The Recovery Map

The Recovery Map 2017-05-19T09:01:27+00:00


The recovery map is the last exercise of the client’s treatment. It helps the clients to get a clear view of their new recovery life, what the client is going to do, plans and commitments etc. Also about their personal triggers and slippery behaviour, that will lead the client back to the addiction.

Clients fill in their bottom lines in the center of the recovery map. Bottom lines are the things they cannot go back to, i.e. alcohol, medication, heroin and/or cocaine. They also write down their cleandate at the bottom of the bottom lines.

After the bottom lines the focus is on the outer part of the recovery map, the four corners about health and lifestyle, work and education, relationships and their recovery. It is important that clients honestly describe what they are going to do after treatment, and not make a ‘wish list’.

A few examples:

  • Health / LifestyleYoga 3 times per week, biking to work at least 2 times per week, healthy cooking
  • Work / Education – Back to the old job, start a study, applying for new job, enroll in a course
  • Relationships – New friends from meetings, taking girlfriend to the zoo, contacting old ‘good’ friends
  • RecoveryDoing ABC’s, 90 meetings in 90 days, gratitude list, finding a sponsor

Download pdf Recovery Map



After the center and the outside of the recovery map, it is time to write down the triggers and slippery behaviour. What leads the client from their new recovery life, back to their addiction/bottom lines?

A few examples:

Health / Lifestyle – Laziness, boredom, not sticking to the goals, not exercising

Work / Education – Stress, not finding a job, not doing homework, coming late

Relationships – Anger, visiting old using friends, mother in law, lack of assertiveness

Recovery – Complacency, excuses, not going to meeting, lack of routine, going to a bar

When finished, the recovery map helps the client back in their home situation evaluating where they are in their recovery. Do I write down my gratitude list? Have I done my exercise this week or did I lay lazy in the couch? Did I go to the meetings or did I make excuses? Am I seeing my old using friends again while I know that is a trigger?


The Recovery Map By Henk