smart recovery aa alternative

What Is Smart Recovery? The Ultimate A.A. Alternative

Are We Talking Einstein Smart?Smart-recovery-alternative-12-step

SMART stands for Self Management and Recovery Training. As “self-management” implies this program presupposes no God; therefore, those who oppose theistic programs will find no qualms here.

Moreover, it can easily be reconciled with a theistic worldview so its accessible to most. Therefore, it works as a 12-Step alternative or a supplement to 12-Step work. Yet the question remains: what the heck is it?

How Is SMART Different?

The best way to think of SMART is this: if clinicians were seeds, SMART is the garden. Composed of various methods, techniques, and practices each offering something instrumental to the entire system, just like each plant is indispensable to a particular botanical system.

The following are three modalities which forge the substance of the program:

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  2. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
  3. Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)

The Breakdown!

The book starts with an Epictetus quote, thus they had me at hello. Perhaps others will not be so easily swayed, but let me give you the general breakdown. Moreover, per my standard, I will attempt to highlight the commonalities between SMART and the various other programs.

“People are disturbed not by things but by their view of things.”


This quote, in my opinion, sums up EVERY recovery program. Let me explain. Epictetus seems to imply that three components constitute self-reflection and psyche change; namely,
a. The mind
b. The view (or, more appropriately a filter)
c. The world.

The chaotic mind (raw data) and the chaotic world (raw data) find order, meaning, comprehension, purpose, and identity (to name a few) through the filter (makes the data intelligible); in other words, rationality is when the filter is properly calibrated and the chaos is diminished significantly.

Consequently, irrationality is the presence of too much chaos or dis-order, requiring filter recalibration. SMART Recovery is in essence tools for filter recalibration. EVERY program is in essence methodologies for recalibration. It would appear then that the tool one selects is usually the one that best fits their hand.

Though all SMART literature can be purchased at your local SMART meeting, for your convenience you can purchase it by clicking the link below.

P.S. It’s worth taking a gander on Amazon, the kindle version is often free of charge.

SMART Recovery Family & Friends Handbook: For people affected by the addictive behavior of a loved one.

SMART Recovery Handbook 3rd Edition

TimmyG (2019)
erecovery what is smart recovery

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