What is Compassionate Recovery?

Compassionate Recovery is a universal, inclusive, trauma informed and evidence based program for healing the spectrum of addictions. 

Compassion is the tool and mindfulness is the key.

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All are Welcome. No, really.

Compassionate Recovery is inclusive. Anyone on the Spectrum of Addiction is welcome. If you’re a drug addict, alcoholic, gambler, sex/love addict, codependent or any other problematic attachment or addiction, you are welcome. If you’re on MATs (Naltrexone, Buprenorphine, Methadone) or in a Harm Reduction model you are welcome. If you’re spiritual or not spiritual, you are welcome. Compassionate Recovery is about community. It’s about our Common Humanity as people who suffer.

Atheist or Agnostic?

Wan practice inclusiveness and tolerance even when our beliefs may be very different from one another. This is an ideal principle in traditional recovery models that’s not always practiced. The AA literature, for example is seen by many to be overtly Christian, patriarchal, and monotheistic in its language. But the AA program still accepts anyone, regardless of their beliefs.

Compassionate Recovery recognizes and respects all beliefs, and non-beliefs. If you are spiritual, not spiritual, religious (Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish or anything else) you really are welcome in Compassionate Recovery. We just ask that you don’t preach or criticize anyone for having different beliefs. Speak in terms of principles, rather than specific textual and religious resources. This keeps everyone feeling safe to share who they are in their recovery.

Compassionate Recovery is principles based, not faith based. There is no requirement, direct or indirect pressure that you “Come to Believe in a Power Greater Than Yourself.” But there’s no problem if you do have a higher power. 

You may ask how can a group of people with different values and beliefs from different traditions all participate in one program? The answer is compassion and mindfulness.

Compassionate Recovery is a new paradigm for healing. It’s open to anyone with any degree of attachment and uses solutions from any system, tradition, technique, meditation or treatment. Meetings focus on specific topics, addictions and principles.

Traditional programs are normally limited to a singular problem, such as alcohol, and a single solution like total abstinence from alcohol. Compassionate Recovery is fully inclusive of anyone on a Spectrum of Addiction that ranges from problematic attachments to full blown addictions.

Attachment is defined as an unhealthy bond, fixation, obsession or preoccupation that causes a life disruption. Addiction is defined as any unhealthy or problematic attachment to a process, event, substance or person that the individual wants to be free of.

Addiction is attachment gone wild.

They make up each end of the Spectrum of Addiction. 

The Spectrum of Addiction

The solutions that Compassionate Recovery employs are inclusive of any tradition or tool that can be used for healing. It doesn’t conform to a static, unchanging set of steps that have to be worked in order and can’t be deviated from. To simplify and broaden opportunities for healing, Compassionate Recovery is focused on principles that can be practiced in any order or manner at any time in the course in a the Spectrum of Recovery.

Recovery too is defined as any reduction, elimination or progress on that path. One can opt to claim one or more “clean dates,” if that is helpful. But time in the program is not heavily emphasized. We recognize that addiction is complex and recovery is too. 

This model sets the stage for long-term recovery. In traditional models members are often stuck in ruts like lifetime depression, relationship and financial instability and other issues that can look more like addiction than recovery. Recovery therefore is also on a spectrum. The map of long-term recovery will be laid out from the beginning so that members can see the big picture, rather than limit their perspective to one day at a time thinking.

Meditations and sample formats are in development. You can start a meeting today with the sample formats listed here: Compassionate Recovery Meeting Formats

The book will be out soon.

Take the free Getting Started Course