Family Addiction Counseling & Therapy
Recovering from addiction is one of the most difficult challenges a person can face. Rehabilitation is a long road dotted with complex emotions, overwhelming cravings, and major lifestyle changes.
The support of family and friends is one of the most influential factors in determining the success or failure of a treatment program. After all, environmental factors are some of the main contributors to addictive behavior. Not only can the family unit motivate the patient during recovery, but individual family members can also correct any behaviors that are enabling the dependence.
What Are the Benefits of Family Therapy?
Family therapy is focused on changing the way family members interact and enhancing the family unit as a whole. Participants set goals to resolve specific challenges with the support of one another, and they learn behavioral patterns that are at the foundation of a healthy family unit.
How Does Family Therapy Work?
What works for one family may not work for another. Fortunately, there are several types of family therapy that can be used in tandem or separately to tackle a particular family’s most pressing issues. These can range from teaching healthy coping methods to introducing new behavioral models that may help family members deal with damage caused by an addict. The process will also introduce the necessary tools to aid the addict’s recovery.
The therapist may try psychoeducation, which aims to change the negative attitude family members have toward a mental illness, or Post-Milan family therapy, which places emphasis on improving communication among family members.
Other types of family therapy include:
- Systemic Models: The therapist will explain how dysfunctional relationships can aggravate an illness, and will work on improving family relationships in order to alleviate the symptoms.
- Solution-Focused Therapy: The therapist highlights each family member’s strengths and explains how to use them to resolve the issue at hand.
What to Expect from Family Therapy
Family therapy is a long and challenging process. Several family members have to attend regular counseling sessions. There is also homework, and participants must adjust to newly learned behaviors – and maintain those behaviors despite aggravating circumstances.
Family therapy is not just a one-hour, once-a-week commitment. Everyone involved has to understand the goals of the process and work toward realizing them.
The number of sessions can vary depending on the problems that the therapy is attempting to address. You might only need to attend as few as five sessions, but if the addiction is particularly severe, then you could be asked to attend as many as 20 sessions.
We encourage family members not only to participate in group sessions but also to seek counseling and support outside of this process. The 12-step program, for example, is not just a useful system for the addict; it can also help family members understand the process the addict is going though and, therefore, make them better equipped to provide support.
How Can Family Therapy Prevent a Relapse?
While it is important for addicts to accept responsibility for their own recovery, the support of family members and their participation may be essential for success. Psychologists have discovered that co-addiction – in which another family member enables the addict’s bad habits – can derail rehabilitation.
Addicts are often welcomed home to a hostile environment that inspires relapses. Family therapy aims to reinvent these surroundings to prevent relapses.
In order to reduce the risk of a relapse, family members will have to learn the ins and outs of recovery. These include lessons related to mental illness, the rehabilitation process and the emotional hurdles that accompany recovery. Family members will also have to face the reality that their actions may have played a role in enabling the addiction in the first place.
Family therapy will equip the addict and his family members with the necessary knowledge and tools to prevent a relapse. This will ensure that the addict has a capable support structure waiting for him at home.
If you or someone you love is battling with addiction, then Prescott House can help. Our staff has the training and experience to develop a successful recovery plan that addresses the root of the dependence. Click here for more information on our Family Program or contact us online or by phone today at 1-866-425-4673.