SMART Recovery

Redefining Addiction Recovery: The Benefits of the Smart Recovery Approach

Various addiction treatment programs emphasize the importance of creating a robust support network to sustain long-term recovery. Traditionally, this often involves integrating clients into 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.  


However, not everyone finds these 12-step approaches to be a good fit, either due to their personal beliefs or specific recovery requirements.

smart recovery in group

What is SMART

SMART Recovery stands for Self Management and Recovery Training. The SMART approach is secular and science-based, using cognitive behavioral therapy and non-confrontational motivational methods to help those struggling with alcohol addiction and other substance use disorders. It is not a 12 step program. SMART Recovery program helps people recover from all types of addictive behaviors, including gambling addiction, sex and love addiction, and food addiction. 

The purpose of SMART’s program, as stated on their website, is to “support individuals who have chosen to abstain, or are considering abstinence from any type of addictive behaviors (substances or activities), by teaching how to change self-defeating thinking, emotions, and actions; and to work towards long-term satisfactions and quality of life.”

 The SMART Recovery approach focuses on teaching individuals self-empowerment and self-reliance. The program encourages individuals to recover to live satisfying lives. 

Group meetings and SMART literature teach individuals tools for self-directed growth. The meetings held by the SMART program are educational and are in an open discussion format. Unlike many 12 step meetings, SMART advocates for the appropriate use of prescribed medications and psychological treatments. The SMART program’s literature and ideologies change as scientific knowledge of addiction recovery evolves and changes.

More About SMART

The SMART Recovery Model is a Four Point Program. The modality is used to help individuals gain independence from addiction and substances, and other harmful activities. The Four Point Program of specific techniques and tools to manage the following needs:

The SMART program uses a variety of tools to help people of all gender identities and walks of life gain independence in their recovery. Program participants are encouraged to learn these tools, put them into real-life applications, and progress sequentially through the four points. The tools that the SMART program employs are as follows:

The SMART program is organized and straightforward and taught by trained facilitators. The principles are primarily aimed to help people change their behaviors, Some of the program participants have had addiction problems, and some have not. SMART is an educational and mental health program. The atmosphere of SMART meetings is knowledge-based but often can be described as fun and connective. SMART recovery does not encourage clients to stay living and talking about their past. The program enables clients to know they cannot change their history, so discussions are focused on applying the tools and skills to the present moment to lead a more productive life. 

SMART programming does not label members as “addicts” or “alcoholics” or as having a “disease.” These labels are considered discouraging and unproductive. Recovery is not seen as a lifelong process in SMART. The program empowers people in knowing that real, lasting change can be made in thinking and behavior by taking charge of their own lives. SMART Recovery does not focus on having individuals admit” powerlessness” like in the 12 step models of treatment. SMART’s program messaging lets individuals know that recovery looks different for everybody, and it is up to the individual to decide what is best for them. 

therapy group parents and counselor

How Can SMART Help Me?

SMART recovery is a valid option for all those seeking recovery and newness in their lives. SMART is an all-inclusive program that doesn’t discriminate against individuals for the type of issues you may be seeking help from. SMART is a program that provides support for substance abuse, mental health, negative behaviors, and dual diagnosis needs. 

The program is knowledge and research-based and has no ties to religion or a spiritual denomination. SMART focuses on empowering the individual precisely as they are. 

Looking into SMART Recovery programs can be especially helpful for those who already have religious or spiritual beliefs they are accustomed to or those who do not want to be asked to believe in a higher power or God. The program does not ask its members to participate in prayer or meditation or employ any form of religion in their lives. 

If you enjoy practical uses of different types of therapy and a logical hands-on approach to problem-solving, SMART may be a good option for you. Group meetings can be attended in person or online in any country, making SMART easily accessible and readily available to all.

An Individualized Approach to Recovery

At GPS Counseling Center for Addiction Treatment, our primary focus is to help individuals find the best course of treatment that works for them. Our services encourage and require clients to continue to build a structured support system outside of us to help keep them connected and engaged in the long-term recovery process while in and after treatment. We assist our clients in finding groups and meetings that work for them and help them meet their needs. 

The men and women we serve at GPS Counseling Center for Addiction Treatment came to us for help to treat alcohol and substance abuse disorders and had mental health problems. If you are interested in learning more about support groups and resources that can help you in your recovery goals, call our admissions line today to speak with one of our dedicated health representatives.

After Care

GPS Counseling Center for Addiction Treatment, we extend our commitment to our graduates and alumni by offering 42 additional weeks of aftercare.
This program permits weekly drop-in sessions, fostering long-term recovery and stability for our graduates.

Simultaneously, these sessions provide essential guidance and encouragement to new participants embarking on their journey to recovery.

Family Therapy

Family therapy provides education and support so family members of loved ones can better understand the role and impact of substance abuse.

Learning how to support a loved one in treatment and after treatment. Addressing issues such as communication, co-dependency, and recognizing how to set boundaries.

Individual Therapy

Individual Therapy provides an opportunity to develop and modify relapse prevention plans, identify triggers and develop coping skills.

Sessions are designed to support clients as they work on the identification and resolution of alcohol and or substance-related problems.

Exploring personal barriers, behaviors, and or challenges in the way of recovery. Uncovering the underlying roots of substance abuse addiction.

Group Therapy

At GPS Counseling Center for Addiction Treatment Intensive Outpatient Program group therapy is the primary mode of treatment. Group therapy allows participants to step out of the shadows of shame, secrecy, and isolation and develop a level of community among fellow participants.

Participants who take part in group therapy sessions can improve their communication skills and build connections with other people who are also working to recover from addictions.

Group therapy reinforces mindfulness and healthy ways of interacting and relapse prevention. Allowing participants to learn from the experiences and perspectives of other people. Those that are newer to recovery noticeably benefit from those who have been sober longer.