Practicing for Success: The Power of Role-play and Rehearsal in Recovery
When we think of role-playing, we might imagine actors rehearsing for a play. They try out different lines and actions, preparing for their performance. But did you know that a similar strategy can be super helpful for people working to overcome addictive behaviors? This strategy, known as the Role-play/Rehearsal tool in SMART Recovery, is a powerful way to get ready for tough situations and make smart choices.
Role-play/Rehearsal is all about practice. Just like a musician practices a song before a concert, this tool helps people practice how they'll handle hard moments without turning to addictive behaviors. It's a way to plan ahead, so you're not caught off guard.
- Picturing the Challenge
First, think of a situation that might be tricky for you. This could be going to a party where others are doing things you're trying to avoid or handling stress after a tough day. Picture this scene in your mind. What's happening around you? What are people saying? How are you feeling?
- Trying Out Responses
Now, imagine how you can handle this situation in a positive way. What can you say if someone offers you something you're avoiding? How can you calm down if you're feeling stressed? Think about the words you'll use and the actions you'll take. It's like you're the writer and the star of your own play!
- Practicing Out Loud
This step is where the fun comes in! Practice out loud by yourself or with someone you trust. You can take turns pretending to be different people in the situation. The more you practice, the more confident you'll feel. And don't worry about making mistakes — this is your chance to try different things and see what works best.
- Using What You've Practiced
After you've practiced, you'll be ready to use your new skills in the real world. When you find yourself in the situation you rehearsed, you'll remember what you practiced and feel ready. Even if things don't go exactly as planned, that's okay. You're learning and getting stronger every time you try.
Why Role-play/Rehearsal Is So Cool
Role-play/Rehearsal is like a secret superpower. It helps you prepare for challenges before they happen. When you practice, you build confidence and skills that make you ready for anything. You're not just hoping you'll make good choices; you're making sure you know how!
Plus, role-playing can be fun. You can be creative and try things you might not do in real life. Sometimes, you'll even surprise yourself with the great ideas you come up with!
Conclusion: Your Rehearsal for Real Life
Life can bring unexpected challenges, especially when you're working to overcome addictive behaviors. But with Role-play/Rehearsal, you're not just waiting to see what happens. You're practicing, preparing, and building confidence, so you're ready to handle whatever comes your way. It's not just make-believe — it's your rehearsal for real life, and you're the star of the show.
The ABC Model is a good way of understanding how we can help change our feelings and behaviour by challenging our thinking.
When to Use This Tool
The ABC Model is a good way of understanding how we can help change our feelings and behaviour by challenging our thinking. It helps us uncover beliefs that are not helping us /contributing to the behaviour we are trying to change.
This exercise may be done in the group setting but can also be very useful for participants to look at between meetings.
How To Use This Tool
When working with urges: To analyze a lapse/relapse or to develop coping statements for an anticipated lapse/relapse.
In the event of a lapse, the question to ask is not “What made me do that”, but rather, “How did I talk myself into it?” It is not the urge (A) that causes the lapse (C). It is our beliefs (B); our irrational self-talk.
With emotional upset:
The ABC Model can also be used to work with emotional upset or frustrations that may occur at any point in the recovery journey. The ABCs allow us to discover our unhelpful beliefs which contribute to emotional upsets. Disputing helps us eliminate our irrational thinking so we can both feel better and do better. In SMART Recovery we teach that we feel the way we think; it’s not unpleasant events that disturb us, it’s the way we think of them. By changing our thinking, we change how we feel.
Identifying and Disputing Unhelpful Thinking.
Disputing is a process of challenging the way we think about situations. It’s about trying to look at thoughts more accurately. Disputing unhelpful thinking can help us make more informed decisions about thoughts instead of just acting on them. Balanced thinking leads to effective new beliefs.