SMART Recovery - what is it and what are the pros / cons?



I’ve heard a bit about this but haven’t tried it. Love to know what it’s about and when it’s useful / what for?


SMART Recovery is a free program that helps people recover from addictive behaviors. SMART stands for Self-Management And Recovery Training. The purpose of SMART is to support individuals who have chosen to abstain, or are considering abstinence from any addictive behavior by teaching how to change self-defeating thinking, emotions, and actions. SMART uses a ‘four-point program’. These four points include:

  1. Enhance and maintain motivation to abstain
  2. Cope with urges
  3. Manage thoughts, feelings, and behaviours
  4. Balance momentary and enduring satisfactions

SMART Recovery is not a 12-Step program like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). SMART offers support groups for both the person struggling with an addictive behavior as well as groups for loved ones. SMART Recovery offers in person face-to-face meetings moderated by a trained individual and daily online meetings (in chat, voice, or video format). This differs from 12-Step meetings in that the group leaders are trained (in 12-Step, they are not trained leaders).

To sign up for an online meeting you can look at the meeting calendar here: SMART Meeting Calendar and if you choose to create an account you can participate in the community in the following ways: starting your own Journal, accessing the 24/7 Live Chat, daily meetings, discussions, and more.

There are many many differences between SMART Recovery and 12-Step meetings, but the biggest is that SMART is based on evidence based behavioral therapy: Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) where one learns to change negative and unhealthy thoughts into positive alternatives.

I wonder if anyone has attended a SMART meeting (in person or online) and what their thoughts were?