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10 Ways SMART Recovery Differs from 12-Step Programs

SMART Recovery is an approach to providing support for people looking to abstain from addictive behaviors. SMART Recovery offers some similarities to 12-Step programs; however, there are some major differences. I am quoted in the article published by John Lavitt on the Fix, an online news source for addiction and recovery:


As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice at Pacific MFT Network in Santa Monica, California, Matianna Baldassari is studying to become a facilitator at SMART Recovery meetings. Explaining her motivation to take this step, she says, “Given that many of my clients do not connect to the spiritual aspect of the 12-step programs, I wanted to be able to provide them with a real alternative. In SMART Recovery, they are given a choice. For me, it’s not about supporting this program or that program, but rather finding a way to help people with addictive disorders see the benefits of being sober and taking action.”


The quote specifically talks about a potential benefit of SMART Recovery; the spiritual component is optional. Through this tenet, perhaps a greater number of those struggling with addiction can get the help they need. We welcome you at Pacific Marriage & Family Therapy Network as you determine whether a spiritual component to sobriety is right for you.

To find out more about Pacific MFT Network and the services we offer, please visit our website,

Pacific Marriage and Family Therapy Network provides children, teens, adults of all ages, couples, and families with quality psychotherapy that gets results. We have several therapists on staff that have several different modalities of work, specializations and expertise. We can help clients experiencing anxiety, depression, difficult life transitions, troubled relationships, addiction, eating disorders, stress, anger management, prenatal bonding, trauma, domestic violence, performance, whole life fitness, ADD/ADHD, autism, learning differences, religious crisis/struggles, LGBTQ issues, social skills, couples/marital, pre-marital, dating, break up recovery, parenting children, parenting teens, social anxiety, self esteem, substance use, panic, stress relief, cancer recovery, pre-surgical wellness, post-surgical wellness, disordered eating, postpartum depression, careers, grief & loss, divorce, co-parenting, childhood trauma, childhood behavior management, work & life balance, fatherhood, codependancy, or any other mental health issue. Pacific MFT Network is a professional network of highly skilled licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Interns that are committed to empowering a sense of self in our clients and helping them live the life they want. We do so by creating a relationship that is based on genuine care and concern, non-judgment, and support. Our mission is to help you help yourself live a happier and more satisfying life.

Main Office 310-612-2998

1230 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 300 Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

2716 Ocean Park Blvd, Suite 3075 Santa Monica, CA 90405

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