Non 12 Step SMART Recovery

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non 12 step smart recovery


One of the most important protective factors against relapse following addiction treatment is the active participation in the recovery community. Because engaging in recovery meetings is so intrinsic to recovery success, it is essential that the individual find a community that they feel a mutual connection with. This is why it is so important to have options.

While the traditional 12-step model in addiction treatment is valuable for many individuals seeking a sustained recovery from drugs and alcohol, not everyone is responsive to the program. In recent years non 12-step inpatient drug rehabilitation models that rely on the individual-centered approach to maintaining sobriety have been steadily gaining popularity. Of these, the SMART Recovery program is the largest non 12-step recovery program in the U.S.

What is Non 12-Step Treatment?

One might wonder why there is a need for a non 12-step approach to addiction recovery? What makes a non 12-step different from a 12-step program? The core difference is that the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous centers on a religious theme—references to God or a Higher Power—where most of the non 12-step programs offer a secular approach to healing from addiction. For people who do not associate with a religious worldview, a non 12-Step program gives them the alternative that will align with their own belief system.

A non 12-step program is a holistically oriented approach to addiction recovery that emphasizes self-empowerment, which sharply differs from A.A.’s 12-step foundational theme of self-identifying as powerless and somewhat defective. This variety of programs becomes crucial for recovering addicts who sincerely want to remain sober and are in need of a social support system, but who aren’t necessarily religious. They are looking for the right fit, and for many a non 12-step program like SMART Recovery provides that.

A New Pathway to Recovery Fellowship with SMART Recovery

The non 12-step program SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) is an international non-profit organization that was established in 1992. The SMART Recovery program is science-based and places an emphasis on self-empowerment. This stands as a clear distinction from the faith-based tenets of Alcoholic Anonymous.

aftercareThe SMART Recovery model offers four areas of focus, including:

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  • Building and maintaining motivation
  • Coping with urges
  • Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  • Living a balanced life

These program points are all geared toward the objective of gaining self-control over behaviors, which helps promote self-reliance, thus empowering the individual to conquer their addiction. Where the 12-step program of A.A. teaches members that their addiction is a life-long disease over which they have no power, the SMART Recovery program helps participants achieve self-directed change by encouraging them to believe that they can recover from addiction. For individuals who wish to take ownership of their lives and responsibility for their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, the SMART Recovery program resonates.

The SMART Recovery program is based on the belief that people can gain control over their own lives. SMART teaches techniques that help participants achieve self-directed change while taking responsibility for their actions. By establishing new healthy habits and thought patterns SMART Recovery gives members the tools to succeed in recovery. It encourages individuals to believe that they can recover from addiction through their own efforts.

The SMART Recovery program is not only geared to helping individuals struggling with a substance use disorder. In addition to helping recovering addicts, SMART Recovery’s four program points also assist those with behavioral addictions, such as gambling, spending, sexual, eating disorders, and self-harm.

Including Non 12 Step SMART Recovery Into Aftercare Planning

When you find a recovery community that resonates with your personal belief system it can be a powerful source of ongoing support after rehab. The non 12-step SMART Recovery program has meetings available nationwide, with multiple sites in metropolitan areas. In addition, SMART Recovery has an active online community where individuals can seek support on their popular forum, and a smartphone app with Checkup & Choices self-led programming support.

Post-rehab can present many unforeseen challenges in early recovery, so aftercare planning should also include ongoing outpatient therapy. Individual therapy provides the emotional support and guidance when obstacles are encountered along the recovery path. These might include setbacks such as the end of a serious relationship or the loss of a job, among other potentially triggering events. SMART Recovery meetings combined with psychotherapy can significantly increase the chances of achieving long-term recovery success.

Capo by the Sea Provides SMART Recovery Programming

Capo by the Sea is an Orange County, California seaside addiction recovery program that offers SMART Recovery resources in the program. At Capo by the Sea, we recognize that individuals have unique personal preferences and should be provided with choices for their recovery fellowship support. By offering non 12-step SMART Recovery meetings in addition to A.A.’s 12-step program, we hope to provide each client the perfect fit for them. For more information about our evidence-based treatment program, please reach out to the team at 888-529-2114.