The SMART Recovery® Program


What is SMART Recovery®?


SMART is a free self-help program for recovery from addictive behavior. Groups are led by a lay-coordinator. Most groups also have a volunteer advisor who is a mental health professional.  Our purpose is to support individuals who have chosen to abstain, or are considering abstinence from any type of addictive behavior,  (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. 


How is SMART Different?


SMART is not a twelve-step program. It is based on modern cognitive/behavioral methods, particularly Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT). We think a persons religious or spiritual convictions are a personal matter that can be helpful, but are not a part of the SMART program. SMART teaches people practical, proven self-management and recovery skills. 


Does SMART Work?


Yes, if you are willing to help yourself. Recovery takes time, patience and work, but the tools offered in SMART Recovery® can help you make your efforts more productive. These methods have been proven effective and they often produce results faster than other methods. The best way to prove it for yourself is to try it! 


What are Groups Like?

SMART Recovery® groups are small, allowing for cross-talk, discussion and practice of many specific methods. The focus is on learning how to increase your motivation to quit, handling urges without acting on them, developing new ways of coping with problems and creating a healthy, positive lifestyle. 


Is SMART an Abstinence Program?  


SMART is a group for people who have chosen or are considering abstinence. With the right tools and skills, most people can quit and make it stick, without life-long struggle and dependency on the group. However, we view sobriety as a personal choice and relapse as a learning opportunity.


Is SMART Something New?


The idea that we largely cause our own feelings and behavior was known to Greek philosophers. In 1955, Dr. Albert Ellis used this idea as a founding principle of Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy. Much research and clinical experience since then has proven the effectiveness of REBT. SMART brings these powerful psychological principles and practices to a self-help group format. 

Click here for SMART Ideas.


How Can I Learn More?

To see if SMART will work for you, plan to attend several meetings because the ideas and methods may take a while to sink in. Our reading list includes: the SMART Recovery®  Member’s Manual; SMART Recovery: A Sensible Primer by William Knaus, When AA Doesn’t Work for You: Rational Steps to Quitting Alcohol, by Albert Ellis; and Alcohol: How to Give It Up and Be Glad You Did, by Philip Tate.How 


How Much Does it Cost?


SMART is free. Your time and effort are the only costs, although we do pass the hat to cover expenses.