Addiction often has roots in dysfunctional relationships and communication within the family unit. Because of the complex network of relationships and interactions, family therapy is an important part of treatment.
We know that often, substance abuse is the visible manifestation of a more complex, deeper cause and that is why Destination Hope specializes in family therapy as part of every therapeutic modality we offer. Not only does our family therapy program help the addict face the complexities in his life head-on, it also helps the families themselves:
- Families have the chance to work out their most complex issues with the guidance of a therapist in a non-confrontational and controlled environment. This leads to better communication and an environment conducive to healing.
- Families can increase their knowledge of addiction and mental health issues. Knowing the signs and stress triggers that cause addiction can help avoid relapse.
- Family healing can lead to better general health as the stress of addiction, behavioral issues and confrontation is improved or resolved.
Family Therapy for Helping Addicts
The following aspects of family counseling are integral to its effectiveness:
Honesty and Understanding: For family members to aid in a loved one’s recovery after substance abuse, as well as to heal themselves, understanding addiction is essential. Also, it’s important for the recovering individual to understand the impact addiction has on the family as a whole. In family counseling sessions, this understanding is gained through honest discussion of the various effects of addiction.
Support: Support is crucial to the individual in therapy. Without a network of supportive friends and family members, the chances of relapse are significantly increased. Family therapy sessions are designed to strengthen the familial bonds that may have been weakened as a result of substance abuse, which will help ensure emotional support both during and after the treatment phase of recovery.
Accountability: Responsibility and accountability boost self-esteem by giving the recovering patient a greater sense of achievement. Being held accountable for one’s actions can serve as motivation to continue with sobriety and recovery. In family therapy, counselors often instruct family members on how to provide accountability to recovering loved ones.
Coping Strategies: In most cases, coping strategies are necessary for effective recovery. In family therapy, the formulation of coping methods often entails exploring the family’s role in a loved one’s addiction. For example, issues like codependency and family dynamics are often discussed as well as ways to restructure activities and interactions in a way that’s conducive to recovery.
Although addiction and substance abuse can have devastating effects on clients and their loved ones, family therapy can help repair damage and significantly strengthen relationships. Family counseling not only aids in the recovery of the patient, but of the family unit as well.