SMART Recovery charts new addiction treatment

A new anti-addiction program is available in Cayman.

According to organizer Marney Motsinger, the Cayman representative for the Canadian-founded SMART Recovery program, the local chapter is just starting and has drawn only about four people so far. She wants to expand the group’s reach, minimize the pressure of constant meetings and encourage self-reliance.

“I’ve never been someone for AA and the Bible, never able see things through that Christian lens,” she says, although encouraging everyone to find the best path to self-help.

“I just knew a lot of people who were struggling and shutting the door, who were staying home and, frankly dying,” she says.

Having battled alcohol abuse for many years, Ms. Motsinger, who has resided locally for three years and is a nurse by profession, says the four-point SMART plan offers lessons and techniques to “build and maintain motivation, cope with urges, manage thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and live a balanced life.”

“What I like about the SMART program is that it is scientifically evidence-based. The techniques are powerful and very effective.”

She says some of the terms, such as “rational emotive behavior therapy,” have immediate and practical relevance to SMART participants, teaching management of thoughts and looming urges toward previous behaviors.

SMART, she says, “handles relapses, and are not punitive, but see them as an opportunity for growth.”

“This is almost like life coaching. It’s very dynamic,” Ms. Motsinger says.

Meetings are on Sunday mornings at the Melody Lane home of longtime counselor Terry Delaney. Ms. Motsinger cites the support of leading mental health advocate Dr. Marc Lockhart and counselor Taylor Burrowes.

Ms. Motsinger, who gained recognition as a facilitator after 30 hours of SMART training, can be reached on 916-5408.