Book Review: “In This Moment. Five Steps to Transcending Stress Using Mindfulness and Neuroscience. “

Posted on June 23, 2015

Portrait of pensive womanIn This Moment.   Five Steps to Transcending Stress Using Mindfulness and Neuroscience.  2015, New Harbinger, $16.95.   By Kirk Strosahl, PhD and Patti Robinson, PhD.

In SMART, we use Tools to reduce stress and disturbances.   We use the ABC Tool to reduce our self-made cognitive stress, and create more healthy behavior by changing our thoughts.  We use the DISARM Tool to change our relationship to thoughts and bodily sensations, to maintain and regain control over our choices.  Stress reduction can reduce reactive behavior and allow humans to focus and move on toward what they decide is important. Continue reading

An Interview with Dr. Michael R. Edelstein: Cognitive Tools for Fighting Addiction and Beyond

Posted on June 16, 2015

SMART EdelsteinpicRecovery® is delighted to announce a new SMART Special Events Webinar: An Interview with Dr. Michael R. Edelstein: Cognitive Tools for Fighting Addiction and Beyond.

Saturday, June 20, 2015 5:00 PM, EDT.

Register here: www.smartrecovery.org/events
 

This free webinar is made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Lucida Treatment Center of Lantana, Florida.

The focus will be on how using simple evidence-based tools from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that can help anyone, not just those struggling with addiction. SMART focuses its application of these tools on addictive behavior, specifically, but we can use those same tools to help us learn to better cope with underlying issues – stress, worry, anger, anxiety – and free us to create and enjoy the lives we want. Continue reading

Think SMART!

Posted on June 9, 2015

SMART for Life: An Entertaining and Informative Video
~Jeff Fredricksen, SMART Recovery Meeting Facilitator

Jeff FredericksonI’m very honored that SMART Recovery has decided to re-release our video SMART for Life, and make it available to all via YouTube. Ten years ago when we originally filmed SMART for Life, YouTube had just started. There was a lot more time and effort involved in putting a video together. Back then you couldn’t become a star with just a phone and a guitar, or a cat.

When I looked at our film again I was reminded how enthusiastic I was about SMART Recovery, and how Joe Moreland and I jumped at this chance to do something our way. Of course, as most things that you are feeling very positive about, you don’t properly calculate the number of hours involved in writing, directing, casting, and editing a thirty minute video. But Joe helped to inspire me, believing I could do a good job, being a terrific script editor and producer and keeping me sane. And it was all well worth it.

Ten years later I still believe SMART to be an amazing program and I’ve found myself once again heavily involved as a facilitator in Long Beach and thinking of future projects. We needed to make a few simple edits to update the film, but 99.5% is the same…So please enjoy the video, let us know what you think, and pass it on to friends that might not know SMART. We tried to do a good job shining a light on it.


Jeff Fredriksen is a writer, performer and speaker living in Long Beach, CA where he also facilitates a weekly SMART Face to Face meeting. He invites you to visit his comedy blog http://amusingz.com. Continue reading

What’s the first step of habit change? Going off autopilot!

Posted on June 2, 2015

– Carrie Wilkens, Clinical Director of the Center for Motivation and Change

Changing behavior requires self-awareness. Changing a well-worn habit in particular requires that you move it from “automatic” to “conscious” so that you can make other behavioral choices. For example, if you don’t even notice that you are reaching for a cigarette as you get into your car, how are you ever going to decide to resist lighting it up?

Habits are influenced by your environment and are set off by environmental cues, sometimes called triggers. Triggers are the people, situations, locations and emotions associated with any behavior you are trying to change. When it comes to substance use, triggers are the environmental variables that provoke “cravings” or the desire to use or engage in the habit. Neuroscientists have studied the trigger effect in the brain—how an encounter with drug paraphernalia or the smell of a long-frequented pub lights up the part of the brain responsible for emotion and instinct, the “feel good” parts of the brain. As you encounter these cues in your daily life, it’s likely that you are on autopilot and don’t even notice how they are linked to your decision to engage in your habit. Scientists have also found that once these habits are engaged, the brain has a difficult time considering the consequences and risks associated with the behavior. In other words, once you are in your car, smoking the cigarette, it’s not likely that you will have the wherewithal to say “this is really bad for my health, I’m going to throw this cigarette and the rest of the pack away right now.”

Continue reading

The Greatest Salesperson I will ever meet!

Posted on May 26, 2015

– HughK, SMART Recovery Facilitator

Selling Yourself on RecoveryA truly professional salesperson is required to discover what my desires, needs and wants are, and assist me in getting them through using their product or service. Where they can’t help me, they are to tell me, and allow me on my way.

In recovery from addictive behaviour, I have, perhaps, a need for a very powerful salesperson.

They are required to be more powerful than the automatic salesperson in my head – the addictive voice, horse or monkey brain – .

They are required to sell me on the features of my recovery, and FAR more importantly, on the BENEFITS that I will enjoy as part of my recovery.

A successful sales approach has been said to have 4 characteristics: “AIDA.” Continue reading

The “Why” Matters: On Motivation (by Elspeth)

Posted on May 19, 2015

Ijogging on beach’ve never crashed a car or received a DUI, never drunk while pregnant, never been fired from a job, never punched someone in a bar, and never set the house on fire. My marriage is long and happy, my daughter excels at school and is socially happy, and I have a successful career in an competitive field. Yet I was also a lush for twenty years, and wine increasingly eroded my productivity as well as my enjoyment of daily life. Most bothersome, wine—drinking it, planning around it, figuring out how to get enough of it, recovering from it—was a squatter on my psychic landscape. Its role in my life had grown too large, but (like many people who drink too much to cope with stress), I found it difficult to moderate. “In for a glass, in for a bottle” was my usual approach. I didn’t identify with the word alcoholic, at least not as a label of who I am, but I knew I needed to quit drinking in order to preserve the other things I am. Still, I found it difficult to maintain the motivation to quit for more than a month-long “liver holiday” now and again.

 

One of the appealing things about SMART Recovery is that it doesn’t insist you have to hit “rock bottom” to know that your life could be better. Continue reading