the many stresses of modern life – with outcomes or benefits obtained; reported by thousands of people who learned it and tried it.

Although cognitive psychology has predominated psychotherapy for all sorts of mental challenges in the past two decades, it has become increasingly apparent that Mindful Awareness is a possible different path to mental wellness in a new effective psychology. What can be said at this point is that the approach affords us the chance to self-manage emotions, including those with addiction, now not only in one way, but two. Furthermore, there are numerous scientific studies, evidence if you will, that support the idea that this approach is useful for such things as stress, anxiety, depression, and yes, for addiction.

If this has caught your attention – good. It certainly has mine, and I have found its practice for the past five years significantly transformative in my own recovery. So, you ask, what is it?

Mindful Awareness is easy to describe but more difficult to grasp and practice. However, a simple definition might be:

Mindful Awareness is paying attention to what is happening in the present experience; allowing what is here to be present without judgment. This is acceptance of the here and now.

Continue reading

Paying it Forward by Training New SMART Volunteers

Posted on April 4, 2017

Why we give to support SMART Recovery Training
By Julie Flood and Peter Heide,  Albany Lutheran Church, Wisconsin

Our decision to begin a SMART Recovery group meeting was based on our local demand for those who are seeking self-directed change. Facilitating SMART Recovery meetings has been a great opportunity for us to reach out to our rural communities that do not have the same substance abuse/addiction resources offered in urban areas. After one year of group consistency and success we wanted to give the group an incentive to pay forward the benefits they’ve gained through SMART. In November of 2016 the Council agreed to pay the training fee for those wanting to facilitate SMART Recovery meetings in our southern Wisconsin, under-served communities/counties.

Why SMART has been so helpful in our community: The greatest obstacles with change and self-acceptance are unwanted self-judgments, and we all have them. The mind’s ability to generate such judgments is very powerful Continue reading