SMART Recovery Celebrates its 25th Anniversary

Congratulations to SMART Recovery® for celebrating its 25thanniversary this year. SMART Recovery started back in 1994 and was founded by Joe Gerstein and Tom Horvath. It was established as an alternative path to recovery, utilizing principles of self-empowerment, based on motivational and cognitive therapies.

What is Smart Recovery?

  • SMART Recovery stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training
  • It utilizes peer support groups in-personand onlineas well as tools based on the following four goal areas:
    • Building and Maintaining Motivation
    • Coping with Urges
    • Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors
    • Living a Balanced Life
  • The program aims to help those with both substance use and process addictions
  • SMART is based on abstinence, but welcomes individuals attempting moderation

How is it incorporated in therapy?

SMART Recovery can be incorporated in therapy in many ways when working with a therapist that has been trained in the Smart Recovery Model. The therapeutic experience can be enhanced by utilizing the tools provided in the Smart Recovery toolbox such as The Change Plan Worksheet or the Bost-Benefit-Analysis. The therapist can process online or in-person meeting experiences with a client as it relates to increasing support systems. SMART Recovery is a helpful tool to augment the therapeutic experience by offering additional supports both in and out of sessions for the client’s journey through recovery. It provides an alternative to traditional 12- step approaches, especially for clients looking for more tangible treatment tools and for those who struggle with the concept of powerlessness.

Angie Harris, LCSW, LSATP, MAC, MA, is a therapist with Insight Into Action Therapy in Ashburn, VA. She is trained in SMART Recovery and is a moderation friendly therapist. She works with clients to establish and work toward individualized goals related to substance use. She enjoys helping people uncover the reason for their substance use as well as identifying ways to maintain healthy balance in their lives. Reach out to Angie at aharris@insightactiontherapy.comor (703) 646-7664 to schedule an appointment.

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