Alcoholism and drug addiction aren’t just a predicament for the person suffering from it. While it may seem that way, addiction is a family problem, and eventually everyone gets involved and becomes harmed by it. Familial relationships can decline significantly when one of them becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol. Because of this, family therapy has become a valuable element of the modern addiction treatment model. Additionally, emotions like resentment, guilt, and shame are all too common. Most in the grip of addiction feel that they can’t even face their family. At the same time, other family members may feel they didn’t do anything to deserve this problem. It’s quite a quandary. Through family therapy, each person in the family can restore all that was lost, with prospects of healing and starting fresh. This begins with getting the addicted family member back to health through rehab and recovery.
What is Family Therapy for Addiction?
In a nutshell, family therapy gets the addicted loved one and their entire family on the same page. First, the family therapist will evaluate the family, then speak with family members separately. The therapist assesses how the family members communicate with one another, which will inevitably expose some of the interpersonal concerns. By understanding their patterns and performances, the therapist will formulate the best plan moving forward.
At this point, it is critical that the collective family members agree to reserve their sharpest feelings and truly pay attention to one another. It is here that the road to healing and transformation begin. Family members are also urged to seek individual counseling to find ways to be gentle and supportive during an addict’s time of need. The therapist will also set boundaries and guidelines for group and direct individual communication. This gets everyone in an “unusual” place and challenges them not to arbitrate, but rather work collectively.
Family Counseling Has the Entire Family Learning
Family therapy teaches teamwork and the principle that the family entity should perform well for all concerned. Moreover, it displays how important clear communication is and reveals where some of the drawbacks lie. Each family realizes what triggers their behavior and how particular behaviors affect the entire family. When one member is struggling with a problem, they may be surprised to find out how their individual battle has truly harmed the entire family. When they come to this understanding, the family can help discover better approaches to help that person.
Family therapists use an active participatory technique for their therapy. Family members are likely given tasks to accomplish that will help them comprehend what is happening and the accountability they have to the group. Adjustments in strategy can be discussed and the therapist is there to make sure that all opinions are heard and positively communicated.
Anyone who has been successful in recovery will tell it’s a difficult process, but well worth it. At the same time, to have the support and encouragement of family makes the journey a whole lot sweeter!
About the Author
Matthew Koenig is the principal of Last Call Marketing, which devotes their efforts to Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Website Design and SEO, primarily in healthcare and tourism concerns. Mr. Koenig is based out of South Florida. His sober date is June 10, 2013.