Is RR more of the same as AA?


Dear Stanton:

I just had a horrible experience with someone who was claiming to be a Rational Recovery therapist. He turned out to be the most pompous, arrogant ass with a pretty flimsy definition of boundaries.

I went into this situation hoping to find something different and instead got the same old shit. Don’t get me wrong, the material I’ve read so far seems to make sense, but the individual administering the information was using his practice as a platform to voice his political agenda against AA.

I have had bad experiences with AA and treatment as well.

My question is whether it is possible to do this on my own. Because at this point I’m beginning to think that seeking professional help is nothing short of disaster, whatever their philosophy.


Dear Vince:

Unfortunately, my experiences have been similar. People have accused RR’s founder and director, Jack Trimpey of being an anti-AA zealot, and of being a dictator himself. He attacked me for questioning his kooky “beast” concept, which strikes me as more or less the same thing as the disease model (although he has also said good things about my work).

As you may know, in good part as a result of Jack’s inability to play well with others, SMART Recovery split from RR. I am on SMART’s scientific advisory board, and have worked with its president, Tom Horvath, so it’s clear my sentiments favor that group. It has better support from independent researchers and practitioners, and has developed protocols for running groups and for therapy techniques that give it substance.

Perhaps any group or organized program would be hard for you to take. People all the time change on their own, including even the most severe of addictions. You can always create a group of one, borrowing ideas from those around you, or perhaps seeking a counselor who has no axe to grind and merely wants to work with you, developing your skills, clarifying your thinking, and focussing your motivation. All of these paths (self help, group membership, assisted development) are available to you; you can pick and choose, mix and match, or use all together or in sequence. It’s your life.


Stanton Peele

Stanton Peele , recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts by The Fix, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.

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