The free secular abstinence LifeRing program is strength based. It works by giving positive reinforcement to abilities that people already have. The process is called “Empowering Your Sober Self.”

LifeRingThe confidential meetings are available on the internet and in-person. In most of the latter, people sit in an informal circle. After opening the meeting, the facilitator asks people about their week. People then take turns talking about their recovery during the past week and what lies ahead next week. People comment and discuss in a relaxed atmosphere. It’s similar to sober friends chatting in a living room. Meetings typically end with a mutual round of applause for staying clean and sober.

The only requirement for participation is a desire to be clean and sober. People are not expected to label themselves as alcoholics or addicts. They are asked not to criticize other treatment approaches. They should not tell long stories about their drinking or drugging past. They should not give unsolicited advice. And, of course, they should not or discuss religion or politics.

Most courts and mandated treatment programs consider and credit program attendance as equivalent to attendance at other mutual support groups.

LifeRing also offers a wide choice of online support options. They include a social network, chat rooms, a forum, and email listservs. Study meetings at which people work through the Recovery by Choice workbook together are also available in some locations.

To learn more visit SLR.


  • Nicolaus, M. Empowering Your Sober Self. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009.
  • Nicolaus, M. How Was Your Week? Oakland, CA: LR Press, 2003.
  • Nicolaus, M. Presenting LifeRing Secular Recovery: A Selection of Readings for Treatment Professionals and Others Interested in an Abstinence Alternative to Twelve-Step Support Groups. Oakland, CA: LR, 2002.
  • A Handbook of Secular Recovery. Oakland, CA: LR, 2000.

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Filed Under: Alcoholism Treatments