Resilient Recovery

/Resilient Recovery
Resilient Recovery2017-03-14T17:40:12+00:00


Resilient Recovery Program

Resilient Recovery is a Relapse Prevention Program grounded in scientific research. It is innovative because it raises levels of self-compassion in its participants as a way of buttressing relapse prevention skills. It uses a combination of research-based approaches, including Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP), and Cognitive Behavioral Relapse Prevention.

Preliminary research by Dr. Cynthia Phelps reveals that lack of self compassion is correlated with high risk for Alcohol and Substance Use Disorders. Her hypothesis is that self compassion is a characteristic and set of skills that allow a person to better cope with suffering, thereby lowering addiction risk. Self-Compassion research has shown correlations between lack of self-compassion and depression, stress and anxiety, known risk factors for relapse.

Self-Compassion mitigates known risks for relapse. People with high levels of self-compassion tend to be able to make and sustain health behavior changes, such as quitting an addictive behavior. They tend to have better interpersonal relationships leading to less isolation, and tend to be more productive and happier.

Resilient Recovery can be part of an inpatient recovery program, but it was specifically designed for Continuing Care (Aftercare).


Who is this for?

  • Forward thinking Addiction Treatment Centers
  • Evidence-Based Addiction Recovery Programs
  • Faith-Based Addiction Recovery Groups
  • Community-Based Recovery Programs





What is the Format?

Resilient Recovery Continuing Care Program is a 10 session course that can be scheduled weekly for 10 weeks or biweekly for 5 weeks.

Each session roughly follows this format:

  • Opening Reflection
  • Story-based Activity
  • Informal Exercise for Coping
  • Relapse Prevention Skill Building
  • Closing Meditation

Each session is followed by home exploration, where participants put what they have learned into practice over the week. A part of what makes this course successful is establishing a daily practice for yourself that will extend beyond the time of the course.

We Don’t Meditate!

Don’t worry! The core content of this program does not endorse any particular religion. Meditation is used as a tool to help people in recovery learn and practice self-compassion. The program is appropriate for people who have had no experience meditating and also those who have a regular practice. Upon request, it can be modified to align with any faith-based recovery program.


Self compassion, Life coach, Addiction Recovery, Physician Burnout, Compassion fatigue, Job stress, Exhaustion, Self help, Health professional, TED Speaker, Emotional Fitness

Cynthia L. Phelps, PhD

110 East Houston | 7th Floor
San Antonio, Texas 78205

Schedule a free 30 minute Session to learn more about the Resilient Recovery Continuing Care Program and how to bring it to your organization.

What Can We Expect?

We begin the Resilient Recovery Program by creating a community that is kind and supportive to nurture growth and learning. Each Module is 2-2.5 hours in length, and has student materials, and at home explorations.

Module 1 – Introduction

Purpose: To introduce the concept of self-compassion and how it relates to relapse. To introduce coping tools, practices to build recovery capital, and the concept of InnerAllies.

Module 2 – Mindfulness

Purpose: To introduce the concept of mindfulness, the first step towards self-compassion. To contrast mindfulness with autopilot and habit loops and their role in addiction.

Module 3 – Self- Kindness

Purpose: To explore ways of practicing self-kindness, so they can be used during times of suffering, helping participants to lower relapse risk.

Module 4 – Forgiveness of Self

Purpose: To explore the connection between shame and relapse risk, and provide self-compassion and self-forgiveness tools to reduce shame.

Module 5 – Meeting Cravings

Purpose: To help participants recognize the suffering of a craving and respond to it with self-compassionate tools.

Module 6 – Meeting Strong Emotions

Purpose: To be mindful of the suffering caused by strong emotions and to use tools to meet them with compassion, lowering risk for relapse.

Module 7- Meeting Difficult Thoughts

Purpose: To explore how thoughts elicit emotions that can trigger habit loops that may leads to relapse. To use tools to create compassionate and supportive thoughts.

Module 8 – Relationships

Purpose: To explore how the presence of difficult relationships and absence of healthy relationships increases relapse risk. To provide tools for managing difficult relationships and nurturing healthy relationships.

Module 9 – Forgiveness of Others

Purpose: To help participants use self-compassion to recognize resentments and to use the process of internal forgiveness of the other person as a way of reducing relapse risk.

Module 10 – Lapse Management

Purpose: To reduce the shame surrounding a lapse, in order to reduce the risk for relapse.

Module 11 – Self-Care

Purpose: To identify self-care as a self- compassionate act, and to provide self-care planning tools to help participants increase recovery capital.

Module 12 – New Way of Living

Purpose: To recognize that the tools and practices of self-compassion help participants create a supportive relationship with themselves that lowers relapse risk and improves their life in a fundamental way.

How Much Does it Cost?

If you want to bring the Resilient Recovery Continuing Care Program to your Treatment Center or Community Group, contact Dr Cynthia Phelps to coordinate. Cost varies on a sliding scale based on location and number of participants.


Mindful Self-Compassion Credentials

Dr. Phelps completed the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) teacher training program in 2015 in Garrison NY.

MSC is a program created by Dr. Kristin Neff and is effective at raising people’s levels of Self-Compassion. Self Compassion is critical for behavior change, as research shows that people who are able to treat themselves kindly are more motivated to change, and better able to sustain long-term changes.

Certified Peer Recovery Coach

Dr. Phelps has completed the State of Texas Peer Recovery Coaching training program. Peer Recovery Coaching is a process that helps people to remove barriers to their own recovery. It follows a “Many Paths” philosophy, meaning there are many paths to recovery, not just one right path. As Peer Recovery Coach is able to use their own recovery story as a way to help the person being coached, which is different that a therapist/client relationship which must remain at a distance. Dr. Phelps does Peer Recovery Coaching under the guidance of De Anna Melendez, LCDC and also as a volunteer for the San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.