Addiction Program

The Hills Clinic Addiction Program

Our Phoenix program has 5 components offering a comprehensive support for those struggling with addictions.

  • Addiction Therapy Inpatient Program
  • Step down Day Patient Program
  • Individual Therapy

The basis of all the programs is cognitive behavioural therapy and it runs parallel with the Smart Recovery Program. Patients are empowered to gain control of their addictions and correct errors that continue to enable their addiction to control their life.

SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery is the leading self-empowering addiction recovery support group. Patients learn tools for addiction recovery based on the latest scientific research and participate in a world-wide community which includes free, self-empowering, secular and science-based, mutual-help support groups.

SMART Recovery helps people recover from all types of addiction and addictive behaviours including alcoholism, drug abuse, drug addiction, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, gambling addiction, cocaine addiction and addiction to other substances and activities. SMART Recovery currently sponsors more than 600 face-to-face meetings around the world and 18+ online meetings per week. In addition, our online message board is an excellent forum to learn about SMART Recovery and obtain addiction recovery support.

SMART Recovery teaches self-empowerment and self-reliance.

1. SMART Recovery does not use the disease model.

2. Teaches practical tools and techniques for self-directed change.

3, Encourages individuals to recover and live healthy, satisfying lives.

4. Meetings include open and interactive discussions and can be educational.

5. Works on addictions/compulsions/dependence as complex maladaptive behaviours.

6. Advocates the appropriate use of prescribed medications and psychological treatments such as antidepressants, Methadone, Buprenorphine.

SMART’s 4-Point Program

SMART Recovery is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). The program helps people to understand, manage and change their irrational thoughts and actions.

The SMART Recovery program comprises four key points.

1. Building and Maintaining Motivation

2. Coping with Urges

3. Problem Solving

4. Lifestyle Balance

The Hills Clinic Addiction Program Treatment Principles

Cognitive Behavioural Framework

Similar to other cognitive behavioural approaches, this program is based on social learning principles. It conceptualises the client’s drug taking behaviours as learned maladaptive coping strategies related to major difficulties in their lives. People with addictive behaviours often present with co-morbid mental health issues, a fragile and unstable sense of self, health problems and chaos in their relationships due to their substance use/gambling/impulsive behaviour.
The aim of treatment is to overcome these deficits through skills training in identified areas. Skills are built through examining underlying beliefs and thoughts and teaching specific cognitive and behavioural techniques for managing difficult situations. Skills building attempts to reduce the pressure/stress on the client and increase the client’s sense of control over their addiction and their life.


Mindfulness meditation is a core part of our treatment program and underlies the application of most skills and strategies. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of mindfulness practice in reducing impulsiveness, improving concentration and attention, reducing stress and improving immune function.
Most importantly, for people with addiction, mindfulness has the quality of helping to notice thoughts and urges without reacting to them in destructive ways (such as substance abuse).

Interpersonal approach

By the time individuals reach substance abuse treatment, their relationships are generally in turmoil. Our program aims at teaching clients interpersonal skills to manage triggers and reduce stress. Building and repairing relationships is an important part of this treatment program and exploration of the client’s attachment style and ways of relating in groups are focused upon to increase insight and awareness and allow the development of new interpersonal skills. Group programs also provide an excellent environment for participants to practise interpersonal skills and different ways of relating to others.

Respect for the client

An empathic/non-judgmental attitude is held by the therapist in order to foster engagement and establish a working therapeutic relationship in which the client feels respected and understood. The clinician communicates respect for the client and supports the person’s self-worth and sense of competence.
Strategies used to foster an empathic, respectful approach include reflective listening, focusing on the client’ s perception of issues and taking a collaborative approach to counselling.

Strengths based approach

The program takes a strengths-based approach by reinforcing and building upon client’s strengths and resources for change. This is facilitated by assisting clients to recall past successful strategies at coping with difficult situations and commenting on the client’s strengths and successes.

Motivational approach

Clinicians utilise general strategies that enhance motivation for behavioural change. These include pointing out client’s self responsibility for actions.  “This is really for you to decide. Nobody can make that decision for you.”

Eliciting motivational statements
“What made you realise that you had a problem? How do you know you are ready for taking this step?”

Exploring ambivalences
“Your drug use worked for you as a way of avoiding conflict in your relationship but it makes you both extremely uncomfortable.”

Rolling with resistance
“You want to continue drinking because it relaxes you.”