SMART Recovery vs 12 Step Recovery Podcast Discussion

If you’re interested in learning about SMART Recovery and how it compares to the 12 Step approach watch this livestream (available now) podcast with myself (guest), John S and Mary C who co-host Beyond Belief Sobriety, a secular podcast covering the various pathways to recovery from addiction.

The following extract is from an article I wrote titled ‘SMART Recovery vs 12 Step Recovery’ which the above podcast discusses…

“If we consider the overall aims and objectives of SMART Recovery and 12 Step recovery, they are very similar. They both encourage abstinence, provide peer support for their members, are free to access, and seek to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of those suffering with addictive behaviour (both approaches have scientific backing in terms of efficacy). They both facilitate changes in thinking, feeling, and behaviour through teaching cognitive and behavioural interventions, although SMART Recovery does this via a structured format and established CBT tools and techniques, whereas 12 Step recovery does this primarily through informal suggestion.

There are differences of course. The spiritual underpinnings of 12 Step recovery vs the focus upon rationality within SMART Recovery, the emphasis upon an ‘internal locus of control’ in SMART, as opposed to the reliance upon a ‘power greater than oneself’ in 12 Step philosophy. There is also a discouraging attitude towards labelling oneself (e.g., alcoholic/addict) within SMART meetings, whereas this is encouraged (although still a personal decision) within 12 Step culture (there are pros and cons in relation to labelling, however, current thinking tends towards viewing labels as being stigmatizing and unhelpful – I tend to agree).”

If you wish to read the full article being discussed re SMART vs 12 Step Recovery you can find it here: https://12stepphilosophy.org/2022/02/14/smart-recovery-vs-12-step-recovery/

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