Q: What is Celebrate Recovery?

A: The following is a list of things we ARE:

  • A safe place to share
  • A refuge
  • A place of belonging
  • A place to care for others and be cared for
  • Where respect is given to each member where confidentiality is nonnegotiable
  • A place to learn
  • A place to grow and become strong again
  • Where you can take off your mask
  • A place for healthy challenges and healthy risks
  • A possible turning point in your life

The following are things we are NOT:

  • A place for selfish control
  • Therapy
  • A place for secrets
  • A place to look for dating relationships
  • A place to rescue or be rescued by others
  • A place for perfection
  • A long-term commitment
  • A place to judge others
  • A quick fix

Q: How can I find a Celebrate Recovery near me?
A: Celebrate Recovery has a national website telling where groups meet all over Canada: www.celebraterecovery.ca   

Q: Do I have to belong to the same denomination to go to Celebrate Recovery at the church where it is held?
A: No, everyone is welcome at Celebrate Recovery, no matter your denomination. You do not have to belong to a church to come to Celebrate Recovery.

Q: Do I have to be a Christian to attend?
A:  No, all you have to do to qualify is to have a hurt, hang-up, or habit and a desire to get well.

Q: I am not an addict. Why should I attend Celebrate Recovery?
A: Celebrate Recovery is for any kind of struggle in our lives. Less than a third of the people who attend Celebrate Recovery struggle with substance abuse—the rest may come for anger, marriage struggles, adult children on drugs, overeating, you name it! Many of us come because someone in our family is struggling. If a family member is struggling, it is affecting the whole family—and we need support too! Everybody needs recovery!

Q: Do I have to sign up to come to Celebrate Recovery?
A: No, just show up. You are welcome to arrive early if you would like to ask some questions before the group time starts. If not, we have a group that is offered for all first-time attendees. It tells a little about who we are and gives the participants a chance to ask questions.

Q: Are your leaders trained counselors or psychiatrists?
A: No. The group leaders are those who know what it is like to be lost, broken, or hurting. Your leaders have overcome the same issues that you are going through. They now are committed to helping you and others find hope and healing as well.

Q: How long will I need to attend Celebrate Recovery to find healing?
A: Healing from our hurts, hang-ups, and habits is a journey. If we surrender our lives to Christ, He saves us (Principle 3). The twelve steps and the eight principles help us work through the issues we face. For some, the journey lasts a year. For others, the journey can last a lifetime. The length of time depends on the depth of your hurts, hang-ups, and habits. Remember, that your hurts, hang-ups, and habits occurred over a long period of time. They will not go away overnight!

Q: I’ve heard people introduce themselves in a very different way at Celebrate Recovery than at most secular programs. Why is that?
A: In Celebrate Recovery, you will hear folks introduce them-selves like this: “My name is _______ and I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I struggle with ___________________.”

We do this in order to emphasize that though we do still struggle with hurts, hang-ups, and habits; our identity is in our relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the one and only true Higher Power.

Q: How do I know which group to go to?
A: Upon your first visit to Celebrate Recovery, it is highly recom­mended that you attend the ministry’s Newcomer 101 group in order to get an overview of the program and an orientation to what groups are available.

Q:  Is it okay for me to be in the same small group as a family member?
A: No, we feel that it is easier to be in a separate group so that you can feel safe to share more deeply. Sometimes we hold back when our family members are with us.

Q: Is it okay for me to take notes?
A: It is okay to take notes during the large group portion. We do, however, ask that during open share group you refrain from bringing out any note-taking materials, because it is distract­ing to others.

Q: Why do I have to go to the large group? Can’t we just go to an open share meeting and eliminate all of the singing and lessons and testimonies? What’s the point of all that stuff?
A: The Celebrate Recovery large group time is structured to pro­vide a starting place for the night. This time allows us to start the process of clearing our minds and preparing our hearts for the message or testimony that will be delivered that evening. It also gives us a time to connect with others before going into the small groups.

Q: What if I want to leave after the large group?
A: You are certainly welcome to do so—we will not hold you captive! However, it is important for you to know that this recovery process is much like baking a cake. If you leave one of the ingredients out of the recipe, it just won’t taste the same. In the same way, in recovery there is a reason we have the three ongoing groups to the Celebrate Recovery process. We encourage everyone to jump in with both feet. Many people will say that they just don’t have time to do all three components—the large group, the open share group, and the step study group. As a wise accountability partner once told me, “We need to spend as much time on our recovery as we have on our junk.” Those who work the process by doing the proven three groups really see much more significant and longstanding growth. It truly does work if you work it and won’t if you don’t.

Q: What is the purpose for separate men’s and women’s groups? Why can’t we have co-ed groups?
A: The purpose for Celebrate Recovery having gender-specific groups is that it provides another opportunity to have a safe place to share. Separate groups allow men to be open in their groups and speak freely about their issues, and the same for women. It also protects the groups from being a place for people who are looking to impress the opposite gender dur­ing their sharing by embellishing their story. And there are some people who are not comfortable talking in front of the opposite gender and will shut down and not share at all. It also eliminates a “dating” scene from developing within the groups.

Q: Why don’t you have a group for all the struggles listed in the pamplets?
A: Celebrate Recovery takes the role of leadership very seriously. Newcomers to recovery can be very vulnerable, and it is important that those leading the groups have walked through the process and found healing for themselves first. Therefore, the open share groups that are offered at an individual church will reflect the recovery journeys of the local leadership. All programs will offer a men’s and women’s group. The principles of recovery are the same for all issues, and participants can find support and help for their issue in any group. As the leadership of the program grows, more groups covering more specific recovery issues can be offered.

Q: How do I keep my attendance a secret from the rest of my family? I don’t want them to know I have a problem.
A: Celebrate Recovery is a safe place to share your hurts, hang-ups, and habits because we follow five simple small group guidelines. They make the ministry safe. We honor confidentiality and anonymity. We don’t tell others who attends Celebrate Recovery or who is in our groups. Everything that is shared in the groups stays there. Celebrate Recovery is a safe place to share our struggles.

Q: Can I still go to my other secular recovery meeting if I attend Celebrate Recovery?
A: This is completely up to you. Attendance at Celebrate Recovery is a personal choice, just like attendance at any other program.

Q: Is Celebrate Recovery court-mandated approved?
A: We have found nationwide that many local courts recognize Celebrate Recovery as a proven and effective 12 Step program for alcohol- and drug-related mandates. However, we strongly suggest that you confirm with your local court to ensure that they approve Celebrate Recovery.

Q: What exactly does “codependency” mean?
A: Generally speaking, being “codependent” means that I value someone else’s happiness and situation over my own. If I constantly make excuses for a loved one’s behavior and not allow them to experience the consequences of their actions, I am operating in a state of “codependency.” This term can some-times be confused with “acting Christian,” but in Celebrate Recovery we learn how to love others as Christ loves us and allow others to live their lives with their own choices. We learn what it means to have boundary lines that foster healthy relationships.

Q: What do I do if my spouse or someone close to me relapses?
A: The great thing about Celebrate Recovery is that we are taught that we must first work on our own recovery. The hard thing to realize is that we are no good to anyone who is struggling if our recovery is not solid. We need to be supportive of our spouses and encourage them through their recovery, but we cannot fix them. Only as their relationship with God gets stronger will they be able to avoid relapse. When you come and learn all of the necessary tools of Celebrate Recovery, then you can be an example to your spouse that the program works. It can work for them too.

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