TIL there is a secular alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous known as SMART recovery that is based more on Contemporary therapeutic techniques.
OH! This is an actually important resource from this bot!
AA is a Christian organization and their methods, and program are based around religious readings and practices. This often puts non-Christians in a shitty position, especially when AA is propped up as the one and only alcohol recovery support group. They are often run by unqualified humans and attendees have a 5% success rate of staying sober for a year.
It’s a take it or leave it deal. The stress and disconnect from one’s own spirituality (or lack thereof) honestly makes things worse. Often these groups tote that if you fail to stay sober it’s your fault and not the fault of a faulty program.
Also having a science-based recovery system as opposed to a throw shit against the wall and see what sticks system is, I don’t know, helpful for sobriety.
So, an alternative to AA is always good to see!
I use SMART. AA definitely works for some people, including non Christians and atheists. However it doesn’t work for everyone, myself included. SMART is based on DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy). It doesn’t have an “all or nothing” approach. In AA if you relapse you start over to day one of sobriety, SMART however teaches instead that having a lapse or relapse doesn’t negate all of the positive progress you made before.
I want to reiterate AA/twelve step DOES work for some people, however SMART is a more therapy based and doesn’t focus solely on alcoholism, but any destructive behavior (including self harm, eating disorders, porn addiction, etc). Also I’ll point out that the facilitators for both SMART and AA are not doctors, it is completely self run for both. However to be a facilitator for smart you do need a training course, I’m not sure if AA requires one. They’re very different programs, so it’s really a matter of what works best for the person.
The biggest issue I’ve found with SMART is that there aren’t a lot of in person meetings depending on where you are, however since covid there’s a bunch online. Again I’ve been in both AA and SMART so if anyone has any questions or wants to know more about either type of meeting I’m an open book!