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SMART Recovery

What is SMART Recovery?
SMART (Self Management And Recovery Training) Recovery is a self-empowering addiction mutual help program. It is the most widely available of the non-12-step group. It has about 1,000 weekly meetings in the U.S., and about 2,000 worldwide.

SMART Recovery addresses both substance and behavioral addictions.

Instead of emphasizing helplessness and the need for a Higher Power, SMART Recovery focuses on helping participants develop their capacities to manage their addiction using several cognitive-behavioral techniques. SMART Recovery helps participants learn to think differently. Their focus is on teaching self-empowerment and self-reliance. As such, SMART Recovery does not include a sponsorship system.

SMART Recovery has a 4-point program for which they offer tools and techniques for each program point:

1. Building and Maintaining Motivation
2. Coping with Urges
3. Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors
4. Living a Balanced Life.

SMART Recovery provides both in-person and online groups. They also have a message board and a 24/7 chat room. They have facilitators who teach techniques for self-directed change. Importantly, they support evidence-based addictions treatment, including the use of medications for addictions and other psychiatric problems. They believe in evolving their approach as scientific knowledge evolves.

SMART Recovery sees addiction as a set of complex maladaptive behaviors with possible physiological factors.

What does SMART Recovery teach?
SMART meetings teach members a number of “tools of recovery. Their worksheets are taken from the Cognitive behavioral and motivational interviewing literature. Their aim is to correct irrational thinking and build motivation for change:

• ABC problem solving worksheet
o Activating Event (Antecedent)—what were others and I doing and feeling?
o Emotional and behavioral consequences—often destructive emotions and behaviors.
o Irrational beliefs about the activating event that led to the emotional and behavioral consequences. These are often SHOULD, NEED, or MUST statements about how things should be that don’t match up with reality.
o Dispute—Dispute the beliefs to find which are dysfunctional. What is the evidence? (Where is it written in stone that…) Is the belief helpful or unhelpful?
o Effective New Belief and Emotional Consequence—what is a more realistic, positive belief? What are my new feelings and behaviors based on my new belief?
• A Crash Course introduction to the ABCs of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT).
o REBT is an evidence-based approach to stop being victimized by our own thinking. One example is to take ownership for our feelings and not blame others for either how we feel or how we act. REBT counters the faulty assumption that someone SHOULD behave a certain way. Accepting Reality includes accepting that we cannot always control what other people say, do, or feel. REBT tries to cultivate peace of mind by stopping demanding something that you cannot get. Demands are downgraded into preferences.

• A Change Plan Worksheet
o List a change you want to make, how important it is, the most important reasons for making the change, the steps needed to make the change (the change plan), how other people can help, how you will know your plan is working, and some potential obstacles to change.
• A Cost Benefit Analysis of addicting vs. engaging in Recovery.
• Four Questions about Addiction
o What do I enjoy about my addiction? What does it do for me? (Specific Examples)
o What do I think I will like about giving up my addiction? What good things might happen when I stop addicting?
o What do I hate about my addiction? What bad things does it do to me and to others? (Specific Examples).
o What do I think I won’t like about giving up my addiction? What am I going to hate, dread, or dislike about living without my addiction?
• Hierarchy of Values Worksheet
o What are that things that are most important to you?
o Of all the things that are important to you, what are the five most important?
o When people do this exercise, what is usually missing from the list is their object of addiction, even though their actions would suggest that their addiction is the most important thing to them.

 This exercise shows the discrepancy between what we value and our behavior. Whenever we addict, we see that this places what we value the most in jeopardy. When we addict, we choose to addict over what we value most.

SMART Recovery has many other worksheets and handout on rational coping statements, relapse prevention, triggers, lifestyle balance, self-acceptance, and self-enhancement, among many other subjects.

SMART Recovery teaches participants to monitor their thoughts real-time. If cravings arise, they practice countering the dysfunctional thoughts underlying the cravings in the moment with more constructive and reality-based thoughts. They teach participants how to “think it through,” seeing the consequences of addicting vs. not addicting. If other negative thoughts arise, members learn to counter the negative thoughts and feelings that can lead to a downward spiral into addiction.

SMART Recovery also focuses on helping members to restore a healthy balance of work, love, and play. Participants work on ways to have fun as a way of managing stress and as a substitute for addicting.

What are SMART Recovery meetings like?
The biggest difference from 12 step meetings is that there is a facilitator and “cross-talk.” SMART Recovery meetings are active discussions. Meeting guidelines include staying focused on recovery, not talking too long, not being disrespectful, and not giving advice. Suggestions are allowed.

The meeting agenda starts with a welcome, a brief check-in, establishing the topics of discussion, the discussion period, collecting donations, making announcements, and a check-out. Meetings usually last 60-90 minutes. Meetings allow, but do not encourage, the use of the labels “Alcoholic” and “Addict.”

Participants are encouraged to live by the slogan, “Discover the Power of Choice.” SMART is respectful of people’s autonomy and freedom to decide for themselves whether addiction is a disease or a bad habit, whether they have a Higher Power or not, and which, if any, substances or behaviors to abstain from. SMART will not insist that addiction is like diabetes—a disease that can be managed but never cured. You are free, however, to have this understanding of addiction if you wish. Also, Total Recovery, or cessation of all addicting, is not necessarily the goal. SMART Recovery respects people’s choices to try to moderate their use of an addictive substance if they wish. While the focus is on stopping addicting, SMART does not dictate that people must stop before the first drink or drug; it is up to the member to decide when they need to stop.
Members are not encouraged to attend SMART meetings for life, as is sometimes encouraged in 12-Step meetings. Members are encouraged to go only until their problems are solved.

Some people go to SMART Recovery for tools to assist recovery and to 12-step meetings for fellowship. This can be helpful.

According to what research as to tell us to date, SMART Recovery is as effective as AA or other 12-step programs. What is important is that people choose the type of meeting that feels most comfortable for them. People with high religiosity, for example, tend to do better with AA and NA.

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Terms & Conditions

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Disclaimer/Terms and Conditions Governing General Use of this Web Site

The following terms and conditions apply to WellMind with the Dr. Michael McGee ("the practice", "we") Web Site. Please read these terms and conditions carefully each time you access this site as the terms may change from time to time.

1.  Agreement.

This website is an Internet-based online information and communication service provided by the practice. It is sometimes referred to in this Agreement as the Service. You agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Agreement. The practice may modify this Agreement at any time. You agree to review this Agreement periodically to ensure that you are aware of any modifications. Your continued access or use of the practice Web site after the modifications have become effective shall be deemed your conclusive acceptance of the modified Agreement.

2. License.

We hereby grant you the right to view and use this Web site subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement. You may download and/or print a copy of information provided in this Web site for your personal use only. Permission to reprint or electronically reproduce any document or graphic in whole or in part for any other purpose is expressly prohibited, unless prior written consent is obtained from the respective copyright holder(s). Our designated contact for obtaining consent is:

WellMind with Dr. Michael McGee
Phone: 805-459-8232
Fax:     877-399-5883

3. Privacy.

We take your personal privacy seriously. In addition to the publicly accessible pages on this Web site, there are sections on the site where you can request more information or submit personal information. For information about how we secure personal information, please read section 11. Security below and the APPROVEME Terms of Service for Users in New Patient Registration and Patient Forms sections [link to:].For Information about how we use and secure a registered user’s information as well as your rights and responsibilities regarding the use of these features, please read our Public Online Privacy Policy, which is incorporated by reference into this Agreement. In addition to these policies, this site fully complies with the practice’s Notice of Privacy Practices as required by the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

4. Warranty.

Communications through the website do not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Secure patient registration must be conducted and approved prior to consultation (See New Patient Registration [link to]. In our content areas, information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific treatment plan, product or course of action. The content areas should not be relied upon for specific medical advice for you. We assume no responsibility for how you use the content area information provided through this Service. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Health Information

The health information on this Web site is provided by the practice solely for informational purposes as a public service to enhance customer service for our customers and to promote consumer health. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. The practice assumes no responsibility for any circumstances arising out of the use, misuse, interpretation or application of any information supplied on this site. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a specific medical condition, please contact your health care provider. Use of this Web site does not replace medical consultations with WellMind with Dr. Michael McGee or other qualified health or medical professional to meet the health and medical needs of you or a loved one. Please check with a physician or health professional if you suspect you are ill.

You exercise your own judgment when using or purchasing any product or selecting a physician through any site or service linked to this Web site. In addition, while the practice frequently updates its contents, medical information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors.

Viruses, Worms, Use of Files

The practice cannot and does not guarantee or warrant that files available for downloading from this site are free of viruses, worms, Trojan horses or other code that has contaminating or destructive properties. The practice does not make any express or implied warranties, representations or endorsements whatsoever (including without limitation warranties of title, non-infringement or fitness for a particular purpose) with respect to the files available for downloading from this site. In no event will the practice be liable to you or to anyone else for any decision made or action taken by you or anyone else in reliance on results obtained from use of files downloaded from this site. These files may be downloaded and/or reprinted for personal use only. Permission to reprint or electronically reproduce any document or graphic in whole or in part for any reason except for personal use is expressly prohibited, unless prior written consent is obtained from the appropriate practice copyright holder.

5. General Disclaimer.

All Material including any link to other sites and content found at linked sites is provided "as is" and without any express or implied warranties including warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Due to the nature of the Internet, we do not warrant that access to this Web site or any of its pages will be uninterrupted or error free. The practice does not warrant or make any representations regarding the usefulness of or the expected results of the material contained on this Web site. Note that some jurisdictions may not allow the exclusion of implied warranties so some of the above exclusions may not apply to you. Please check your local laws for any such restrictions.

6. Limitation of Liability (Indemnification).

You agree by accessing this Web site that under no circumstances or any theories of liability under international or civil, common or statutory law including but not limited to strict liability, negligence or other tort theories or contract, patent or copyright laws, will the practice be liable for damages of any kind occurring from the use of this Web site or any information, goods or services obtained on this Web site including direct, indirect, consequential, incidental, or punitive damages (even if the practice has been advised of the possibility of such damages), to the fullest extent permitted by law. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of certain damages so some of these limitations may not apply to you.

7. User Representations & Responsibilities.

You represent and warrant that you are at least 18 years of age and that you possess the legal right and ability to enter into this Agreement and to use this Web site in accordance with this Agreement. You agree to be financially responsible for your use of this Web site and to comply with your responsibilities and obligations as stated in this Agreement.

User Submissions

As a user, you are responsible for your own communications and are responsible for the consequences of their posting. You must not, and by using this Web site you agree not to, do the following things: post or email sensitive personal health information outside of secure patient registration forms(general comment areas and email sent through this Web site may not be secure), post material that is copyrighted, unless you are the copyright owner or have the permission of the copyright owner to post it; post material that reveals trade secrets, unless you own them or have the permission of the owner; post material that infringes on any other intellectual property rights of others or on the privacy or publicity rights of others; post material that is obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, abusive, hateful, or embarrassing to another user or any other person or entity; post a sexually-explicit image or statement; post advertisements or solicitations of business, post chain letters or pyramid schemes; impersonate another person; or post material that contains viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots or other computer programming routines or engines that are intended to damage, detrimentally interfere with, surreptitiously intercept or expropriate any system, data or information.

The practice has taken reasonable steps and has employed industry-standard practices and technology to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of your personally identifiable information; however, since even the most secure system can be violated, the practice cannot guarantee security.
Completion and submission of the forms provided under Contact Us are for use in providing personal information for the purpose of obtaining additional information from the practiceand serves as conclusive acceptance of the Terms of Service.

Minors and Child Online Privacy Protection Act

This Web site does not direct content to Minors and does not intend to collect personal information from Minors and therefore is not subject to the Child Online Privacy Protection Act.
If you allow your minor child, or a child for whom you are legal guardian (a "Minor"), to access and use this Web site, you agree that you will be solely responsible for: (i) the online conduct of such Minor; (ii) monitoring such Minor’s access to and use of this Web site; and (iii) the consequences of any use.

8. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

We reserve the right, but not the obligation, to terminate your access to this Web site if it determines in its sole and absolute discretion that you are involved in infringing activity, including alleged acts of first-time or repeat infringement, regardless or whether the material or activity is ultimately determined to be infringing. The practice may deliver notice to you under this Agreement by means of electronic mail, a general notice on this Web site or by written communication delivered by first class U.S. mail to your address on record in the practice’s account information, if any.

This practice does not interfere with standard technical measures used by copyright owners to protect materials. We have implemented procedures for receiving written notification of claimed infringements and for processing such claims in accordance with the Act. Our designated agent to receive notification of claimed infringement is:

WellMind with Dr. Michael McGee
Phone: 805-459-8232
Fax:     877-399-5883

Any written notice regarding any infringement of copyright or of other proprietary rights, should be sent to our designated agent, listed above, and must include the following information:

A. A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of (i) the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed or (ii) the person defamed.

B. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.

C. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing, or to be the subject of infringing activity, including information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material.

D. Information reasonably sufficient to permit us to contact you, such as your address, telephone number, and/or electronic mail address.

E. A statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright or other proprietary right owner, its agent, or the law.

If you choose to access this Web site from outside the United States you do so on your own initiative and are responsible for compliance with U.S. and local laws, if and to the extent that local laws are applicable. Software is subject to United States export controls. No software may be downloaded or otherwise exported or re-exported (i) into (or to a national resident of) any country to which the U.S. has embargoed goods, or (ii) to anyone on the U.S. Treasury Department list of Specially Designated Nationals or the U.S. Commerce Department’s Table of Deny Orders. You represent and warrant that you are not located in, under the control of, or a national resident of any such country or on any such list. You agree to comply with U.S. export control laws and that you will not transfer any software or other content from this Web site to a foreign national or foreign country in violation of those laws.

9. Trademarks.

There are references throughout this Web site to various trademarks or service marks and these, whether registered or not, are the property of their respective owners.

10. Changes and Applicable Law.

We reserve the right to make changes to this Web site and our Legal Disclaimer/Conditions of Use. We encourage you to review the Web site and these terms periodically for any updates or changes. Your continued access or use of this Web site shall be deemed your acceptance of these Legal Disclaimers/Conditions of Use and any changes and the reasonableness of these standards for notice of changes. Use of this Web siteand purchases of products from this Web site will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California, without giving effect to its conflict of law provisions. You agree that any legal action or proceeding between you and this Web site will be brought exclusively in a federal or state court of competent jurisdiction sitting in the State of California. If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions. Any cause of action or claim you may have with respect to the practice must be commenced within one (1) year after the claim or cause of action arises. The practice’s failure to insist upon or enforce strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right. Neither the course of conduct between the parties nor trade practice shall act to modify any provision of this Agreement. The practice may assign its rights and duties under this Agreement to any party at any time without notice to you.

11. Security.

We will only use the information you submit to provide you with the services you have requested and as otherwise described in the Public Online Privacy Policy.

We use secure technology

In addition to our Public Online Privacy Policy, we also take the technical side of security very seriously. Any personally identifying information you submit is stored on a secure server in a way that maximizes security and confidentiality. Our servers are behind a complex series of firewalls to add an extra layer of security.

Access to the information you submit

Information you submit can be seen only by those employees and staff who have a need to use the information in the following manner:

Complete and verify patient registration and appointment scheduling.

Direct response to your inquiry. If you send a non-urgent inquiry through the Contact Us section of this Web site, only those individuals authorized to review, research and respond to your inquiry have access to that information.

Web Site Maintenance. Sometimes our technical staff may view data in the course of their work. We have special rules to make sure they do this only for legitimate reasons and we monitor access to all Web technology.

Public Privacy Policy

Our Commitment To Privacy

Your privacy is important to us. To better protect your privacy we provide this notice explaining our online information practices and the choices you can make about the way your information is collected and used. To make this notice easy to find, we make it available on our homepage and at every point where personally identifiable information may be requested.

The Information We Collect

This notice applies to all information collected or submitted on the WellMind with Dr. McGee website. On some pages, you can make requests, register for treatment and payment. The types of personal information collected at these pages are: Name, Address, Email address, Phone number, Credit/Debit Card Information (etc.).

The Way We Use Information

We use the information you provide about yourself when creating an account only to complete that account. We do not share this information with outside parties except to the extent necessary to complete the account.

We use return email addresses to answer the email we receive. Such addresses are not used for any other purpose and are not shared with outside parties.

Finally, we never use or share the personally identifiable information provided to us online in ways unrelated to the ones described above without also providing you an opportunity to opt-out or otherwise prohibit such unrelated uses.

Our Commitment To Data Security

To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.

How To Contact Us

Should you have other questions or concerns about these privacy policies please contact:
WellMind with Dr. Michael McGee

Phone: 805-459-8232
Fax:     877-399-5883