National Recovery Month: The 3 Skills You Need to Recover Successfully

addiction recovery

Jason Batten, LPC, ALPS, AADC, MLADCAs we go into National Addiction Recovery Month, we have an opportunity to reflect on where we are as a nation with regards to helping people access recovery. Are we doing an effective job? Are people able to find addiction recovery solutions with ease? I think the overall answer to both of those questions is a resounding yes.

While drug use is more prevalent than it has ever been, so is access to quality and effective treatment and recovery support. We also know a lot more about what evidence-based techniques help people improve their health and wellness with regards to addiction and mental health problems than we used to.

What Does the Research Show?

Psychology Today recently reported on one groundbreaking and recent research study that analyzed nearly 55,000 published scientific experiments to determine what works in psychotherapy (Hayes, 2022), known as a systematic review.1 The review showed that psychological flexibility, the primary model of treatment used at kathy ireland® Recovery Centers, was the single most important and well-researched set of skills to help people achieve wellness and recovery. “Psychological flexibility refers to an individual’s ability to cope with, accept, and adjust to difficult situation,” according to ScienceDirect.2 We are very proud to be offering cutting-edge behavioral health treatment at our kathy ireland® Recovery Centers locations.

What Skills Make Up Psychological Flexibility?

So, in honor of National Addiction Recovery Month, we would like to point you to three positive mental health skill sets that are proven to help people achieve psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility is made up of three skills: openness, awareness, active engagement in life.

  1. Openness refers to the willingness to experience what life brings. This is a crucial skill in recovery because as the 12-step philosophy reminds us, we have to live life on life’s terms. Most all of our spiritual and religious traditions in the world remind us that life brings pain in addition to joy. In our journey of recovery, our ability to navigate the challenges of life is often directly proportional to our ability to open up to those challenges and to face them with willingness.
  2. Awareness refers to our ability to keep our minds focused on the moment. Distraction, daydreaming, and fantasy can all be helpful skills in their proper place. However, if we are continually allowing our minds to focus on a past that cannot be changed, or a future that cannot be known, we are increasing our own suffering. Paying attention to right now—also known as being in the present—can be a great recovery skill.
  3. Active engagement in life means not just being open to what life brings, or aware of the present moment, but fully participating in our own lives. Active engagement is characterized by knowing what matters to you and choosing to commit to a life in pursuit of those things. It is the action associated with the philosophy that life may at times be painful, but it is also full of deep meaning.

The clinical team at kathy ireland® Recovery Centers is always here to help you incorporate more openness, awareness, active engagement and inspire an abundance of life into your personal recovery.

All of these skills work together. Working on these skills in the context of a professional relationship with a counselor or other health and social service professional can really make a difference when building your personal path to success.

Are you ready to start your personal journey to addiction recovery? Learn more about Our Approach here and get started in changing your life today.

Mental Health References

1. Hayes, S. (2022, August 13). The Most Important Skill Set in Mental Health. Retrieved from

2. Psychological Flexibility. (n.d.) Science Direct. Retrieved from