The Smart Recovery Program utilized in our Evening IOP centers around 4 main points. Within each point there are tools, techniques and strategies that help our clients on their journey in recovery. Many of these techniques are skills that they can use to deal with future problems and help them achieve satisfaction and balance in their lives long after they have left Cornerstone Recovery Center.
In this blog, we will take a look at Point 1 – Building and Maintaining Motivation.
Point 1: Building and Maintaining Motivation
How many New Year’s resolutions have you made to lose weight, save more money, or quit smoking only to find you’ve lost your motivation within weeks? How do you stay motivated to make the change that you honestly want? Talking about wanting it isn’t enough. Motivation is the key to maintaining lasting, successful recovery. Motivation is what drives you to meet your goals. In Point 1, we build on those first seeds of motivation so that our clients can begin the process of change and recovery.
The first tool we use in Point 1 is the Hierarchy of Values. We all have values that motivate us: people and things that are important to us. Unfortunately, when are caught in the grip of addiction, our values are often one of the first things to go. The Hierarchy of Values helps to reintroduce what is most important to us; start by writing down as many of your values as you can think of. For example: your relationships, children, health, finances or personal integrity. Active addiction directly impacts these values. Clients become aware that they have chosen drugs and/or alcohol over the values they hold dear. They have compromised their value system. To stay clean and sober, recovery must become a valued priority.
Sometimes it can be difficult to see a difference between what you are doing now and what you could be doing differently to achieve your goals for recovery. The following three questions can help bring perspective and allow clients to identify the discrepancy between the two. What do I want for my future? What am I currently doing to achieve that? How do I feel about what I am currently doing?
At this point, clients have identified their core values and what they want their future to look like. Now they need a plan. The Change-Plan worksheet helps clients identify the steps they can take toward their goals for the future and the people who can help them get there. We plan strategies to help them progress and monitor signs that demonstrate their progression. Sometimes a strategy doesn’t work, giving them an opportunity to try something different. The Change-Plan worksheet can also help with problem solving because it breaks large problems down into smaller steps to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
Finally, we create a Cost-Benefit Analysis of using mood and mind altering substances. Because of the habitual nature of addiction, people don’t stop to think of what they are getting out of their addictive behavior; however, they must be getting something out of it or they wouldn’t keep doing it. Do you drink to cope with stress? Do you get high to escape a bad relationship? Completing a Cost-Benefit Analysis or CBA will help answer these questions. At some point, the benefits outweighed the costs. A CBA allows clients to look at their addictive behavior under a microscope and really examine all the benefits and all the costs, as well as comparing the short-term and long-term benefits of using or not using.
The concepts and techniques in Point 1, Building and Maintaining Motivation, are only the beginning of an arsenal of tools from the SMART Recovery toolbox. There will be much more to come in future SMART Recovery Blogs, so stay tuned.
Phyllis Miller, MS
To find out more about SMART Recovery and the evening intensive outpatient program at Cornerstone Recovery Center, located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, please call 888.711.0354 or click here to contact us online.