Addiction Recovery Program and Treatment

Frequency: weekly (open group)

Suits: People who are now abstinent and recovering from drug, alcohol, gambling or other addiction

Goal: To increase the participant’s sense of control over their addiction and their life.

Overview: The addictions outpatient group program is designed to support people who have made a decision to work towards an addiction free life. This group provides a safe and encouraging environment which allows participants to learn new skills, problem solve challenges and increase understanding of their addiction. The program is skills based, integrating cognitive behavioural relapse prevention skills with mindfulness practices to increase each individual’s ability to cope with life drug/alcohol free. The focus of each session is to increase awareness of triggers and automatic reactions developing a greater sense of choice as to how to respond to situations without substance use.

Costs:The cost of this program is dependent on the type and level of health fund cover.

For more information about the outpatient addiction recovery program call 1300 122 144.

Addiction Treatment

The Hills Clinic offers a range of group and individual addiction treatment programs to help people who wish to recover from an addiction. The program offers patients the support and skills to prevent relapse. Based on the latest evidence, treatment programs are delivered by enthusiastic and non-judgmental clinicians with expertise in the field.

The Hills Clinic is unique in its approach to treating addiction as we take into consideration each individual’s personal needs, addressing addiction related co-morbidity and providing a high level of continuity of care throughout the program.

The addiction treatment program has five components offering comprehensive support for those struggling with addictions.

  • Inpatient Program
  • Weekly Smart Recovery Group
  • 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 continues to enable their addiction to control their life.

SMART Recovery®

SM 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

  • SMART Recovery does not use the disease model.
  • Teaches practical tools and techniques for self-directed change.
  • Encourages individuals to recover and live healthy satisfying lives.
  • Meetings include open and interactive discussions and can be educational.
  • Works on addictions/compulsions/dependence as complex maladaptive behaviours.
  • Advocates the appropriate use of prescribed medications and psychological treatments, such as anti-depressants, Methadone, Buprenorphine.

4-Point Program

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

The SMART Recovery program is comprised of 4 key points.

  • Building and Maintaining Motivation
  • Coping with Urges
  • Problem Solving
  • 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 clients attachment style and ways of relating in the 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 practice 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, a focus on the client’s perception of issues, and a collaborative approach to counseling.

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.