May 13th, 2014
“How Science and Kindness Help People Change”
with Jeffrey Foote, Ph.D., Center for Motivation and Change
“[We want to] change the conversation, from the language of stigma to the language of growth; from defects to strengths, from shame to pride and an open heart; from punishment and confrontation to an invitation to truly change. And to change that conversation, we rely on science and kindness.”
May 17, 2014 4:00pm ET :
Jeffrey Foote, Ph.D., joins SMART Recovery to present:
Beyond Addiction, How Science and Kindness Help People Change:
- The Center for Motivation and Change’s (CMC) approach to helping families, including CRAFT;
- CMC’s best new tools for families wishing to support a loved one’s recovery;
- Beyond Addiction, by Jeffrey Foote, Ph.D., Carrie Wilkens, Ph.D., Nicole Kosanke, Ph.D., and Stephanie Higgs;
- The 20-Minute Guide – For Parents and Partners
The event will be held in our online Go-to-Training Room. There is no cost to attend the event but advanced registration is required.
Power of Positive Reinforcement
Help for Families
About the speaker: Dr. Foote is a nationally recognized clinical research scientist who has received extensive federal grant funding for his work on motivational treatment approaches. Dr. Foote has worked in the addiction treatment field as a clinician and researcher since the late 1980s, and has developed a unique motivational treatment approach that incorporates principles of group treatment as well as research-based principles of human behavior change.
In 2004, Dr. Foote opened the Center for Motivation and Change with his partner, Dr. Carrie Wilkens. CMC’s mission is to provide evidence-based treatments to help people change their substance use and compulsive behaviors while providing a warm and therapeutic atmosphere. CMC is built on the belief and optimism that people can change.
Previously, Dr. Foote was the Deputy Director of the Division of Alcohol Treatment and Research at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in NYC, as well as a Senior Research Associate at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) in NYC. Dr. Foote also served as Chief of the Smithers Addiction Treatment and Research Center as well as Director of Evaluation and Research between 1994 and 2001. Dr. Foote was also team Psychologist for the New York Mets. Read more »
May 6th, 2014
A note on “enabling” vs. positive reinforcement
~Jeffrey Foote, PsyD, Center for Motivation and Change
“Caring about and staying connected in a helping way with someone dealing
with substances is not only helpful, it’s one of the most powerful motivators for change.”
If you are a partner, parent, or child of someone struggling with substance problems, and you live in America, you’ve probably heard this word “enabling” (possibly many, many times). And you’ve probably heard this described as central to your interactions in helping your loved one. Mostly, you have heard “DON’T DO IT”!, and if you are like most concerned family members, you feel vaguely guilty for doing something you’re not even sure you are doing (but you must be, right?). By way of quick review, “enabling” actually means doing positive things that will end up supporting continued negative behavior, such as providing your child with money so they won’t “go hungry” during the day, knowing they use it to buy pot, or going to talk to the teacher to make sure they don’t get a bad grade, even though their bad test score was due to drinking, or calling your husband’s work to explain he’s sick today, when he’s actually hung over. These are examples of doing something “nice” for your loved one that actually (from a behavioral reinforcement standpoint) might increase the frequency of the negative behavior, not decrease it. The logic: if they act badly, and nothing happens, or something good happens, this behavior is encouraged, even if what you are doing is “nice”. This IS enabling, and this is not helpful in changing behavior in a positive direction.
But everything nice is not enabling! And that’s the quicksand we have developed in our culture. Staying connected, rewarding positive behaviors with positivity, being caring and loving; these things are critical to positive change. So what’s the difference? Read more »
April 29th, 2014
Thoughts On Hope That We Can Change Our Thinking And Change Our Lives
by Mike MT Massey, SMART Recovery Volunteer Meeting Facilitator
I was doing some research on addiction and behavior and I was thinking about us, about myself, about what we often feel in our depths of despair in addiction, and about some of the processes we use in SMART to help ourselves. I like SMART, it works well for me. We use techniques and statements to get us to realize that the three major upsets are ourselves, others, and life events, and that we let or make ourselves feel upset about these things. And we use tools in SMART that can help us believe we don’t have to be upset about many of these things.
And we say “change our thinking, change our life”. We say our beliefs can cause us harm, or our beliefs can lead us to positive outcomes.
This is all true, but it’s not always easy to grasp that our beliefs and subsequent actions are hurting us. Read more »
April 22nd, 2014
“I’m From” by Questor7, SMART Recovery Online Volunteer
Listen to the audio version
I’m from the 60s, from my old lady and my old man, from flower children, groovy, and “far out, man;”
I’m from “you dig”, “coming down”, “I’m hip”, and meanwhile back at the ranch I’m from uppers and downers, and tripping and booze. I’m from free love, pedal pushers, pig out and right-on;
I’m from James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Sting, I’m from we all live in a yellow submarine;
I’m from staying up too late, getting up too late, running away, and screwing and getting stoned;
I’m from hating my job, fear of flying, crazy landlords and cheating and lies;
I’m from who cares, Read more »
April 15th, 2014
Ted Alston, SMART Recovery Volunteer Meeting Facilitator
Recovery groups tend to recite quips. For instance, “It’s easy to quit. I’ve done it lots of times.” Mark Twain may have said this of smoking, but the occasion is obscure1,2. Whether or not that one is his, Twain (1835-1910) was a keen observer of humanity. Accordingly, he had much to say about addictive behavior and recovery. Though literary fiction cannot settle controversies, it can help us to think about them. Consider The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).
In an early scene3, young Tom shows that the consequences of an event depend on one’s beliefs about it. He is stuck with the odious task of having to whitewash a long fence. Other kids mock his plight. Tom pretends that he relishes the chore and does not want to share it. The mockers are then happy to pay Tom for their privilege of whitewashing his fence. “If he hadn’t run out of whitewash, he would have bankrupted every boy in the village.”
You can argue that the episode is not strictly an example of a SMART exercise. Tom manipulated others more than he improved himself. That aspect is part of the delicious humor. Furthermore, it would have been hard to convince Sawyer or Twain that they were powerless over the beliefs of others. Read more »
April 8th, 2014
April 12, 2014, 12:00 noon (edt)
Dr. Michael R. Edelstein, author of Three Minute Therapy will present “How to Overcome Addictions in One Lesson” on Saturday, April 12 2014 at 12:00 noon edt.
This webinar is designed to be helpful for any harmful behavior – drugs, gambling, eating disorders, smoking, self-harm — substance-related or not. Bring your questions! We think you’ll find, as one book reviewer noted, that: “Michael Edelstein cuts through the psychological jargon and makes clear how all of us can effect powerful changes in our psyches, in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones.”
Advance registration is required for this event. Please visit www.smartrecovery.org/events.
Dr. Michael R. Edelstein is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 30 years experience and has a private practice in San Francisco, offering in-person as well as telephone/Skype sessions. He is famous as the author of Three Minute Therapy: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life, with David Ramsay Steele, a self-help book for overcoming common emotional and behavioral problems. Most recently, he published Stage Fright, with Mick Berry, Therapy Breakthrough: Why Some Psychotherapies Work Better Than Others, with Richard Kujoth and David Ramsay Steele, and Rational Drinking: How to Live Happily With or Without Alcohol, with Will Ross. He is a long-standing SMART Recovery Volunteer. Read more »
April 1st, 2014
Make a difference
As SMART Recovery enters its 20th year and continues to experience record growth, more and more people are “discovering the power of choice” and are eager to benefit from SMART’s 4-Point Program® to overcome addiction.
SMART provides online meetings, a 24/7 chat room, message board forums plus over 1,000 face-to-face meetings worldwide — all “staffed” by an incredible team of dedicated volunteers.
Each April, SMART Recovery celebrates Volunteer Month as a way to recognize the efforts of our many dedicated volunteers. We also actively encourage others to join our volunteer team, to help meet the growing demand for SMART meetings and to share in the rewarding experience of volunteering.
Scholarships are available
As a part of their volunteer ‘jobs’, 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. A number of Volunteer Training Scholarships are available during April to cover the cost of the training for those who need financial assistance. Scholarships are available for local and online facilitators, message board volunteers, and chat volunteers.
Supporting the volunteer training
The scholarships are funded through the Volunteer Training Scholarship Fund. During the month of April, donations to fund volunteer training are requested and will be matched by a generous matching pledge from an anonymous supporter of SMART Recovery.
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 ]
Read more »
March 25th, 2014
SMART Tools Help Families & Friends Cope with a Loved One’s Addiction
~Kathy Lang, SMART Recovery Online Facilitator
“People used to tell me I was enabling my adult son…..and, not helping my own sanity and/or serenity. With the SMART tools and the support of F&F, I’ve changed that, and am able to let him experience the consequences of the way he chooses to live his life. I have to admit, I was also exhausted, angry and resentful, as well…..and, that actually helped me ‘follow through’ and use the Tools and step back out of the way. I’m happy to say that I can see it working a lot of the time…….and I feel better! ~ LYL
“I am so thankful for this meeting! For the first time I feel like I am actively supported and have some tools to help me CHOOSE. ~Lira Z
These are comments made during Family & Friends (F&F) online meetings. Feedback from participants–parents, spouses, adult children, significant others of all kinds–confirm how SMART Recovery tools for F&F can help a concerned significant other (CSO) learn to more effectively manage their responses to the addiction of a loved one.
SMART F&F meeting facilitator Roxanne Allen says “SMART tools are the centerpiece of the Family & Friends program. Like all SMART meetings, our discussions are not problem-focused, they are solution-focused.”
‘TwoPutts’, one of the first F&F facilitators, says “Since we started the Family & Friends online meetings three years ago, I have watched them grow into a vital element of SMART Recovery. The information in the Family & Friends Handbook, particularly the tools, has proven to be successful in quickly assisting those who had previously found little help in facing their challenging situations.”
As a more recent online meeting facilitator, I discovered fairly quickly that the practical help that SMART tools provide is an important reason for the meetings’ success. Each meeting Read more »
March 18th, 2014
Anatomy of a Relapse
~Josh King, PsyD, Center for Motivation and Change
Relapses (and lapses and slips, whatever you want to call a return to old behavior) are frustrating events. Sometimes it feels like you’re (finally!) on the path you want to be on, and then, out of the blue, you fall off of that path and feel like you are back at the beginning (and that is sometimes what people tell you!). While it can feel like a lapse happens without much warning, it’s best to think of it as a process that happens over time. The reality is that people tend to drift towards a relapse, like a boat that has lost its mooring and is drifting out to sea. The movement can be slow and can go almost unnoticed until you are already adrift. By knowing what is “mooring” you to sobriety, or the changes you want to make, you can be more aware of when the “mooring lines” are getting cut and you are drifting into a lapse to old behavior.
When you change your use of substances Read more »
March 11th, 2014
Addiction recovery and your brain
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.” ~Robert Frost
Imagine that you are standing at the edge of a dense forest. You want to go home, which is on the other side to the forest. You see a well-worn path entering the forest, and that path appears to be the easiest way through the trees.
But then, next to the path, you see a sign which reads “This Way to the Party!” An old friend appears and tells you, “Hey, this is a great party! You are missing out! Let’s go!” and he starts to pull you by the arm toward the well-worn path. You are tempted to join him, but on the other hand, you have been thinking lately that going down that well-worn path is not helping you to achieve your goals.
As you are thinking about this, another friend appears, a new friend, and he says, “I’ve got a better idea. Read more »