Engagement: It’s all about engagement through self-discovery – an emotional connection and commitment to oneself and others, to learning, making choices, and taking action toward change.

Here’s why our focus on hands-on activity-based learning increases engagement and is our number one advantage.

Why Cards?


Why Cards? Cards are simple, familiar, and approachable – R1 chose the Discovery Cards format to increase engagement, participation, interaction, and most importantly, to spark meaningful conversations.

When we pick cards, whether they be emotions we're feeling, situations that trigger us, consequences we're dealing with, or defense mechanisms we use to protect our addictions, we begin to clarify what we're experiencing or thinking, see our behaviors in a new light, and become open to new ideas and possibilities. The physical act of choosing cards begins to build ownership and an emotional connection with our own recovery and the actions needed to move forward toward change.

Active Learning
Cards increase: (holding, sorting, choosing, etc.)

  • Engagement
  • Participation
  • Focus—attention focused on one concept at a time
  • Comprehension
  • Long-term retention
  • Ownership – choosing and holding a physical card connects concept to self
  • Satisfaction

Group Dynamics
Cards: (showing, sharing, etc.)

  • Give words to people who struggle with how to share their thoughts and feelings
  • Pull people out of the shadows and into the discussion
  • Provide a format for group members to engage with others – “show me your cards” or “say more about that card”
  • Level the playing field – give group members an equal voice

Card decks tend to be: (durability, box size, etc.)

  • Reused and played with again by individuals when taken home after treatment or recovery program
  • Used and played with by family, friends, and others
  • Kept on a desk at home versus thrown away or put in a drawer
  • Cost effective – used again and again in multiple settings

Why Models?


Why Models? Models and graphic organizers are visual symbols used to express knowledge, concepts, thoughts, or ideas, and the relationships between them. The main purpose of a model is to provide a visual aid to facilitate learning and instruction. Two types that we use with the Discovery Cards include:

  • Contextual or Ontological Models: A set of concepts and categories in a subject area or domain that show their properties and the relationships between them.

  • Process Models: A series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.

Many of our Discovery Card topics categorize their information into color-coded categories to improve the learner’s ability to understand and relate to the content presented. This enables individuals to more quickly digest and process the information, apply it to their own experience or circumstance, discuss it with others, and take action based on their understanding.

Taxonomies - Building a Common Vocabulary: One of the primary purposes of the Discovery Cards is to build a common vocabulary for individuals in recovery and their families. Addiction is new to many people in early recovery. Like other subjects, we need to first learn the basics before we can take action – building a vocabulary is the first step.

  • Vocabulary: A body of words in a particular language, branch of knowledge, or field of study.

  • Taxonomy: A body of words defined or named into groups; the classification of words into ordered categories.

As people learn more their vocabularies expand and grow, enabling both greater understanding, and their ability to communicate with others. The more individuals can describe what’s going on with them – to family, friends, and counselors, the sooner they can take action and move forward in their recovery. The Discovery Cards not only create a shared vocabulary, but also a taxonomy to help maximize learning.

The Result: Models and graphic organizers and their underlying taxonomies improve learning performance in the following areas:

  • Engagement – Individuals participate more intently in their own learning and take ownership of the outcomes of their learning experience.

  • Retention - Individuals remember information better and can better recall it when it is represented and learned both visually and verbally.

  • Reading comprehension - The use of models and graphic organizers helps to improve the reading comprehension of learners.

  • Achievement - Individuals with and without learning disabilities improve achievement across content areas and grade levels.

  • Critical thinking and learning skills - When individuals use a model or graphic organizer their higher order thinking and critical thinking skills are enhanced.

Why Learning Styles?


Why Learning Styles? Learning styles are the way that individuals absorb, process, comprehend, and retain information. The Discovery Cards have been designed to address a full range of learning styles and settings.

Why Experts?


Why Experts? Experts are people that have comprehensive and authoritative knowledge in a particular field or area. The experts we have chosen have dedicated their professional lives to the research and development of practical theories, models, and solutions to address a problem or set of problems in their field. Many of these theories or models have been applied overtime, studied, and in some cases, proven to positively affect the problem they are addressing – therefore achieving the designation of “evidenced-based”. R1 has decided to partner with, be reviewed by, or adapt our content from experts for each of the topics we have chosen. Our goal is to allow greater access to their work so it can have the maximum impact.


James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente

  • Stages of Change

Elvin Jellinek and Max Glatt – Jellinek Curve

  • Phases of Addiction

Terrence Gorski

  • Relapse Warning Signs

  • Relapse Triggers

  • Relapse Prevention Tools

Abraham Maslow – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

  • Consequences

Bill White and David Best

  • Recovery Capital

George Vaillant

  • Defense Mechanisms

John Holland – RIASEC Codes

  • Career Interests

Adapted from Plutchick, Gorski, and Mellody

  • Emotions & Feelings

12 Step Programs
AA & NA World Services Groups

  • 12 Step Programs