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Empower Your Clients with our Guide to LifeRing Secular Recovery

Empowering Your Sober Self: A Comprehensive Guide to LifeRing Secular Recovery


Are you seeking a secular, non-religious approach to addiction recovery? Look no further than LifeRing Secular Recovery (LSR). Founded in 1997, LifeRing is a peer-run organization that provides support and assistance to individuals recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. Unlike traditional 12-Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), LifeRing takes a secular and self-empowering approach to sobriety. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the principles, methodology, and effectiveness of LifeRing Secular Recovery.


The Principles of LifeRing Secular Recovery


LifeRing Secular Recovery is built upon three fundamental principles: sobriety, secularity, and self-empowerment.

Sobriety is the cornerstone of the program, emphasizing abstinence from alcohol and non-medically indicated drugs. Unlike traditional programs, LifeRing allows for medications and medically assisted treatment (MAT) if prescribed by a physician.

Secularity is another critical principle of LifeRing, promoting a non-religious approach to recovery. The organization welcomes individuals of all faiths or none and encourages participants to incorporate ideas from any source they find helpful.

Lastly, self-empowerment is at the core of LifeRing’s philosophy. Members are encouraged to develop their recovery program and support each other on their journey towards sobriety.


The History of LifeRing Secular Recovery


LifeRing Secular Recovery originated in California in 1997 as LifeRing Press, a publishing company separate from its parent organization, Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS).

It was officially incorporated under its present name in 1999 and is no longer affiliated with SOS. Over the years, LifeRing has grown to hold face-to-face meetings in the United States, Canada, and Europe while offering online meetings, chat rooms, and email support groups.

The organization has gained recognition within the addiction recovery community and has been represented at professional conferences and events.


The Methodology of LifeRing Secular Recovery


LifeRing Secular Recovery takes a unique and individualized approach to addiction recovery. The program encourages participants to tailor their recovery plan to their needs and circumstances.

Members can incorporate ideas from any helpful source, including materials from other addiction recovery groups. Whether online or in-person, meetings are run by volunteer peers known as ‘convenors,’ not led by professionals.

During meetings, members are encouraged to share their experiences, offer support, and provide feedback to one another. LifeRing emphasizes the importance of learning from relapses and seeing them as opportunities for growth.

Lifering secular logo from source

Meetings and Support Groups

LifeRing Secular Recovery offers a variety of meeting formats to accommodate different preferences and needs. In-person meetings allow individuals to gather in a small circle and share their experiences.

Online meetings follow a similar format, with the convenor leading the discussion and members participating through video or audio chat. For those who prefer text-based communication, LifeRing also offers text meetings where members can interact through chat.

In addition to meetings, LifeRing provides various email support groups and resources to cater to specific recovery needs.


LifeRing Publications


LifeRing has published several books to support individuals on their recovery journey. “Recovery By Choice: A Workbook” is a self-treatment workbook designed to help individuals create a personalized recovery program.

It includes exercises and prompts to address various aspects of recovery, such as physical health, triggers, and emotional well-being.

Another book, “Empowering Your Sober Self: The LifeRing Approach to Addiction Recovery,” delves into the ethos of LifeRing and provides strategies for achieving sobriety. It includes anecdotal stories from

LifeRing members who have successfully overcome addiction. “How Was Your Week: Bring People Together in Recovery the LifeRing Way – A Convenors’ Handbook” is a guide for meeting convenors, offering practical advice on facilitating meetings and maintaining a secular and supportive environment.


Effectiveness of LifeRing Secular Recovery

Research conducted by the Alcohol Research Group in 2016 found that LifeRing members reported higher levels of satisfaction and cohesion compared to twelve-step participants. Despite lower attendance at face-to-face meetings, LifeRing members experienced a real need to incorporate the LifeRing methodology into existing addiction treatment networks.

However, further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of LifeRing in a professional clinical setting. The anecdotal nature of previous data highlights the need for more extensive studies to establish the program’s efficacy.


Choosing LifeRing Secular Recovery

When considering a peer support program for addiction recovery, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons of different options.

As we know, there are multiple pathways to recovery. At the same time, traditional 12-step programs like AA and NA have been successful for many individuals, but they may not align with everyone’s beliefs and preferences. LifeRing Secular Recovery offers an alternative by providing a secular, self-empowering approach to sobriety.

Surveys have shown that many participants find the program helpful, leading to long-term sobriety. If you are seeking a non-religious recovery program that focuses on individual empowerment, LifeRing may be the right choice for you.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is LifeRing similar to AA or NA?

While LifeRing shares some similarities with AA and NA, such as the emphasis on group support and abstinence, it differs in its secular approach. LifeRing does not require participants to acknowledge powerlessness or surrender to a higher power.


Are LifeRing meetings confidential?


Yes, LifeRing meetings prioritize confidentiality. Participants are expected to keep all conversations within the meetings confidential. However, individuals may discuss their participation with loved ones if it benefits their recovery.


Is LifeRing only for people with Alcohol Use Disorder?

LifeRing welcomes individuals recovering from both alcohol and drug addiction. The program recognizes all addictions as equal and provides support for individuals regardless of their substance of choice.


Can friends and loved ones of people with use disorders attend LifeRing?

Yes, friends and loved ones of individuals in recovery can attend LifeRing meetings as long as they are clean and sober at the time of the meeting. Their presence can provide additional support and understanding.




LifeRing Secular Recovery offers a unique approach to addiction recovery, emphasizing sobriety, secularity, and self-empowerment. With a range of meeting formats and resources, LifeRing provides individuals with the tools they need to tailor their recovery journey to their own needs. While traditional 12-Step programs have been effective for many, LifeRing offers a secular alternative for those seeking a different approach. LifeRing aims to support lasting recovery and personal growth by empowering individuals to take control of their sobriety. If you are ready to embrace a secular and self-empowered path to sobriety, LifeRing Secular Recovery may be the right choice for you.

Additional Information: LifeRing Secular Recovery has been recognized as one of the significant secular alternatives to AA.

Despite its secular and self-empowering approach, the organization has achieved success rates comparable to AA. LifeRing’s methodology has been influenced by cognitive-behavioral therapy and other psychological approaches.


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