We see addictive behaviour as the responsibility of the addicted individual, even if the behaviour has a negative impact on us or other people. The focus of SMART Family & Friends is on you and your life, rather than on the addicted other (your Loved One).
Our meetings are a safe place to meet with others who have similar concerns and experiences to yours, talk about the challenges you face and to learn new skills. To keep meetings effective and safe, we ask participants to keep in mind these ‘guidelines’.
The focus of this meeting is on your life, rather than your LO. We are not here to dissect or directly change their behaviour. Instead, we will focus on how we cope, how we respond to their behaviour and how we might live more fulfilled lives.
We agree not to tell anyone outside the group about who attended or what was discussed at this meeting and may be barred from the meeting if we do so. We will avoid sharing information that might be harmful to us. We will not identify people as meeting attendees if we meet them outside the group.
We will allow one person at a time to speak and avoid ‘talking over’ each other. We are encouraged to ask questions and share ideas, which we describe as ‘cross talk’, but will avoid lengthy and negative stories. There is no obligation to contribute and we are free to just listen and observe if we prefer.
We will try to be respectful of others, even people not in the room who may have done bad things. We will not use labels such as addict, alcoholic, druggie, co-dependent, enabler and so on in our meetings. Threats, intimidation and violent behaviour are all grounds for being barred from the meeting.
While we are welcome to mention other paths and approaches at meetings, we keep the focus on the SMART Recovery F&F approach. We will not bash other groups or approaches to recovery, sell treatments, recruit clients or promote other groups.
The programme is not designed to help with serious mental health problems and cannot protect you from domestic violence. If I have problems the group or tools cannot help with, I will seek professional help.