Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Recovery International a 12-Step program?
The Recovery International system and self-help groups are not a 12-step program. However, many people attend both Recovery International meetings and 12-step groups. Experience has shown no conflict between the two programs and that they can be used simultaneously.
2. Are Recovery International meetings confidential?
Recovery International meetings are safe places—confidentiality is a strict rule. Those who have attended our self-help support groups sometimes choose to tell their success stories publicly to inform others of Recovery International and to provide motivation and support. Unlike many other groups, anonymity is not part of our process. You will be asked to introduce yourself to the group, but you may decline to give your full name if you choose. You will also be asked for contact information (a phone number and/or email address) so that you can be informed of meeting time/place changes. Again, you may elect not to provide contact information.
3. What if I can’t find a meeting near my home?
Recovery International offers several options for those who are unable to attend in-person meetings:
Participants in telephone meetings and online forums still report a high level of satisfaction and find that they can relate to and develop relationships with fellow attendees in the same manner as face-to-face community meetings.
4. Are Recovery International group leaders mental health professionals?
No. Group leaders are your peers. Leaders have all experienced some degree of difficulty with mental illness or emotional problems and are themselves in the process of regaining control of their lives. They are veteran volunteers who receive ongoing leader training and are authorized annually by the Recovery International board.
5. Do I have to read when it’s my turn?
All participation in meetings is voluntary. We encourage you to participate as soon as you feel ready.
6. How do I learn to give examples?
You will learn primarily from listening to others give their examples, by following the Example Outline sheet and using the Sampling of Tools and Terms. The group leader will help you, when you’re ready, by reading each of the four steps as you give your first example.
7. Can I take notes?
Notes may be taken at any point during the meeting except when examples are being given. This assures the example-giver that no one is writing down the details of the situation being related.
8. Can I talk to someone between meetings?
Ask the group leader for contact information for the person or people in the group who are willing to take “five-minute phone calls.”
9. Where can I get the books?
The main texts for Recovery International, Mental Health Through Will-Training, Manage Your Fears Manage Your Anger, Selections From Dr. Low's Works, and all other books can be purchased online or by calling (886) 221-0302.
10. How many different Recovery International meetings may I attend?
You are welcome to attend any available meetings. You can also attend telephone meetings between face-to-face community meetings.
Click here to find a meeting near you.
11. When can I expect to see results in my own life?
As you attend and participate in meetings, study Low’s books and learn to apply the principles of the Recovery International Method in your daily life, you will begin to see your challenges in a different light. For some people this begins to happen after just a few meetings; for others it can take a few months. At meetings you will see people in different phases of regaining and maintaining their mental health. Some people attend for years after they have regained their mental health because they choose to give back what they have gained through Recovery International and to continue to reinforce what they have learned.
12. May I bring someone with me to the meetings?
Yes, you are welcome to bring supportive family members, friends, or professionals with you to meetings. Generally, meeting participants should be at least 18 years of age.
13. Can I comment on another person's example?
You may comment ("spot") when you've learned one or two simple Recovery International terms. You can learn these terms by visiting the Sampling of Tools page or by reading Low’s books.
14. Why do you use special phrases and words?
The Recovery International language allows you to objectively report and discuss feelings, fears and experiences. These simple expressions (called "spots" or "spotting tools") are easy to learn and help you maintain a sense of security and calmness in your everyday life. All meetings use the same terms and language, which makes it easy to participate in any Recovery International group meeting.
15. Whom do I ask if I have more questions?
If you have questions from a meeting, feel free to approach the group leader before the next group meeting or during mutual aid.
16. How much should I donate during the voluntary contribution period?
Making a contribution during the meeting is completely up to you. All funds collected are used to support the maintenance of the group, outreach efforts, and leader training; a percentage is sent to Recovery International headquarters each month to support projects at the national/international level. Most meetings will suggest a donation of $5, but each meeting participant contributes as they are able. Give what you can; if you aren't able to give anything, that's okay. Please don't let that prevent you from coming!
17. How long will I need to attend weekly meetings?
Because everyone’s situation is different and everyone learns to cope in their own way, the length of time for people to attend varies. At meetings you will see people in different phases of regaining and maintaining their mental health. Some even attend for years after they have regained their mental health because they choose to give back what they have gained through Recovery International.
18. Is religion part of Recovery International meetings?
Religion is not discussed at Recovery International meetings, nor is it a part of the Recovery International system. While many meetings are held in places of worship because they offer meeting space to nonprofit organizations like ours, religion plays no part in our process or in our organization.
19. Is Recovery International a social club?
No, but the last 30 minutes of each meeting is for mutual aid, a time for informal conversation and fellowship. Many friendships develop at Recovery International meetings.
20. Do I have to attend meetings to use the Recovery International system?
Participating in group meetings in the community, over the phone or via the Internet is an important component of learning and practicing the Recovery International system. While the basic principles can be learned through reading Low’s books and learning about the Recovery International system and how to apply it to your life, there is no substitute for participation in a group meeting, where the principles are put into action and support is given and received.