top of page

10 PRINCIPLES of Recovery


The 10 Principles of Recovery program is built on evidence-based positive psychology principles and a strengths-based approach to addiction and recovery. The principles in the workbook promote self-efficacy and change through focusing on strengths, the good in life instead of the bad, and solutions instead of problems. Not only do the principles support recovery, but they also enhance well-being and coping skills for everyone.


The ultimate goal of the 10 Principles program is to promote living a flourishing life that is meaningful and in which you function well (psychologically and socially) and feel good (experience positive emotions). This goes beyond traditional ideas of happiness and well-being. A flourishing life is not without hardship or pain but incorporates the perspective that the good outweighs the bad.


These principles promote change by helping the person overcome negative labeling patterns, develop a positive perspective of themselves, and learn coping skills that promote growth. But most importantly, this program supports moving forward with authenticity and honesty and emphasizes the point that individuals do have the power to change their lives. 


Here are the 10 Principles on which the program and workbook are based.



Examine Yourself with Honesty and Responsibility

An important aspect of happiness is accountability and being responsible for yourself and your own

contentment. As you take responsibility for your life, your feelings of empowerment and confidence grow.


“If you believe your happiness is primarily in your own hands, you give yourself enormous power. You don’t wait for events or other people to make you happy. If something is wrong, your response is not,

‘Someone’s got to do something,’ but, ‘What can I do?”’ —Nathaniel Branden



Identify What Gives Your Life Meaning

When you have purpose and meaning in your life, you tend to live consciously and engage in self-acceptance. You understand with more clarity who you are, where you are headed, and why that motivates you. Your identity and self-worth (or who you are) is evident not only to those around you but to yourself.


“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.”—Abraham Maslow



Look for Possibilities and Be Optimistic

Hope is a feeling that things will turn out for the best. When you have hope, you trust and believe that something you want will happen. You set goals, strengthen your tenacity and perseverance to pursue those goals, and believe in your own abilities to act and change your life.


“Optimism generates hope . . . hope releases dreams . . . dreams set goals . . . enthusiasm follows.”

—Martin E.P. Seligman




Be Aware of Who and What Provides Goodness in Your Life and Show Your Thanks

Feeling gratitude keeps you in the moment and prevents you from comparing yourself to others. Gratitude is a reflection of those things that are meaningful and positive in your life, an awareness of those things that engender thankfulness in your heart.


“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” —Melody Beattie



Connect with Your Higher Power

Whatever spirituality means to you, it is critical that you define it. In that process, you discover who you are and connect fully with yourself and your higher power.


“Spirituality is about seeking a meaningful connection with something bigger than yourself, which can result in positive emotions, such as peace, awe, contentment, gratitude, and acceptance.”—Unknown




Live from the Inside Out and Not the Outside In

People want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives and to do this it is imperative to know oneself, unconditionally accept who you are, and do for yourself. Confidence in who you are breeds strength as you define who you are, instead of letting others do that for you.


“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they

do.” —Eleanor Roosevelt




Use Resilience to Overcome Weaknesses, Setbacks, and Obstacles

It takes courage to face challenges and have the desire to go on after trauma has occurred. Our courage and resilience to bounce back and keep going is what defines us.


“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” —Dale Carnegie



Release Yourself from the Past

Forgiveness is something you do for yourself so you can let go of bitterness, anger, and resentment. It promotes self-control. You cannot control the actions of others, but you can control how you feel about and perceive them. Forgiving is a release and a relief.


“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Lewis B. Smeades



Enrich Lives with Your Good Works

Altruism has been found to be associated with increased happiness, a deepened sense of meaning, purpose, gratitude, and improved relationships. As you turn outward to enhance the lives of others, you find more of yourself in the process.


Altruism is innate, but it’s not instinctual. Everybody’s wired for it, but a switch has to be flipped.” 

—David Rakoff



Move Forward with Authenticity and Determination

Living with integrity means living true to yourself and your beliefs with authenticity and honesty. It also means engaging in mental and physical self-care. Bring out the best in yourself by getting plenty of sleep, eating nutritious foods, setting goals, and practicing stress management skills.


“How hurtful it can be to deny one’s true self and live a life of lies just to appease others.” —June Ahern

bottom of page