A Concrete Action Tool for Addiction Recovery

SMART Recovery Activities Scale (SRAS) – Part II
Julie Myers, Psy.D. and Donald Meichenbaum, Ph.D.

SRAS ChecklistIn our previous blog post and in our recent podcast , we highlighted some of the important functions that the SRAS checklist can serve and ways that it can be used in the recovery process. In this post, we would like to share some of the feedback that we’ve received from participants, facilitators, and professionals who have used the SRAS. We’ve summarized some of this feedback below:

The SRAS can help guide people in the right direction:

    • • The SRAS can serve as

“a guide rope – to make sure one is heading in the right direction.”

• At first, I wasn’t “sure how ‘rating’ my progress like this could help – but I also thought that when I first looked into the SMART tool box.”

The SRAS can help people make plans:

“Number 7 (recognize and try to reduce my self-destructive behaviors) is an ongoing project for me.”

• I will “dive back into the tool box and look for something and take a walk and think about it.”

• The SRAS helped me to “come up with a few action items.”

“I will revisit this by Sept 19th.”

“ I plan to talk to my counselor more about this item.”

The SRAS can help assess how much progress is being made:

    • • I now can recognize triggers. There is a

“gap now between getting an urge and looking at what caused it – a gap which stops me picking up.”

• I could see “how firm some of my new behaviors and beliefs are, e.g., the belief that I’m not powerless and that I can ride out urges.”

• The Thinking Behaviors are “the cornerstone of my recovery so far.” There has been “an incredible change in my outlook and understanding.”

The SRAS is a concrete, action tool:

    • • By using the SRAS, I recognized that

“it’s always beneficial to actually use a tool, rather than just stare at it.”

“I will introduce one new item back into my life every week.”

The SRAS helps to reinforce learning:

    • • It allows me to

“really consolidate what I am achieving and where the areas of development may be. It makes me really think.”

“I found this tool invaluable!” It helped me tremendously “in assessing my own developing SMART skills.”

The SRAS can be shared with others:

“My wife really appreciated going over my SRAS with me, so I could explain what I’m working on.”

“I compared my recovery activities on the SRAS with my buddies in the meetings.”

“My therapist and I were able to put together a ‘game plan’ for me to work on.”

“I was never good at following through on New Year’s resolutions, but when I share my SRAS list with others and give the reasons why doing these activities will help me achieve my treatment goals, it really helps.”

The SRAS can help identify why someone isn’t engaging in an activity, or what they still need to do:

    • • There are

“clear chunks where my answers are much less certain – particularly the parts about nurturing hope, grabbing life’s potential and planning for change.”

“My SRAS shows me my ‘unfinished business.’ It is like doing a dip stick assessment of how much oil that I have in my car.”

• The SRAS helped me to “take a look at how I am spending my time.”

The SRAS can reinforce a sense of accomplishment:

    • • I’m delighted that

“I can do all the SRAS in some lesser or greater degree.”

“I am very pleased with my progress through the use of the tools, as the SRAS measures or reminds us of how far we have come.”

“All of these beliefs are now in place for me and I can’t see myself going back.”

“May 5th is a special day for me because it is the anniversary of my being abstinent, thanks to SMART Recovery.”

The SRAS encourages participants look forward:

    • • I feel that I can move forward with SMART,

“not just focusing on urges but looking at the other areas – lifestyle change, managing behaviors, etc. – and moving on in life more generally by reaching out to new things.”

“Usually I just “skate-over” the sharing statements; the SRAS made me think more about sharing.”

• I can now understand that “it’s time to face the realities of life now that I’m sober.”

“I need to remind myself that this is a process, and not a ‘read, do exercises, and it’s fixed’ solution.”

• The SRAS helped to highlight some “great learning opportunities.”

We hope that these stories will encourage you to check out the SRAS and will serve to inspire anyone interested in recovery. We strongly encourage you to send us your feedback about the SRAS, which can be e-mailed directly to Dr. Myers at Julie.Myers100@gmail.com.

You can download the SRAS checklist from the SMART Recovery online toolbox.

If you would like to share the SRAS with family, friends, or treatment providers, a copy may be found on our website.

As always, we encourage your feedback about the SRAS, which can be e-mailed directly to Dr. Myers at Julie.Myers100@gmail.com.

Julie Myers, Psy.D., MSCPJulie Myers, Psy.D., MSCP is a clinical Psychologist in San Diego, specializes in teaching self-regulatory strategies for coping with addictive behaviors, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. She is a Master Addiction Counselor, holds a Postdoctoral Masters Degree in Clinical Psychopharmacology, and serves on the California Psychological Association, Psychopharmacology Division Board. Dr. Myers has been a long-time contributor to SMART Recovery and is the co-author with Dr. Meichenbaum of the SMART Recovery Activities Scale (SRAS). You can find her blog and other helpful resources on her website: www.DrJulieMyers.com.

Donald Meichenbaum, Ph.D.Donald Meichenbaum, Ph.D. is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Waterloo, Ontario Canada from which he took early retirement 17 years ago to become the Research Director of the Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention, Miami: www.melissaInstitute.org. He is one of the founders of Cognitive Behavior Therapy. In a survey of clinicians, Dr Meichenbaum was voted ” one of the 10 most influential psychotherapists of the 20th century.” Dr.Meichenbaum recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Clinical Division of the American Psychological Association. He has presented in all 50 U.S. States and internationally . He has published extensively. His most recent book is Road Map to Resiliance: www.roadmaptoresilience.org.

Copyright (2013) Julie Myers, Pys.D. and Donald Meichenbaum, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.

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