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What is SMART Recovery?SMART Recovery is an intuitive approach to rehab and detox that resonates well with the modern culture of San Diego and encourages self-empowerment and recovery. As the world keeps changing, evolving, and becoming more interconnected, we’re seeing cultures blend and merge. As we’ve seen these changes resonating within our own community, we’ve had to take a close, hard look at the traditional way of doing recovery and how programs like our SMART recovery and rehab in San Diego can offer an inclusive recovery experience for a more diverse modern population.

The Traditional Rehab and the SMART Rehab

The 12-step is a timeless program that’s been invaluable for thousands of communities across the globe. The strong focus on faith resonates with many communities, but can also detract people of differing beliefs. SMART Recovery is a newer but proven method of recovery that can be catered to meet individual needs, values, and beliefs. Whereas the 12-step evokes traditional Christian values of faith and spiritual community, SMART focuses more on leading a fulfilling and balanced lifestyle that evokes self-love and follows the values that matter most to your ideal life. Once we understand the values that matter most to our lives, it becomes easier to understand how our own mindset can be detracting us from our ideal life. That is the underlying theme in SMART Recovery.

The ABC’s of SMART Recovery

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a common treatment in rehab, focusing on learning to identify changes in our body, such as anxiety and stress, and defuse those feelings in a healthy way. In SMART Recovery, a particular style of CBT is used, called Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). REBT takes the concept of CBT and boils it down to its bare bones. We learn that humans react to life events based on their current mindset, called the ABC model. A– Something happens (Activating event). B– Our Beliefs shape our opinion and emotional reaction to the event. CConsequences happen because of our belief.

Let’s say a bad thing happens at work, a customer yells at you. As you can imagine, having a positive Belief in this situation, such as “Angry people have a problem that I can solve” or “I’m a good employee, and haven’t done anything wrong” can have a very different outcome than a belief like “I can’t lose an argument at any costs,” and the resulting Consequence will be very different.

SMART Recovery on Irrational Thinking and Life Acceptance

We react poorly to life events when we hold unrealistic expectations about ourselves, others, or how life should be. Although we might have a particularly tough or stressful day, and have moments of weakness, our overall emotional responses to life stressors should be rational, with a specific goal in mind. Understanding REBT can help us make healthy, progressive decisions with the right emotional values.

SMART recovery takes these basic understandings and uses them to craft a “4-point plan” to hold motivation, overcome urges, maintain healthy thoughts and feelings, and lead a balanced life. The ultimate goal of SMART recovery is to overcome addiction by learning to accept yourself, accept others as they are, and accept life as it is, and approach life with the right mindset to handle the world as it is.

If you’re interested in learning more about SMART rehab and recovery in San Diego and how it could help you overcome urges and addiction, call us at (619) 639-7325.