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!

 




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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.

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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

Is SMART Recovery® a Moderation Organization?

Posted on March 28, 2017

By Tom Horvath Ph.D., Lorie Hammerstrom, and Brett Saarela, LCSW

choices

SMART Recovery® supports (1) abstinence from any substance or activity addiction and (2) going beyond abstinence to lead a meaningful and satisfying life. Our 4-Point ProgramSM addresses addiction itself (Points 1 and 2) and quality of life (Points 3 and 4). Points 3 and 4 are the primary focus of discussion in many meetings. To remind you, Point 1 focuses on motivation to abstain; Point 2 on coping with craving; Point 3 on problem solving (when practical problems can be resolved) and emotional self-management (when practical problems may not be “solvable”); and Point 4 on building a life of enduring satisfactions (a meaningful and purposeful life).

SMART Recovery® encourages attendance by individuals in any stage of recovery. Those maintaining long-term abstinence will likely be most interested in discussions of Points 3 and 4. Those in early recovery will likely pay more attention to Points 1 and 2. SMART Recovery® recognizes that individuals may be in different stages of change, at any one time, across what is likely to be a range of addictive behaviors. For example, one participant may be ready to stop drinking but not ready to stop smoking. Another participant may be ready to quit cocaine but not ready to quit marijuana. Both participants may be drinking excessive caffeine and overeating, and be unaware that these are also addictive behaviors.

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Talking With Your Loved One About Substance Abuse

Posted on March 21, 2017

5 Important Things To Consider
By Rod Amiri, MD

Let’s face it: discussing a loved one’s substance abuse can be uncomfortable and emotionally draining.

While some loved ones actively seek treatment, many are reluctant to change and unwilling to have open, honest discussions. Making emotional pleas or threats to convince them that they would benefit from help may result in defensive, argumentative responses. Plus, confronting an addicted loved one about their behavior can be so emotionally charged that it is easy to become angry or upset.

Ultimately, approaching an addicted family member, Continue reading