Part of the social learning in which we engage in involves looking to others for cues on how to behave and learn through other people’s mistakes. This helps humans learn without having to experience each and every possible life scenario themselves. 

When people are positive and successful at something, it is natural to want to emulate them. A role model can be anyone to whom you look up. If you are learning to cook, your role model could easily be Julia Childs. People who are going through rehab and recovery benefit greatly from having one or more role models. 

How Do I Pick a Role Model?

The Function of Role Models During Recovery

Whether you choose someone who has faced the same struggles as you or someone who never has, or you choose someone you know personally or a celebrity you have never met, the benefit of a good, positive role model can greatly improve an individual’s path through recovery by exemplifying good behaviors and good life choices.

People select role models in certain areas of their lives because they believe they will benefit from the example they set. You know the expression “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”? Well, this is exactly the type of thing Oscar Wilde had in mind. 

Bad Role Models

Many people even have more than one role model for a certain aspect of their lives. Role models are not, however, inherently positive. There is such a thing as a bad role model and people do adopt those negative behaviors. A negative role model is not necessarily one who drinks and takes drugs and runs around committing crimes. It could just as easily be someone who has successfully made it through recovery but has found no joy in life and made no attempt to reconnect with family or engage socially with friends, new or old. 

Role models should be chosen with great care. 

An ideal role model should be able to offer you good, sound advice about how to be successful in recovery as well as in life. They should be positive in their outlook of life away from drugs and alcohol. Your role model should be somebody who inspires you and makes you feel uplifted, somebody who leaves you feeling better than they found you and who makes you want to improve your life and be a better person just by the example that they set in their own lives. 

It is also important to remember that our role models are humans. Like us, they make mistakes, have lapses in judgment, and have bad days. To err is human… A fall from grace can come as a shock but it should not deter you in your course. It will also help to remember that your chosen role model does not have his or her name etched in stone tablets. 

Alternative Recovery In Tennessee

If you have a family member that is ready to consider rehab, it is important that you be ready to move forward on that decision. Reach out to the staff here at the Discovery Place in Tennessee. for information regarding our Long Term Alternative Recovery Program. You can chat with us on our website or give us a call and speak with a trained staff member at (800) 725-0922 today.



  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

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