Family Therapy In Addiction Recovery
03/12/19: Addiction Recovery \ Drug Addiction
Did you know that addiction is a disease that can affect the whole family? It’s true! According to The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, addiction is a family disease. This means that if one person suffers from addiction, it can affect the entire family dynamic. Addiction can affect families on multiple levels, the addict is not the only person that is suffering. Family members often want to help fix the addict and help them figure out how to beat their addiction, but it isn’t always that easy. This can put a lot of unnecessary stress on the addict and may even make them fall deeper into addiction. Intervention is not always the way to go. If a family truly wants to get involved in their family members journey into recovery, they should consider family therapy. This kind of therapy holds many benefits for the family and the person suffering from addiction. In this blog, we will discuss what family therapy entails and how it can help both the addict and the family.
Heal the Family
When a family attempt to solve their loved one’s addiction on their own, they tend not to come up with healthy coping mechanisms. If an addict decides to stop their substance abuse, a common theme we see if family members walking on eggshells or babying the former addict in an attempt to not trigger a relapse. This can create an unnecessarily fragile and dysfunctional family dynamic which may even further the chances of the addict relapsing.
At Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers, we believe in ensuring lasting health & sobriety for families and clients. We provide integrative family therapy and support groups at each of our locations. We have varying levels of ongoing therapeutic support services for families during both, the inpatient treatment period, as well as the aftercare (post-treatment) period. It is important for the family dynamic to be intact to ensure long-term sobriety for the addict and reassurance for the family.
Families With Addiction, What Happens?
When a person in a family is suffering from anxiety, it can have a huge impact on everyone a part of that family. One of the more common effects addiction has on the family dynamic is that most members will start to experience negative emotions like guilt, embarrassment, or even anxiety. Communication also gets torn down with a family that has a member suffering from addiction. For fear of judgment or any other negative reaction, the member suffering from addiction may keep their feelings under wraps. This can do nothing but harm to an addict; suffering in silence can only further worsen an addiction.
Another issue that can take place is family members putting the addict at the forefront of their mind constantly. This can not only further symptoms of anxiety or guilt for them, but also make other family members feel less important. Yes, recovery is important, but so is keeping a strong family dynamic. Thankfully, family therapy solves issues like these. This therapy can help an addict understand the families feelings, the family understand the addict's feelings, and solve any family dynamic problems. Family plays an important role when it comes to the road to recovery, it’s important that is stays strong and intact.
What Does Family Therapy In Addiction Recovery Look Like?
At Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers, we put a strong focus on family therapy in and out of rehab. To ensure long-term sobriety, it is essential that family therapy continues post-rehabilitation. Cutting the cord is not the solution. Throughout a former addicts life, they will experience hardships, up and downs, successes and failures. Sometimes the hard times can get to the person and cause them to relapse. In order to avoid the possibility of a relapse, a former addict should continue going to therapy and help groups throughout their life. Families can get damaged when one member is suffering from addiction. AARC knows how important it is to repair family relationships for those who are suffering from addiction. Family therapy can allow family members to develop strategies, coping mechanisms, and other tools they need in order to keep a healthy relationship with their loved ones without enabling any abusive behaviors.
Someone going through addiction recovery needs support and help, but so does the family. Family members of someone suffering from addiction should be supportive and seek out beneficial ways to help their loved ones. Too often these families try to take matters into their own hands which can only do more harm than good. Regular family therapy sessions can help each member voice their feelings and become more open with one another. This sense of openness can create a healthy dynamic between the family and the person suffering from addiction. This will help each of them learn how to help each other and better communicate thoughts, feelings, and emotions with one another in the most beneficial way possible.
Addiction can dominate a person’s life and seeking help is important. At the end of the day, it’s up to the addict to come to terms with their abusive behaviors, ask for help, and want to make a change. Seeking change is important not only for the person suffering from addiction, but also the family. The family has to learn to be supportive, loving, patient, and kind to their addicted family member. Ultimately the healing process of one suffering from addiction is their responsibility.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction, the people at AARC are here to help. At AARC, a healthy family dynamic is important for patients who need it. Through their family therapy program, families will tackle these important things:
- Communication styles used within the family structure, as well as by each individual member
- Any past issues relating to trauma, abuse, etc.
- Genetic predisposition family-wide relating to drug or alcohol abuse
- Unresolved issues and resentments among family members
- Understanding and processing the nature of why the addict did what they did during addiction
- Objectives moving forward
Once these things are tackled, long-term recovery is much more possible for addicted family members. Family therapy in addiction recovery can help you and your family get back to the lives you were supposed to live together.
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