Tag Archives: cognitive behavior therapy

1500 Smart Recovery Meetings

Posted on June 30, 2015

1,500th SMART Recovery Meeting Opens as Fast Growth Rate Continues

 The number of SMART Recovery meetings has reached the 1,500 milestone – less than three years after crossing the 1,000 mark – as more people embrace the program’s emphasis on becoming empowered to overcome addictions using science-based tools and peer support.

MeetingGrowthChart

The 1,500th, a Friday evening weekly meeting, has opened at the Portland Recovery Community Center (PRCC) in Portland, Maine. Niki Curtis, the SMART trained facilitator for the meeting, explains:

“When I first arrived, we didn’t have many non-12 step meetings, so our Program Manager asked if I would be interested in SMART Recovery training. I am so glad that I said yes because since that training two years ago, I have utilized the program’s tools in my own life and shared them with others in meetings. For instance, I found that doing SMART’s Cost/Benefit Analysis helps me with decision-making. The ABC tool helps me deal with my anger around loud neighbors, and I am using SMART’s Urge Log tool to quit smoking.  I have been working at the Center for two years. I love that we offer all types of meetings and that, like SMART, we respect all types of recovery. 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

Help for Low Frustration Tolerance

Posted on February 10, 2015

Conquering Low Frustration Tolerance (LFT)
G. L., SMART Recovery Volunteer

“You can’t always get what you want.” – The Rolling Stones

Stress-Busting
Frus•tra•tion:  The feeling one has when reality does not immediately conform to one’s desires. Frustration is a normal part of the human experience. It’s unavoidable. And in fact it can be quite useful if the feeling of frustration leads to self-improvement or motivates you to better your situation. Sometimes, however, you can get in your own way by having low frustration tolerance (LFT).

LFT is a widespread phenomenon among human beings. It can be defined as “the demand that you get what you want quickly and without hassle.” Wishing or hoping for one’s desires to sometimes be fulfilled quickly and easily is healthy. Demanding that they must be is not, as the world will not often grant you your wish.

LFT can manifest itself as a cascade of two activating events according to the ABC model:

 

How do you go from low to high frustration tolerance (HFT)?

By working backwards; start with the awfulizing over being overly-frustrated before working on the demands that lead to over-frustration in the first place.

There are 3 approaches for dealing with LFT:

Cognitive:

1. Dispute (D) the irrational beliefs that you hold concerning your demands and awfulizing to come to effective new philosophies (E). Remember to start at B2 first, which is the awfulizing

2. Reframing: Part of what makes LFT tough is that you focus on the negatives of not getting what you want while ignoring the positives of working to overcome LFT. Make a list of the positives you’ll get out of life if you develop high frustration tolerance (HFT). For example, you’ll have a better chance of getting what you want, although not at the pace you want. Make a list and carry it on a notecard. Whenever you feel frustrated, remind yourself of the goods of overcoming LFT as opposed to giving in to it

3. Distracting techniques: if you find yourself stewing in frustrated thought, try distracting yourself by surfing the web or watching television to cool yourself down. This is especially helpful in the early stages of conquering LFT

Continue reading

3 Ways to Dispute Irrational Beliefs

Posted on November 4, 2014

Are You a Loser?

QuestionPeople observe their behavior, and evaluate it in terms of how well they like it. If we did not do this, we would have no way of improving how we act.  When people seek help in therapy, in self-help groups, or by reading self-help books, they are not merely observing and thinking of their behaviors and deciding how to make adjustments. Typically, their thinking interferes with their ability to adjust and often they’re mainly aware of their misery.

REBT attempts to show you that (1) events do not automatically create your thoughts, (2) events do not cause your emotions, and (3) by changing your thinking, you will see things differently, and then your thoughts and emotions will aid you instead of interfering with your actions.

Let’s say you failed at something important to you. Compare the following two sets of thoughts regarding how they make you feel, how truthful they are, and how well they help you adjust.

1. I failed and that’s bad. Maybe I didn’t pay close enough attention to what was going on to prevent my failure. I regret that.

2. I should not have failed. It’s awful to fail as I did. Because I did fail, I’m a loser; I can’t stand myself.

Continue reading

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself!

Posted on June 3, 2014

by Margaret Speer, SMART Recovery meeting participant

I believe in self-empowerment and the power of choice. I successfully used these techniques to remain mindful and sober. I’ve improved my confidence, self-acceptance, and increased my independent positive decisions. I lived my life too long and blind to the power I hold within myself. Sobriety through self-empowerment was the hardest journey I have ever accomplished. I developed a healthier lifestyle within my daily routine and recovery goals. I know it is going to take my lifetime to maintain my recovery in addiction to alcohol while developing patience for my impulsive behaviors.

Since I was 15 years old, I have experienced complications with my involvement with alcohol. I was consistently battling, and failing with every attempt to stop my chemical use. Finally when I was 30 years old I woke up and removed my blinders – eyes wide open. Continue reading

Scientifically Supported Recovery

Posted on July 16, 2013

Clinical Trial of SMART Recovery’s Effectiveness


ResearchersThere have been many success stories during the 19-year history of SMART Recovery. The most recent of these is scientific evidence that supports SMART’s effectiveness in dealing with alcohol problems.

Like AA, SMART Recovery provides free mutual help for anyone desiring to abstain from alcohol. However, SMART Recovery’s approach, based on cognitive-behavior therapy tools, is quite different from that of AA. Many have questioned whether this type of addiction recovery alternative is helpful.

To answer this question, a randomized clinical trial, funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recruited 189 heavy drinkers who were new to SMART Recovery. A web app, Overcoming Addictions (OA), based on the SMART Recovery 4-Point Program®, was created and the 189 heavy drinkers who were new to SMART were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: 1) use the OA web app alone; 2) use the OA web app, plus attend SMART Recovery meetings, or 3) attend SMART Recovery meetings only. “Significant others” were interviewed to verify the participant’s self-report at baseline and at follow-up.

Researchers assessed the percentage of days abstinent and the amount of negative alcohol/drug consequences in the three months prior to enrollment in the study and at follow-up. After three months, participants in all groups increased their percentage of days abstinent from 44% to 72%, and significantly reduced their negative alcohol/drug consequences. There were no significant differences between groups. Based on the results obtained with other recovery approaches, these results are clinically significant. Individuals who find the SMART Recovery approach appealing can try it with confidence.

    “I am feeling all kinds of freedom that I had not experienced in the past. I feel like I am growing and stretching and learning. There has been a lot of internal progress, and I am so grateful for my time at SMART Recovery. SMART Recovery Online really is a home base for me — my touchstone. Community meetings have been beneficial to me, as well. I had some good long lapses in the past, but I have always stayed in touch online. And I’ve had some darn good successes, too — I’m now almost 4 years sober and continuing to grow.” Dee, SMART Volunteer

The report of the clinical trial has just been published online at the open access Journal of Medical Internet Research.

The Overcoming Addictions web app will be available to the public in the fall of 2013, via the SMART Recovery website.

About the study: The study was conducted by the Research Division of Behavior Therapy Associates, LLC.