Rational RecoveryA unique and controversial alcoholism treatment program devised by Jack Trimpey
"Addiction recovery is secure, permanent abstinence. Nothing else. No issues, no shrinks, no groups, no rehabs. You just quit, then learn the ability to stick to that decision under all conditions."
So writes Jack Trimpey, the founder of Rational Recovery, a for-profit company unique in the world of addiction recovery
He came up with his theories and his program after successfully ending 25 years of what he calls “world class alcoholism”.
Trimpey's system is considered by many to be the antithesis of Alcoholic's Anonymous as the two philosophies combat alcoholism from widely different viewpoints.
Trimpey's system includes a website, books, videos and lectures.
No Meetings and No Treatment Centers
While in the early years, group meetings were a component, they were discontinued in the late 90s and there are no meetings in Jack Trimpey's program today.
The basis of the system is on the belief that alcoholism is definitely not a disease and that the entire concept is harmful to those attempting to stop drinking.
Trimpey insists on his system not being involved in the social service system whatsoever and does not allow his AVRT (Addictive Voice Recognition Technique) to be used by professional alcohol rehab specialists.
AVRT focuses on individual recovery and Trimpey feels it would be “diluted as an adjunct to any other recovery methodology or treatment”.
The Heart of Rational Recovery AVRT
The core of the program is AVRT, a course based on the structural model of addiction. The training exercises are supposed to give you everything you need to overcome addiction through strengthening your own willpower.
One of the most radical things taught in this program, compared to other alcohol and alcohol addiction recovery programs, is that if you don't think you have a problem, then you're not an addict and therefore have no real need for sobriety.
The AVRT training starts by personifying your Addictive Voice or “the Beast” as Trimpey calls it.
Your Addictive Voice (AV) is the one that wants to keep drinking, not you. So any thoughts of wanting or craving alcohol or experiencing pleasure at the thought of drinking is your AV talking, not you.
According to Trimpey, addiction is a function of a normal, healthy human being, not a a disease. In fact, he teaches that there are no causes of alcoholism or contributing factors other than your desire to drink.
Criticisms Of Rational Recovery
"The Class", as Trimpey calls it, is a prerequisite for those wishing to recover from alcoholism using this method. There are, however, two major obstacles for those wishing to do so:
There is only one place where "The Class" takes place, Northern California.
On top of this, as mentioned above, there is a 500 dollar non-refundable deposit that needs to be paid prior to attending the workshop
So Rational Recovery requires travel, money and, as all recovery options do, commitment. Many addicts find it hard enough to scrape enough willpower together to get to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings, SMART meetings and the like. Add the other two factors (travel and cost) into the mix and you are greatly narrowing down the number of people who can access this method.
Perhaps in recognition of the criticisms leveled at his method, Trimpey has now made his program available on DVD. This eliminates the need to travel to "The Class". Called AVRT-Live it contains all the information you need to recover from alcoholism; the downside....it costs 449 dollars. It may seem a lot, however, it pales into insignificance when compared to the cost of an in-patient rehab program.
Rational Recovery seems to work for many people, particularly those who have tried AA and not found it effective. There are many testimonials from people who have recovered from alcoholism using Trimpey's method.
It could be argued that the reason Trimpey has more success than AA and its ilk is that his program requires more initial commitment. If you travel a long distance to get somewhere and you have pay for it; you're more likely to stick at it.
While Trimpey's program has helped many people to find sobriety, the company has also made enemies along the way.
Due to the strong language Trimpey uses on his website and his rejection of all other methods of alcohol addiction recovery, other agencies are not fond of him or his system.
This does not mean his system does not work, on the contrary, it has a statistically better success rate than Alcoholics Anonymous.
Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction is the definitive guide to Rational Recovery written by Jack Trimpey himself. In the book he outlines his journey to sobriety and presents his aggressive and effective self-help program. Invaluable for those looking for an AA alternative.
If you or someone close to you wants help and advice on quitting drinking then take a look at the following pages:
Deborah Morrow, M.S. Addiction Psychology, is the director of treatment programs for The Alcoholism Guide website. In her practice, Deborah provides on-line coaching and support for those dependent on alcohol or who require other services such as relapse prevention or court mandated services. (Read More)