Why become a SMART facilitator?
SMART Recovery facilitators are part of an amazing worldwide network of volunteers. They see remarkable changes in many of the people who attend meetings, and know that although recovery is an individual’s choice and responsibility, as a SMART Recovery facilitator they have been able to help and make a difference.
In just a few months, facilitators can learn enough to run good SMART Recovery meetings, though the process of honing skills and deepening knowledge can go on for many years or even decades.
SMART facilitation can be a fascinating and absorbing journey. Many of the skills learned can help in other areas of life, including the world of work. Often SMART facilitators build on their experience of running meetings to take on other leadership roles within the recovery community.
Is it right for you?
Not everyone who will benefit from SMART Recovery also has the time or interest in becoming a facilitator. A few will not have the personal capacity, skills or stability of lifestyle. One view is that there should be a selection process for who can or cannot become a facilitator. This is not the favoured approach; it is for an individual to decide for himself or herself whether they are ready to facilitate.
The following is a guide to the recommended level of prior experience:
- Attend at least five SMART Recovery meetings before starting the online training.
- Get some experience of co-facilitating meetings before actually starting to facilitate.
- Complete the SMART Recovery UK Facilitators training course.
After discussion with the founders of SMART Recovery, it has been agreed that training is not ‘optional’; anyone running a meeting described as SMART Recovery or using SMART Recovery materials must complete the training approved by the organisation. Currently, the only authorised course in the UK is the on-line course consisting of both ‘Getting SMART’ and ‘SMART Facilitator’. A face to face course is also being developed.
What is asked of facilitators?
Even though this is a volunteer task and it is gratefully acknowledged that individuals are giving up their own time, it is asked that facilitators are mindful of being the ‘custodians’ or representative of the SMART Recovery movement out in local communities. The reputation and future success of SMART Recovery depends on facilitators, who are asked to:
- Abide by the Facilitators code of conduct.
- Complete the authorised Facilitator and Champion Training.
- Register meetings with central office.
- Run meetings according to the SMART Recovery Meeting Structure.
- Ensure the Opening Statement is read out at every meeting.
- Share the Meeting Guidelines at every meeting.
If all facilitators cover these basic tasks, SMART Recovery will remain respected and effective.