Mar 26, 2013
Welcome to the latest podcast from SMART Recovery. What is unconditional acceptance of self, others, and life? How can I accept unpleasant people and situations that I strongly dislike? Why should I, and is that even possible? What is the role of unconditional acceptance in addiction recovery?
Unconditional Acceptance of Self (USA), others, and life, is a core principle taught by SMART Recovery and is based on Dr. Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). In Dr. Ellis’s words:
“Emotionally healthy human beings develop an acceptance of reality, even when reality is highly unfortunate and unpleasant. REBT therapists strive to help their clients develop three types of acceptance: (1) unconditional self-acceptance; (2) unconditional other-acceptance; and (3) unconditional life-acceptance.” ~ REBT Network
People often measure “worth,” by looking at accomplishments or mistakes. REBT suggests these are artificial, false, and potentially harmful constructs. In the words of Vince Fox:
“Your worth is intrinsic to you as a human being distinguished from all other forms of life. You can neither increase nor diminish your worth. Among humans, you are not just special-you are unique. Please don’t concern yourself about self-esteem and self-love. Those ideas involve rating, measuring (comparing to others), and judging. Just accept yourself for what you are, a diamond in the rough. (But polish it once in a while.”)
Tom Horvath, Ph.D., a California licensed and board certified clinical psychologist (ABPP), has been President of SMART Recovery® for over a decade. He is the founder and president of Practical Recovery, a self-empowering addiction treatment system in San Diego. He is past president of the American Psychological Association’s Society on Addiction Psychology (Division 50), the world’s largest organization of addiction psychologists. He is the author of Sex, Drugs, Gambling & Chocolate: A Workbook for Overcoming Addictions (listed by the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies as a “Self-Help Book of Merit”).