SMART Recovery

Smart RecoverySMART (Self Management And Recovery Training) Recovery, an international not-for-profit organization, was founded by Philip Tate (Alcohol: How to Give It Up and Be Glad You Did), Michler Bishop, and others in 1994. It’s central office is in Ohio. Prior to that it was associated with Rational Recovery.

It has been growing quite rapidly since it was first founded, according to A Chronology of SMART Recovery compiled by William L. White (author of Slaying the Dragon). Its approach is secular and science-based.

SMART Recovery is based on group recovery meetings which address four areas:

  • Enhancing and maintaining motivation to change self-defeating behavior;
  • Coping with urges and cravings;
  • Problem solving by managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors; and,
  • Lifestyle balance aimed at balancing momentary and enduring satisfactions.

The program offers specific tools and techniques based on Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).

SMART Recovery is often considered an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-Step programs. Group meetings led by volunteers are held worldwide. SMART Recovery also provides online resources, including online meetings.

You can watch a comprehensive and concise three-minute introduction to SMART Recovery here, by Mark Horvath: Welcome to SMART Recovery.


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