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Can anyone briefly describe the difference between LifeRing, SOS, SMART, and RR?

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Can anyone briefly describe the difference between LifeRing, SOS, SMART, and RR?

Old 02-27-2013, 03:16 PM
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Can anyone briefly describe the difference between LifeRing, SOS, SMART, and RR?

I am just looking for a brief one or two sentence that highlights the fundamental differences between these approaches. Thanks!!
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:55 PM
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OK...well, here is what I came up with on each:

LifeRing: Uses the 3-S Philosophy (secularity, sobriety, self-help). Path to recovery is an individual matter; there is no program. SOS views sobriety as relying on human effort and motivation. Religious beliefs are kept private and not considered part of getting sober. Meetings are to reinforce the desire to quit drinking (online, email, F2F). Main book: “Empowering Your Sober Self” ($19.95).

SOS: Path to recovery is individual and there is no program. However, sobriety is the priority and uses “Suggested Guidelines for Sobriety” to maintain it. Life-long abstinence is the goal. Uses rational methods and eschews religious or spiritual approaches. Newsletters have featured the Orange Papers. Decidedly anti-AA. Has meetings but did not see description of purpose.

Rational Recovery: Uses the AVRT technique as the main tool to sobriety, which is a cognitive behavior technique. Involves making a Big Plan as a life-time commitment to sobriety. Secular by nature and decidedly anti-AA. No meetings. Main book: “The Art of AVRT” ($29.95).

SMART: Approach relies on self-empowerment and self-reliance. Uses 4 point SMART recovery program along with a set of tools and techniques to support efforts at sobriety. Has meetings both F2F and online. Many books shown on website.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:35 AM
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This is really helpful, thank you for putting this together jazzfish! There are a few Life Ring meetings near me and I've been hesitant to go... I react really badly to dogma and I know from experience that dogma is not confined to religious settings. Your description sounds pretty OK. I will check out a meeting.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:13 AM
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You're welcome and thanks! I also put together the basics of their main tools. I didn't go into AVRT too much because it is featured here fairly prominently.

LifeRing: 3-S Philosophy
• Sobriety means abstinence.
• Secularity - recovery methods that rely on human efforts rather than on divine intervention.
• Self-help in LifeRing means that the key to recovery is the individual’s own motivation and effort.

SOS: Suggested Guidelines for Sobriety
• To break the cycle of denial and achieve sobriety, we first acknowledge that we are alcoholics or addicts.
• We reaffirm this daily and accept without reservation the fact that as clean and sober individuals, we cannot and do not drink or use, no matter what.
• Since drinking or using is not an option for us, we take whatever steps are necessary to continue our Sobriety Priority lifelong.
• A quality of life, "the good life," can be achieved. However, life is also filled with uncertainties. Therefore, we do not drink or use regardless of feelings, circumstances, or conflicts.
• We share in confidence with each other our thoughts and feelings as sober, clean individuals.
• Sobriety is our Priority, and we are each responsible for our lives and sobriety.

Rational Recovery: AVRT is a thinking skill. Recovery is accomplished through a personal commitment to permanent abstinence called, the Big Plan, backed up by the learned ability to catch yourself in the process of changing your mind.

SMART Recovery 4-Point Program
• Point 1: Building and Maintaining Motivation
• Point 2: Coping with Urges
• Point 3: Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors
• Point 4: Living a Balanced Life
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:15 AM
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Dude, SUPER helpful post. Thank you!!!

Edit: Have you tried any of these / are you doing any of these? I went to a local bookstore here in Chi-town, but they did not have any of the books listed so I'll have to order one of them online (A word to the wise, some of these books are available in "used" condition, just google them and you might save a few bucks)
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by bigsombrero View Post
Dude, SUPER helpful post. Thank you!!!

Edit: Have you tried any of these / are you doing any of these? I went to a local bookstore here in Chi-town, but they did not have any of the books listed so I'll have to order one of them online (A word to the wise, some of these books are available in "used" condition, just google them and you might save a few bucks)
Not yet. I may try LifeRing as I am primarily looking for a support group. I have cobbled together my own "program" which is working fine. SMART looks like it also has many helpful tools available. AVRT also has a useful approach and techniques that seem useful. SOS I wouldn't touch at all.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:55 AM
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I'm going to check out a LifeRing meeting tomorrow; I'll let you guys know what I think.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:00 PM
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Rational Recovery:The New Cure for Substance Addiction by Jack Trimpey.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
Rational Recovery:The New Cure for Substance Addiction by Jack Trimpey.
Thanks! Is that the main book for RR?
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:57 PM
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Well, I think The Art of AVRT is newer, but The New Cure is what was recommended to me. I can't compare them, as I have only read the latter.
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:56 PM
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I began attending Life Ring meeting here in Dublin 3 weeks ago. Jazz, its exactly what you are looking for (support group). Its very laid back, and people just discuss there previous weeks struggles and concerns etc. I found it very comforting and enjoyed the support/understanding from people in same boat. There was no intimidation, just kind people I could relate to. (Like being FTF SR). Be interesting to hear how you both Jazz and Fantail get on at your meetings. I actually find myself looking forward to Tuesday night meetings, where I can really be myself around like minded people.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:30 AM
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hi all,
i've been an active LR member for years (active as in on the on-line forum and going to f2f meetings my first couple of years of sobriety) and can tell you that there is no LR dogma. it's about as anti-dogmatic as it gets, as an organization. except for the "sobriety =100% abstinence" definition, and welcoming those who desire that.
as an "individual path" organization, it's well suited for combining with any tools you might find useful.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:10 AM
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Thanks Fini. I'm finding LR a great support. Fantail, you mentioned on other post that the LR you attended was workbook study, as opposed to discussion group. The ones I attend are discussion only. And infact yesterday I attended another LR group in different part of Dublin, that too was discussion only. I'm not aware of workbook study groups. I hope you find discussion group and give it a try. Fini, do you attend both LR discussion and LR work book study groups ? I'm not aware of what the workbook study involves ?
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:07 PM
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Tammy, this is easy stuff to find. Go to the lifering webpage, and learn what it has to offer you. Or just google 'lifering workbook'.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:01 PM
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Tammy,
the workbook people are talking about is "Recovery by Choice", written by Martin Nicolaus, founder of LifeRing.
it is full of self-exploratory questions, and though i didn't answer them in writing, i did read the whole thing a couple of times. found it very very useful, stimulating and provocative. you can access a sample chapter online, i think The LifeRing Home Page | Sobriety, Secularity, Self-Help.
when i first got sober, i read sobriety stuff voraciously, and this is a great book, well worth the investment of time and money. you can order it on-line.
i'm in Vancouver, Canada, and we had no workbook meetings. so i went to the discussion one that was available at the time.
the format there (as is usual) is "how was your week", the focus being on the last few days and upcoming challenges in the next little while. crosstalk is an encouraged feature of LR meetings, and what's meant by that is basically a conversation with feedback to and from each other.
sounds like that is what your meeting was, Tammy.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:15 PM
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The main Text of SMART Recovery if there would be one is the manual. It includes all the worksheets that are available on the website along with some facilitator material. You used to be able to download it for free. I believe you can get it through Google in pdf form.

I never used that until I underwent facilitator training. Until then I had not needed anything but the worksheet you can print out for the cost of ink.

Unlike the others, Rational Recovery is a for-profit organization. This is one reason you will not see links to their website here on our forum.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:02 PM
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Thanks all.

Yea, Fini, my meetings are same format as yours. I enjoy the support/sharing. I will check out the link and book. Appreciate that.
I too find myself reading lots, (obsessed even) about this alcohol problem that I've only recently faced/accepted.
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