Tag Archives: addiction recovery

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

Webinar w/Ivette Torres: Engaging Community to Fight Addiction

Posted on March 13, 2017

Helping you find the resources you need
By Dolores (Dee) Cloward, Special Events Coordinator
[ Registration ]

You are invited to join in for our spring SMART Recovery Special Event Webinar with Ivette Torres, Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs at SAMHSA. Ms. Torres will speak to us about recovery issues and how YOU, those of you in recovery, facilitators, family members, professionals, or others who support you, can be conduits to getting others to seek help!

Engaging Community to Fight Addiction will be held Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 5:00 PM EDT.  [ Registration ]

In this engaging and informative talk, Ms. Torres will discuss some of today’s topics of concern on behavioral health as it relates to addiction. She will also share how SAMHSA helps communities gain access to the resources they need. Continue reading

The Four Most Important Things I’ve Learned in Recovery

Posted on February 22, 2017

Guest blog post by Lisa Hann, author of How to Have Fun in Recovery

Every day we’re given countless opportunities to learn. We may not always “get it,” but over time we amass a set of values and skills that guides us through our lives. We go through different stages where we’re met with different challenges in which we get to “practice” the things we’ve learned and to learn even more. Addiction and recovery are stages that offer some of the richest experiences and learning opportunities. Today I’d like to share with you some of the things I’ve learned in recovery.

The first thing I learned is what I’ve already mentioned – that we’re always given opportunities to learn. When you see people making the same mistakes, it’s because they haven’t learned anything from their experiences. I want to improve myself every chance I get, so I actively look for the lesson in every situation. When something bad happens, I ask, “What can I learn so that this doesn’t happen again?” When something good happens, I ask, “What can I learn so that this keeps happening?” The answers aren’t always obvious, but they’re there. Continue reading

Don’t Miss Out on the 2017 SMART Conference: Rising Strong

Posted on February 14, 2017

Save the Date! 

Mark your calendars and plan to join us at the GalleryONE DoubleTree hotel in Ft. Lauderdale on September 22-23rd.  The conference opens with Joe Gerstein delivering his President’s address, and the day continues with featured speakers including: Hugh Delaney sharing how he’s growing meetings in inner-city Baltimore, Sarah Zemore with her latest research study results involving SMART Recovery, Reid Hester talking about his CheckUp and Choices app, and much more!

The event will be packed with things to do — whether it’s socializing on a group activity in beautiful Ft. Lauderdale, getting the latest updates on SMART Recovery, or attending break-out sessions specific to your role and interest in SMART — you’re guaranteed to enjoy this conference and destination!

An added benefit is in store with an optional Sunday, September 24th workshop where Dr. Lori Eickleberry, Ph.D., ABPP, Board Certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology, and Founder of three clinics including Motivational Institute for Behavioral Health, LLC will be offering a workshop on Motivational Interviewing. “Dr. Lori” has conducted numerous presentations, workshops and professional trainings in Motivational Interviewing for both government and private institutions and is part of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT).  CEUs will be available for Florida licensed individuals.

Stay tuned for more details and information at www. smartrecovery.org.   For information on becoming conference sponsor, please contact Christi Farmer.