I have facilitated SMART Recovery® meetings for a while now, and since there’s a phone number listed for our meeting, I tend to get frantic calls and emails from the loved ones of people who are actively abusing alcohol or drugs (or doing other maladaptive behaviors). There are no formal “Friends and Family” SMART Recovery meetings in the area where I live, so I have no one to direct them to. Because of that problem, I decided to learn a bit more myself about the toll on friends and family so I could be helpful to these concerned loved ones calling me.

Resources for Concerned Loved Ones

One would think I would know how to help them, since I myself was an active alcohol abuser for 25 years off and on, and also “work” with others like myself by facilitating the SMART meetings, but I really had no good clue as to how to help the concerned loved ones who were contacting me. I have since found some really good, practical books that are super helpful. They are NOT the old confrontative 1980’s 1990’s “Intervention” aggressive approaches of the past that were completely ineffective. These books I found have tangible steps to take that have shown good success rates… actual, measurable statistical success, and I will share these books with you so you can get them to the people in your life who are willing and wanting to learn how to deal with YOU.

Bottom line is, if your loved ones have been affected by your drinking, they’re probably going to be affected by your “not drinking” as well. Their response can be anything from shaming you, to perpetually reminding you of the last bad thing you did, or they could be very encouraging. They could even be indifferent or pessimistic because they’ve become exhausted by the challenge of being around your drunk moments. It runs the gamut.


Most people have been exposed to shows like “Intervention” or movies like “28 Days” or “When a Man Loves a Woman” or even the current TV sitcom “Mom” — all of these shows display a lot of older, statistically-less-effective ways of interacting with a person with alcohol use disorder. If you don’t believe me, look them up (the statistics). There are newer, more effective models, such as “CRAFT” that I will introduce to you in this session, which I highly recommend you share with the loved ones around you who are open to hearing about it.

I also recommend that you learn about them yourself, because you might learn something new you never thought of. Or you may be on the other end of the bottle one day, having to help someone you love, and these books will help.

Patience, Micro-Trust and Going Slow

Today’s session won’t only be about the books that are listed in the homework though… I’ll talk about patience and going slow. Because we don’t often see the damage we’ve caused (sometimes we literally don’t remember!) and it’s important to go slow…. sometimes very slowly and patiently to give our loved ones time to trust us again. Appreciate even the little-bitty-est “micro-trust” they display. It will grow over time if you’re patient and you cultivate it.

So let’s get started… (Watch the Video)

Watch Lesson 11 Video:

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This course is NOT a substitute for professional healthcare advice or treatment. Also, when this course was originally filmed, I was offering a weekly Live Session via Zoom. Sometimes the video or the homework might mention the Live Session, however, I am no longer able to host them. So please remember that even though this Lesson might mention a Live session, it is no longer part of this course. Thank you for your understanding, and sorry for this annoying popup. Click ESC or click outside this box to close this alert.

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