Rational Recovery (RR) is a source of counseling, guidance, guidance, and direct instruction on self-recovery from addiction, alcohol and other drugs through planned, permanent abstinence designed as a direct counterpoint to Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) and twelve step programs. RR was founded in 1986 by Jack Trimpey, a California licensed clinical social worker. Trimpey works in the field of treatment of alcoholism and other drug addictions. He admits to 25 years of "world class alcoholism", from which experience he developed his system of self recovery.
According to this paradigm, the primary force driving an addicts predicament is what Trimpey calls the "addictive voice", which can physiologically be understood as being related to the parts of the human brain that control our core survival functions such as hunger, sex, bowel control.
In essence, the RR method is to first make a commitment to planned, permanent abstinence from the undesirable substance or behavior, and then equip oneself with the mental tools to stick to that commitment.
As time progresses, the recovering addict begins to see the benefits of separating themselves and their rational minds from a bodily impulse that has no regard for for responsibility, success, delayed gratification, or moral obligation.
While nomenclature differs, the methods are similar to those used in Cognitive Therapy of Substance Disorders (Beck, et al.)
The RR program is based on recognizing and defeating what the program refers to as the "addictive voice" (internal thoughts and support self-intoxication) and dissociation from addictive impulses
In his book, Rational Recovery, Trimpey calls the addict's addictive voice "the Beast". He proposes that this is the sole reason why addicts continue their self destructive ways.
Furthermore, by recognizing any feeling, image, urge, etc. that supports drinking/using as "Beast activity", the compulsions will fall silent, and the person can eventually regaincontrol over their life and never worry about relapses.
The notions that internal thoughts support self-intoxication and that the practitioner is in control of the addictive voice have become foundational in "evidence-based" treatment schemes at more progressive substance abuse treatment facilities in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK.
While RR and AA promote abstinence, the programsuse radically different strategies. RR repeatedly make it clear that there is no better time to construct a "big plan" to abstain from drinking/using than now, and that AA's idea of "one day at a time is contradictory to never using again.
*Great emphasis is placed on self-efficacy.
RR has voiced the conscientious objections of tens of thousands of persons who have received unwanted, unconstitutional, religious indoctrinationsin the course of addiction treatment.
RR claims to remain neutral on the subject of religion and sobriety. RR founder Jack Trimpey explains, "....RR is not interested in havingpeople give up any of their religious beliefs; it's just none of our business what people believe about gods and saints.
RR claims that "AVRT has made recovery groups obselete." In 1998, RR announced, "The Recovery Group Movement is Over!...Beginning January 1,1999,,all addiction recovery group meetings for Rational Recovery in the United States, Canada, and abroad are hereby canceled and will not be rescheduled ever again, its just a waste of time and is completely unproductive."
RR claims that "AVRT has made recovery groups obselete." In 1998, RR announced, "The Recovery Group Movement is Over!...Beginning January 1,1999,,all addiction recovery group meetings for Rational Recovery in the United States, Canada, and abroad are hereby canceled and will not be rescheduled everagain, its just a waste of time and is completely unproductive."
In a 1993 research study led by Mark Galanter, a former president of both the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the American Associationof Addiction Psychiatry, attempted to measure the impact of RR on members.
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