The 12 Step Model at Smarmore Castle

Rediscover Who You Are

Our residential rehab model incorporates evidence-based therapies, 12 Step philosophy and medical care.

We treat addiction to drugs and alcohol as a primary, chronic illness. Abstinence from these substances is necessary for long-lasting recovery.

Smarmore Castle combines the 12 Step treatment programme, with medically managed detoxification and other evidence-based therapies.

Our addiction treatment model follows the 12 Step philosophy combining medical treatment and other evidence-based psychotherapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy. The 12 Step treatment model is an evidence-based approach, that helps people suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction and gambling addiction and other behavioural addictions.

Background to the Model

The 12 Step treatment model originated after the emergence of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935. It was pioneered at the Hazelden treatment centre in the USA in 1948 and became known as the Minnesota Model. This programme is a self-supporting model that emphasises the importance of peer support and a spiritual component to recovery. It helps people to look deeply at their addiction and examine how it has affected all aspects of their lives.

The 12 Steps address issues of mind, body, emotion and spirit – all of which are integral to the recovery and wellness of the whole person.

Our Programme in Action

We introduce our patients to the 12 Steps from the beginning of treatment through group therapy and reading materials. Patients usually complete the first 5 steps of the 12 Step programme within the residential setting alongside their peers and therapist, according to our core treatment programme. 

At the start of treatment we focus on a thorough and ongoing assessments of all aspects of the patient’s needs. We use a multi-disciplinary approach, with cooperation between our team of counsellors, therapists, doctor, psychiatrist, and nurses, who all work together to come up with the best plan to suit your unique needs.

Our approach involves a combination of 12 Step group therapy and individual specialist groups that target specific areas, for example grief group and trauma group. Individual therapy where you meet with your therapist for a session that involves cognitive behavioural therapy, is an important element of our programme. Family therapy and support are also factored in.

The treatment provides tools and a context for you to learn new ways of living without alcohol and drugs. This type of treatment can be used in both inpatient or outpatient programmes. Our model at Smarmore Castle is inpatient, or residential, rehab. Our sister clinic CATCH Recovery offers outpatient therapy programmes for addiction which are less intensive and can be beneficial for people will less complex needs. Whether you’re in an inpatient or outpatient program, the 12 Steps gives you the tools you need to make lasting changes in your life.

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Learn more about what makes Smarmore Castle a leading private addiction rehab clinic in Ireland.


Our team of specialist addiction therapists bring to Smarmore a range of evidence-based therapies to complement our core treatment programme. We provide medical treatment, psychiatric care and specialised therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), individual therapy, group therapy, trauma therapy, grief therapy, family counselling, and a number of complementary therapies such as equine therapy and drumming therapy.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a global, self-supporting, and nonprofessional organisation of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is composed of people who wish to share their experience, strength, and hope with each other to help recover from alcoholism. Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, two alcoholics who met in Akron, Ohio, in the United States.

The main purpose of AA is to help its members achieve and maintain sobriety from alcohol. The organisation operates on the principle of anonymity, which means that the identities of its members are not revealed to the public. This principle is intended to create a safe and non-judgmental environment where people can share their experiences and feelings without fear of shame or embarrassment.

12 Steps Meetings For The Whole Family

Family involvement is essential to a long and successful recovery. We provide family therapy sessions, or couples therapy, with the patient and their loved one, so that they can examine the impact that addiction has had on their lives and find a way forward for the future.

There are free, local self-help groups available to family members and we encourage participation in Family Al-Anon and Families Anonymous self-help meetings in the home community. These support groups allow families to meet and share their experiences and problems.

Alateen meetings, aimed at teenage relatives and friends of alcoholics, are also recommended as this is a particularly vulnerable and confusing age with which to live with a person suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction or gambling addiction. 

Personalised Treatment

We thoroughly assess each patient in order to build a comprehensive, personalised treatment plan.
  • How to Access Rehab With Health Insurance

    For those experiencing existing mental health conditions in Ireland, there are private medical insurers who can help you cover treatment. As addiction experts, we know that receiving the appropriate care and support when you have a mental health disorder is pivotal to attaining long-lasting recovery. Below, we will go through the various health insurance options to help you understand your options when it comes to seeking private residential care for substance abuse. Please note that there is no guarantee that you can be covered for all addiction problems as policies are always assessed on a case-by-case basis. Find Out More

  • My Loved One Doesn’t Want Help, What Do I Do?

    You can’t force someone to go to rehab. A person must be ready to commit to treatment if they want to get the most out of the programme. However, there are ways in which you can encourage someone to enter rehab, one of these ways is via an intervention with a trained interventionist, who facilitates an honest discussion between family members and the individual. This is something Smarmore Castle can arrange – contact us today.

  • Which Drugs Does Smarmore Castle Detox From?

    We offer detox from any drug, whether they are illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, ketamine; or prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines or zopiclone, oxycodone, zolpidem, klonopin, methadone, cannabis; and legal drugs such as alcohol.

  • How Long Is the Treatment Programme?

    Our treatment programme starts at 4 weeks and is flexible in length, giving you the opportunity to extend for a longer period if you need it.

  • Do You Treat Dual Diagnosis?

    Yes. All patients are reviewed by a consultant psychiatrist in the first week and we can diagnose and provide treatment for a number of co-occurring mental health conditions.

  • Do I Need to Be Abstinent Before Admission?

    Our medically managed detoxification with 24/7 medical cover means that we can perform complete and complex detoxes at Smarmore Castle. You don’t need to be abstinent before arrival.

  • How Do I Get To Rehab Safely?

    Smarmore Castle is one hour north of Dublin international airport, please speak to our advisors if you require collection from an airport.

    We can also arrange a ‘sober transport’ service with a trusted driver, from anywhere in Ireland or Northern Ireland, at an additional cost.

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