Learn to Lead Meetings

Interested in leading SMART Recovery meetings?

We welcome all kinds of volunteers, even individuals who have not had addictive problems. We can almost guarantee that leading a SMART meeting will be one of the most satisfying activities of your week.
SMART has two kinds of meeting leaders, hosts and facilitators. Hosts require less training, and lead a less complex meeting. We provide host training locally for free. Facilitators are trained through the national office (www.smartrecovery.org), for a fee. With advance approval SMART San Diego will reimburse the facilitator training fee once you complete that training.
We hope that you stay involved as a SMART Recovery volunteer for a long time (we ask for a 6 month initial commitment). For your first 3 months please adhere to the scripted meeting format. After 3 months you can discuss with your mentor changes you wish to make. We will support you in developing additional meeting management skills. However, you could also lead a scripted meeting for years.


The San Diego host training involves the following self-paced steps (all times Pacific):


1. Read the volunteer self-screening document (CLICK HERE)
Purpose: To help you understand what this volunteer opportunity requires and involves.
Once you have read this document feel free to ask questions, via the contact information listed in the document, or via our contact page:
You may wait as long as #8 below to contact us. However, if various challenges arise (e.g., you cannot attend meetings at the times listed below), we will need to create alternative actions.


2. Attend 3 SMART meetings, led by 3 different meeting leaders.
Purpose: To show you the diversity of SMART meetings and SMART meeting leaders.
Meetings are listed on the meetings page:
3. Attend the Tuesday 4:00pm online meeting (led by Tom)
Purpose: To review for you the basic information about SMART and SMART meetings.
4. Attend the Tues 5:00pm online meeting (led by Stephanie)
Purpose: To show you a scripted meeting (the kind you will be leading)
NOTE: USE THIS LINK, this meeting is not listed on www.smartrecoverySD.org
At this meeting, during check-in, introduce yourself as someone learning about how to lead a scripted meeting.
5. Read the primary San Diego script and several topic scripts of your choice.
Purpose: To review the scripts you will be using in your scripted meeting.
Optional: Purchase and read the SMART Recovery Handbook, 3rd edition:
or other publications of interest at the national bookstore
6. If needed, read instructions about using Zoom (CLICK HERE)
Purpose: To enhance your comfort with Zoom.
7. Read meeting management instructions (CLICK HERE)
Purpose: To show you exactly what to say in common meeting situations
8. Establish your mentor relationship (if not established already)
Purpose: To provide you a primary point of contact, if you do not already have one.
Contact us here: https://www.smartrecoverysd.org/contact-us/
By reading the mentor checklist for this discussion you will be better prepared (CLICK HERE)
9. Host your first scripted meeting.
Purpose: To provide you actual hosting experience.
Typically this meeting will occur on Thursday at 5pm, and can occur as many times as needed to establish your confidence. Your mentor will prepare you for this experience, and provide the meeting link. The meeting consists of individuals who have worked together for many months, and who are eager to support you in this next step in your training process. Or you can arrange an alternative training experience with your mentor.
10. Establish your own meeting (mentor will guide you through this process)
Purpose: Time to launch!
Primary considerations will be finding a time that is highly convenient to you, and ideally, a time when a meeting is needed. A face-to-face meeting is also an option, and can be discussed with your mentor. We will also address any Zoom issues you are having. We ask that you lead this meeting for at least 6 months, and that you be able to attend most meetings. We will help you arrange a substitute host when you are unable to attend.
11. Communicate with your mentor as needed.
Purpose: To provide you ongoing support during your entire SMART hosting experience.
12. Attend the Tuesday 5:00pm meeting leader consultation group as needed.
Purpose: To provide you additional ongoing support during your entire SMART hosting experience.
Your mentor will provide the link.
13. If you wish to: Develop your meeting management skills and knowledge of the self-empowering approach, in order to lead more complex meetings.
 Purpose: To provide you room to grow.
Options include: attend other meetings to learn from other meeting leaders, read relevant books and articles (consult with your mentor), take the facilitator training, evolve a more complex meeting style for yourself (by becoming better at empathic responses, by learning more relevant SMART information to impart, by including more informal discussion in your meeting, by disclosing a little more about yourself, etc.), write your own topic scripts, and other options. However, you are welcome to lead a scripted meeting as long as you want to.
14. If you wish to: Become more involved in SMART Recovery San Diego.
Purpose: To provide you room to grow.
Options include attending the monthly community development meeting (2nd Saturday, 9:30am, online), attending social events, and other activities.
Welcome aboard!
You are about to make a significant positive impact in your community. On behalf of the individuals and families you will be helping, Thank You!

The SMART San Diego website is sponsored by Practical Recovery

Practical Recovery provides self-empowering (non-12-step) outpatient services in San Diego, including individual, family, and group therapy, and an innovative alternative to residential treatment.

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