Category Archives: Coping With Urges

A Message to Young People

Posted on April 18, 2016

Dr. Robert SchwebelSMART Recovery Webinar: You are Powerful: A Message to Young People from Dr. Robert Schwebel, Saturday, 4/23/2016 5:00 pm EDT

REGISTER: http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EC54D682834938

SMART Recovery® is pleased to present a talk with author and developer of The Seven Challenges® Program, Dr. Robert Schwebel. We are interested in learning how to engage youth who have problems with drugs in meaningful conversations and to support them in taking power over their lives. Dr. Schwebel’s work is designed for counseling settings, and we think you’ll find his approach highly complementary with SMART in the continuum of care. In implementing The Seven Challenges Program, many practical lessons have been learned that are helpful in thinking about how to best to serve and collaborate with youth. The conversation will focus on attitudes, strategies, and messages that engage and empower youth, and there will be plenty of time for questions and answers. Continue reading

Three Things

Posted on April 11, 2016

Part 3: Prepare and Plan for Urges

By Jim (GJBXVI) Braastad

 

StrategyScientific research shows that people who have recovered successfully (regardless of the method used) all have three things in common, those being: 

  • Commitment to sobriety; 
  • Change in lifestyle; and 
  • Prepare and plan for urges.

In prior posts, I’ve provided why I strongly believe a commitment to sobriety is so crucial in the path to recovery, and how a change in lifestyle will be needed to be made as well. In this final post in the series, we’ll talk about the last of the “Three Things”, to prepare and plan for urges. Continue reading

Grief & Loss in Recovery

Posted on February 23, 2016

At some point in life we will all experience the loss of someone we dearly love and care about. It can be through sudden death, illness, or even a breakdown of a relationship. Overwhelming feelings follow, and the unprecedented feeling of loss can sometimes trigger a return to past, addictive behavior.

For me, understanding the grieving process and the stages a person has to go through helped me understand and finally accept the unacceptable and significantly reduced my risk of relapse.

Continue reading

Skills to deal with Anxiety, Distress and Cravings

Posted on February 1, 2016

– Reposted from the Center for Motivation & Change blog

Changing your relationship with substances or any compulsive behavior pattern takes time and practice.

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When you first start to reduce or abstain from the behavior you are trying the change, you will likely have lots of “craving” to return to it. These moments of craving will happen when you are triggered by external (places, people, situations) and internal (certain mood or feeling states) cues that are associated with the behavior you are trying to change.

Continue reading

Having Trouble “Staying Stopped”?

Posted on January 18, 2016

Refuting Your Excuses
by Michael Edelstein, Ph.D.

“It’s easy to quit smoking. I’ve done it hundreds of times.” ~Mark Twain

Excuses Stopping? Easy. “Staying stopped?” Not so much.

Have you ever had thoughts like these?:

“I can start tomorrow”, “I really need a drink”, “I’m too tired”, “I’ll just have one”, “This is how I have fun with my friends, it’s not hurting anybody,” “It’s too hard to quit.”

“Excuses” are statements we sometimes make to ourselves that make our addictive behavior seem reasonable.

In other words, we use excuses to justify behavior that we know is harmful. These excuses are destructive. They block, interfere, or sabotage our goals of addiction recovery and more. We may be so practiced in thinking these excuses that they have become automatic. We may not even be aware that we’re making these excuses unless we pay close attention to our thoughts.

“Refutations” are statements that disprove or weaken an “excuse.”

“Refuting Your Excuses” is an exercise for learning to pay attention to our habitual excuses and to evaluate them logically. Is the excuse true? Does it make good sense? Is it helpful?

How to Refute an Excuse:

1. For a recurring or current excuse you use, Continue reading

Hidden Power of a Recovery Community

Posted on January 13, 2016

Lessons from Geese
-Bill Abbott, SMART Recovery® Facilitator

Lessons from GeeseSMART Recovery is a wonderful program that emphasizes self-management and self-empowerment. For this it offers tools based on sound and often evidence-based science—mostly clinical psychology but some neuroscience as well.

With all the emphasis on “self”—almost a do-it-yourself program—we often lose sight of another powerful feature of SMART—the mutual support groups in which all this is developed and promoted.

We like company, lots of the time—especially with like-minded people, hence the shelter and safety and power of a mutual support group complex. Like-minded people all in a room together discussing a common issue. A place were the afflicted can relax, become honest and open with their issues, without worry of judgment. This is present in both 12-steps groups and in SMART Recovery groups.

In my opinion SMART groups have the added feature of interactive discussion, promoting the feelings of like-mindedness and that “we are all in this together”. We are all united in spirit and intent to find relief for ourselves, and in so doing share that with others. All this falls under the concept of Compassion.

Many state that they go to 12-step meetings for “spirituality“ and attend SMART meetings for the tools and solutions. The implication is that there is no spirituality at SMART. Continue reading