Family Therapy For Addiction Treatment
Having a family member who struggles with substance abuse can be stressful and emotionally challenging. Family therapy is an important part of the treatment process, especially for those who have been directly affected by a loved one’s drug or alcohol addiction.
Addiction affects the entire family. It can be difficult to watch a loved one repeatedly put themselves in danger, and people who have an addicted family member often feel a mixture of fear and frustration.
The emotional stress of addiction often leaves family members feeling helpless. In these situations, it can be beneficial to try a family therapy program. Addiction Campuses’ treatment centers provide family counseling that helps the person suffering from addiction, alongside their family members.
Addiction is a disease that affects more than just the person who has it. Working with a trained professional can ease the burden that family members often carry alone.
What Is Family Therapy?
Families play a central role in the treatment of any disease, including addiction. Studies have shown that people are more likely to recover when they have family support. Unfortunately, this process can be challenging, and many families end up suffering alongside their loved one.
Because of this, it’s important that the whole family is introduced to recovery principles through family therapy. This can be accomplished several ways. At Addiction Campuses, we encourage families the first time they call to inquire about our treatment centers. During these initial calls, we provide the guidance, affirmation, and reassurance that family members desperately need.
Another form of family therapy is an intervention. If the person suffering from addiction is resistant to a rehab program, treatment specialists may recommend using intervention services. This involves meeting with a trained professional who specializes in the areas of family dynamics and conversations about addiction.
Interventionists may help to set up a meeting between family members, in order to encourage the addicted person to enter a treatment facility. Interventionists typically remain available for family support throughout the person’s treatment journey.
How Is Family Therapy Integrated Into Treatment Programs?
Once a person is enrolled in treatment, family therapy services include personalized counseling sessions for parents, spouses, siblings, or children. These sessions may cover topics such as family history, communication techniques, and self-care techniques.
The goal of family therapy is to address the interconnected nature of family connections. Trained mental health professionals help families identify areas where growth is needed, and participants learn how to foster more supportive relationships. By intervening in these complex relational patterns, therapists help to nurture healing change throughout the entire family.
Our counselors work with families to help them build skills such as:
- learning the family system
- understanding addiction as a medical disease
- repairing the emotional damage caused by addiction
- re-establishing trust
- extending forgiveness
- managing expectations
- teaching accountability
- identifying strategies for family success
- practicing coping strategies
Benefits Of Family Therapy In Drug And Alcohol Rehab Programs
Families play a complex role in substance abuse treatment. In addition to being troubled by their loved one’s addiction, family members may also struggle with their own emotional difficulties.
The purpose of family therapy is to understand the group’s unique strengths, and to utilize those strengths to help the entire family recover. To do this, the emotional effects of the person’s substance abuse must be addressed.
Many times, there is deep resentment from the family members who don’t have substance abuse issues. They may not understand why their family member continues to use drugs or drink, despite all the consequences. Similarly, the person who struggles with addiction may feel misunderstood, and that their privacy has been violated.
Family therapy allows these frustrations to be aired in a supportive environment. A trained counselor mediates, and helps the family stay on track with their purpose. When the whole family is treated, the overall addiction treatment becomes more effective. Family therapy has additional benefits that include:
Setting Clear Treatment Goals
Families struggling with addiction may become so overwhelmed by stress it becomes difficult to see the main problem. Their focus is placed on the substance, as it seems to represent the most glaring issue. However, for many families, substances are simply a symptom of a deeper issue.
Family therapy explores the root causes that often fuel addiction. Early on in the therapy sessions, trained counselors help families to identify personal and collective goals. When emotions run high, therapists can guide the family back to their original purpose.
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It’s common for people in addiction treatment to experience a range of emotions. Family members may be feeling concerned and manipulated. If a family intervention was staged, people suffering from addiction may feel angry or betrayed. These delicate situations can make it challenging to navigate family relationships during addiction treatment.
With the help of a family therapist, professionals are able to assess the family’s communication habits. Therapists may introduce customized tools and exercises. These gentle approaches help to highlight any patterns that may be problematic.
The purpose of family therapy is always to bring the family back in line with their identified goal. Often, these goals include recovery for the person who has an addiction, and emotional healing for the family as a whole.
Personal And Family Wellness
Addiction affects the entire family, and can leave painful emotional scars in its wake. Family therapy sessions are structured to attend to the needs of each member of the family system. Emotional needs may arise such as the desire to forgive, accept, or move on.
As family members begin exploring how to voice their personal needs, much of the guesswork is taken out of the equation. As each person builds their own emotional wellness, the overall health of the family is improved. This can greatly ease the recovery journey for the person with a substance use disorder, as well as for their loved ones.
Finding A Treatment Center That Uses Family Therapy
At Addiction Campuses, our goal is to empower the individual and their family to heal from the disease of addiction. Family therapy aims to bring the family back into a cohesive unit, and is an excellent addition to more traditional therapies like behavioral counseling.
At our treatment centers, we offer a comprehensive blend of therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), medication-assisted treatment, wilderness therapy, and addiction education classes. By involving the family in the recovery process, the entire unit is equipped to integrate recovery principles into their daily lives.
For more information on using family therapy for addiction treatment, or to find an Addiction Campuses location near you, contact one of our specialists today.Article Sources
National Institutes of Health - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64269/