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Dealing with substance dependence through family therapy

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Substance dependence affects more than just the user.  That’s why we feel so strongly about ensuring that family therapy programs are an integral part of everyone’s recovery process.  Although it’s just one tool in the recovery treatment box, it can be very effective at understanding and in some cases overcoming underlying family issues.

Can Family Contribute To Substance Dependence?

As much as we may want to deny it, family environments can be a contributing factor to substance dependence. By going to therapy with their family, women in recovery can learn what aspects of their family life may be triggering to their substance abuse. This type of therapy may include spouses, partners, parents, adult children, and any other family members and loved ones.  Family therapy isn’t limited to blood relatives, it is open to all who are considered to be an important and significant part of a person’s health and well-being.

It may be that the client has personal, unresolved issues with certain members of their family. By going to the family therapy sessions, both parties can learn what is negative or harmful in their relationship and make an effort to fix it. They may not even realize the volatility of their interactions. Substance dependence cannot be blamed on other family members, but the family therapy can work towards figuring out what may be triggering it.

Family Therapy As a Tool for Understanding

Substance dependence is not as cut and dry as many would like it to be. For this reason, family therapy can be a great teaching mechanism for those who don’t understand the disease of addiction. Women in recovery may have families who are completely supportive and kind but don’t really understand the process of recovery nor addiction. This is often frustrating for all involved because the family may have certain expectations or assumptions about substance dependence that are simply not true. In the family therapy sessions, the counselor or therapist can educate everyone on where the dependence comes from, why it is a controlling factor in the individual’s life, how they can help, and behaviors or actions they should avoid.

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One of the reasons it is important for the family to be involved in the client’s recovery process is that it is always changing. Women in recovery may go through stages or phases as they are on their journey. It is helpful when the family is aware of what is going on. It helps them to address it more fully and takes some of the pressure off the client to constantly update the family.

Family therapy is not the only treatment option, and it never should be the only professional help a woman gets as she recovers from substance dependence. Other treatment opportunities include individual therapy, group sessions, meditation, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

If you or a woman you love is having problems with chemical dependency or alcohol, a substance dependence and treatment program may be the answer. Remember that recovery from addiction and alcohol abuse treatment means learning how to cope with intensely emotional situations, and identifying when you need help and support. No matter what helps you seek treatment, take the opportunity to turn your life around. Treatment for addiction relapse, counseling, family therapy and aftercare can help you, so please call us today. Destination Hope: The Women’s Program is a full service addiction and women’s health treatment facility in Florida for women who suffer from substance abuse and behavioral health issues.

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