SMART Recovery® Podcast

SMART Recovery® Podcast

SMART Recovery® Podcast, a library of talks on addiction from the leading self-empowering peer support recovery group in the world. Enjoy entertaining, thought-provoking discussion with experts in the field of science-based addiction treatment and recovery. SMART Recovery provides services for those overcoming addictions of all types.


January 12, 2022 36 min

Dr. Joe Gerstein is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and Founder of SMART Recovery. He is also a retired Harvard University professor and lectures at addiction symposiums. Joe introduced SMART to the world and has facilitated over 3,000 meetings.  His passion and motivation for helping others is still going strong after 50+ years. Joe shares some of his thoughts and perspectives and being for staying motivated in ...

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Dave Johnson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Fletcher Group, based in London, Kentucky. His background in social work, healthcare, and academia led him to starting Fletcher Group with the help of Ernie Fletcher, the former Governor of Kentucky. A recent grant connected them to SMART Recovery with the Rural Centers of Excellence Initiative


In this podcast, Dave talks about:

  • His journey from Big Sky country to the Motor Cit...
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    November 18, 2021 30 min

    From growing up in small-town Iowa to becoming a military police officer Army Reservist, Holly Paulsen has seen and experienced much in her life. It wasn’t until she woke up still drunk after a night of drinking, that she decided to make changes in her life. Today, she is living her best life and helping other veterans get the help and resources they deserve.

    In this podcast, Holly talks about:

  • Following in her brother’s footsteps ...
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    November 1, 2021 27 min

    Dr. Sarah Zemore is a Senior Scientist at the Alcohol Research Group in Emeryville, California, and the Principal Investigator of the Peer Alternatives for Addiction 2 (PAL2) Study. This is the second phase in the study which focuses on the benefits of mutual help groups in recovery. 

    In this podcast, Sarah talks about:

  • Her background in social psychology, then becoming interested in the addiction recovery process
  • Previous studies b...
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    September 7, 2021 32 min

    Sarah Levin is the founder of Secular Strategies.  She is also a lobbyist and coalition builder.  Sarah has made it her life’s work to fight for legislation protecting secular points of view.  

    Gerardo (Gee) Matamoros is president of the SMART NYC Board, and self-described newfound activist.  He is impacting his community through his passion and dedication to ensuring SMART is an option for everyone in recovery. 

    In this podc...

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    August 23, 2021 31 min

    Dave Jansa is a SMART Facilitator in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and someone with lived experience with the Family & Friends program.  He also serves on the board of Face it Together (FIT), whose mission is to solve the nation’s greatest health challenge drug and alcohol addiction. 

    In this podcast, Dave talks about:

  • Resolving his struggles with addictive behaviors on his own and by observing what others were going through as gu...
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    August 12, 2021 32 min

    Since 2016, Lorie Hammerstorm has been the lead onsite trainer for SMART.  She also facilitates the teen and young adult meetings.  Her passion for working with teens and young adults is evident in the hundreds of people she has helped in their recovery journey. 

    Rae Grady is an onsite trainer and Family & Friends facilitator, who has been with SMART since 2019.  Her prior experience working with adolescents as a guidance coun...

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    July 14, 2021 38 min

    Chuck Novak’s life hasn’t always been easy.  A substance use problem led to five years in prison.  While incarcerated, Chuck decided to use his time to change his life for the better.  He earned a paralegal certificate and started on a path to recovery.  Today, Chuck is a Master Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor and a SMART Recovery Regional Coordinator in New Hampshire. 


    In this podcast, Chuck talks about:

  • His experiences with...
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    July 13, 2021 36 min

    Barry Grant’s experiences being incarcerated over 20 years ago changed and shaped his future forever.  Today, Barry is the owner of S.A.F.E Counseling Services, Director of Outpatient Services at Hope House, and SMART board member.  His tireless championing of the SMART program has helped countless people in their recovery journey. 

    In this podcast, Barry talks about:

  • His history of being incarcerated and finding SMART while in pr...
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    June 18, 2021 42 min

    Matt Frank has been a SMART Facilitator for over seven years.  His uses his experience and LGBTQ+ perspectives to shape the tools and conversations to be most effective for his meeting participants. 

    In this podcast, Matt talks about:

  • How pride can be a problem emotion
  • SMART discourages using labels
  • Practicing recovery actively
  • Focusing on behavior versus identity
  • The difference between self-esteem and self-acceptance
  • Using Motiva...
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    Brett Saarela’s personal and professional experience led her to find her passion in helping older adults with mental health and addiction issues.  She is a licensed clinical social worker in New York and has devoted her time and efforts to ensuring the older population is seen and treated properly.  Brett is the Vice President of the SMART Recovery Board of Directors and serves on the SMART International Board of Directors. 

    In thi...

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    Mike Massey has been facilitating SMART Recovery Online (SROL) meetings since 2013.  His professional experience as a former teacher and union leader, as well as his personal experience with substance use, gave him the skills and abilities to help meeting participants.  When many of the participants said they also were dealing with a mental health disorder, he struggled with how best to help them and decided there needed to be a re...

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    Bill Greer came up through the ranks of SMART Recovery. He started as a participant in 2012, then became a facilitator, then Regional Coordinator, and joined the Board of Directors in 2017. He is currently the President of the Board. As SMART releases its 2021-2022 Strategic Plan to the community, he knows the importance of implementing goals that will shape SMART’s future.   

    In this podcast, Bill talks about:

  • The 2021-2022 Strat...
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    March 18, 2021 40 min

    Eboni Jewel Sears’s life has been full of unique and interesting experiences and opportunities.  Growing up, her military family moved throughout the country; today Las Vegas, Nevada, is home. Her professional journey has taken her from being a Navy Seabee to a long-haul truck driver to currently a peer recovery support specialist at the Alternative Peer Group Las Vegas.  It’s here that she counsels teens in recovery using the SMA...

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    February 22, 2021 47 min

    Henry Steinberger, of Madison, Wisconsin, is a long-time, trusted advisor and facilitator for SMART.  His extensive educational credentials and background have been invaluable in shaping SMART Recovery into the organization it is today. 

    In this podcast, Henry talks about:

  • Working with Albert Ellis
  • The fork in the road with Jack Trimpy
  • The psychology of understanding why people “are so messed up”
  • Discovering SMART and serving on the B...
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    January 6, 2021 33 min

    Dr. Reid Hester is a psychologist and researcher.  He is the founder and director of the science division of Checkup & Choices.  Reid’s extensive research in alcohol abuse has led to professional opportunities and collaborations with many experts in the field.  One long-standing partnership has been with SMART Recovery

    In this podcast, Reid talks about:

  • His educational background and path to earning a doctorate in psychology
  • M...
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    December 21, 2020 49 min

    Shawn Fisk is an addiction treatment counselor in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  His lived personal and professional experiences have led him to challenge cognitive discrepancies and chart a new path for his and his clients’ lives.   

    In this podcast, Shawn talks about:

  • The privilege of working at Serenity House, an intensive, in-house men’s recovery home
  • Giving the residents the opportunity to model and practice new skills to replace ol...
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    Stacey McKeever is a librarian in southern California.  Her lifelong struggle with food addiction has led her to use SMART Recovery as one pathway to maintaining balance in her life.   

    In this podcast, Stacey talks about:

  • How she was a librarian even before she earned her degree 
  • Being put on diet pills at eight years old 
  • Using food to cope with her feelings 
  • Finding out she had a food addiction  Her inability to feel space o...
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    November 9, 2020 26 min

    Les Waite is a veteran and a clinical psychologist at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany, New York.  His struggles with addiction lead him to SMART Recovery.  Now, he uses the SMART tools daily in his practice for veterans.   


    In this podcast, Les talks about: 

  • His educational resume that includes learning the teachings of Alfred Adler 
  • Serving in the military during the first Gulf War 
  • Seeing his comrades co...
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    November 3, 2020 26 min

    Nick Goodwin is a SMART Recovery facilitator and co-chair of the new Veterans and First Responders meeting starting on November 10th.  He is a former Infantry Officer, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. 

    In this podcast, Nick talks about:
  • What led him to join the military
  • His commission in the Marines
  • What triggered his alcohol use disorder
  • Finding SMART Recovery through the Veterans Addiction Recovery Center
  • Why military veterans gravitate t...
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