Family Therapy Importance in Addiction Recovery
At The Beaches Treatment Center we believe in healing the entire person- mind, body, and spirit. We know how many family issues and relationships have been damaged from addiction. We work hard with all of our clients and their families to heal together through the recovery process. Addiction has not just affected the individual using, but also everyone in that individual’s life, so we know how important it is that the loved ones and family members are involved in the recovery process. Family therapy is common for most quality treatment centers to offer, it has been proven successful for both adult and adolescent addiction treatment programs.
Family Therapy: The Breakdown
Family therapy at The Beaches Treatment Center has a variety of therapeutic approaches that use the family’s resources and strengths to learn to live a life without alcohol or drugs. The main goal is to reduce the harm that addiction brings and has brought on the family unit, not only for the one abusing the drugs; but also those who have felt the devastating effects of living with a loved one who struggles with addiction. Many issues are addressed during treatment, trauma, abuse, depression, education on the disease of addiction, mental health issues, parenting skills, family conflict, employment issues and other areas that deal with family dynamics.
As previously mentioned, we work to educate those who are unfamiliar with addiction and how it forms within an individual. Our approach in family therapy often takes the form of education. We keep an open dialogue with family members allowing and encouraging them to ask questions and eventually allow the healing to begin.
Our family sessions with a therapist may include phone conversations coordinated by the client’s primary therapist. If the family is local or wants to come in for a visit, we also have in-house sessions where everyone is encouraged to attend if able.
Family Sessions may include:
Learning what will help the client vs. what can be harmful
Identifying roles within the family
Learning ways to rebuild trust
Identifying how to improve communication
Learning the needs of all family members during the recovery journey
The Family Systems Model
Many times in treatment we see that family therapists adopt a family systems model. This model of therapy views addiction as a symptom of dysfunction within the family unit. Family therapy is based on the view that a family is a system, and each person within the system affects how it functions overall.
The whole family system then suffers when one person (in this case a person receiving substance abuse treatment), is not functioning at a capable level. The entire system becomes flawed because of the efforts of those who have to cater to one individual who is dysfunctional, and this dysfunction also rubs off to other members within that system.
Breaking the Cycle of Addiction within the Family
As we mentioned earlier, addiction affects the entire family with some family members taking on certain roles (enabler, overachiever) as a way to cope. The best thing about family therapy is that it helps repair all the damaged relationships within the family unit and also teaches family members healthy coping skills when it comes to dealing with a loved one struggling with addiction.
The Many Benefits of Family Therapy for Addiction
There are a number of benefits to be gained by having a treatment center that offers family therapy, some are listed below:
Awareness of family dynamics: noticing the harmful patterns that contribute to substance abuse within the unit. Everyone within this family system will be treated to obtain the best possible outcome.
Learning to understand the nature of addiction and how it affects behavior: Education is how this is accomplished. Just as the client has been through an assessment, this is a time where the family has an opportunity for self-assessment and insight from a therapist.
Improving communication: If the system had no or limited communication before, this will help improve the communication on all levels with those in the family system that are interested in the successful recovery of all involved.
Regaining trust: Substance abuse and dishonesty often go hand in hand. We see many times that family members may not be willing to open their hearts to help a loved one who has betrayed their trust in the past. By improving communication and encouraging honest interactions we can work together to mend the gaps that have been made during active drug or alcohol abuse.
Sharing feelings: This is an open floor to discuss all the bridges that were burned during the user’s time in active addiction. There are often many resentments and anger held by family members that has not been previously discussed, so this would be that opportunity. It takes time to learn how to recognize, balance and express these feelings.
Setting boundaries: Everyone within the family unit should establish boundaries for each other. Clarifying boundaries is not easy. But it is a necessary step toward healthy recovery for the family. Sometimes a boundary is disconnecting from someone who is still in active addiction.
Learning self-care: The number one focus in addiction treatment, is the person suffering from addiction. After understanding addiction, it may be apparent that more than one family member is suffering from a substance abuse issue.
Treatment should start with a medically supervised detoxification process and a suggested continuation for 30 day to six month long treatment program should follow. Family therapy is included with all levels of care at The Beaches Treatment Center.
Recovery is a lifelong commitment and at The Beaches Treatment Center we provide each and every client with the tools needed in order to be successful in their recovery journey. Each customized treatment program has tailored therapy for each individual client.
After the physical dependence is broken, there are still many other issues clients must work through in order to get to the core of their addiction. This is a prime time to take family therapy into consideration and action. We take pride in providing our clients with the tools they need in order to properly integrate back into society successfully and to continue in the lifelong journey of recovery.
At The Beaches Treatment Center, we believe in treating the entirety of the individual- mind, body, and spirit. We focus on restoring hope in the lives of our clients. We have a comfortable, safe, and serene setting so clients only have to worry about their recovery from addiction. We want our clients to relax during their stay and have comfort knowing they are making the best decision for their life by choosing to stop abusing alcohol and drugs.
Get Started on Your New Life Today
In Family therapy all members should remember to educate themselves and ask whatever questions you have. Dealing with addiction is stressful and we understand this. At The Beaches Treatment Center we are here to help guide you through the important decisions so you can discover your options and find a treatment that is right for you.
We will address all aspects of each client and their family needs in order to set them up to be happy, safe, and most of all sober! Call today if you or someone you know is struggling with drugs and alcohol, we can get them the help they need today. The Journey to Recovery Starts Here…