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Focusing On Our Family Program

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“The sharing of experiences, the information that was given us to allow us to understand what we were  experiencing and the knowledge and confidence to move forward and know we can/will be OK.”

…one parent’s thoughts

Family Program Focuses on Learning

When someone decides to seek treatment for addiction, almost invariably the first emotion experienced by his/her parents, spouse, siblings or children is relief. Finally, their loved one is in a safe place and maybe for the first time in a long time they can take a deep breath and look forward to the future with hope. With treatment the addict has an opportunity to recover, but what about the rest of the family circle? How will they recover?

Almost universally family members are shocked to learn that addiction is a family disease and likewise can’t imagine participating in a Family Program. The very thought of gathering with other families to explore the disease of addiction seems disconcerting; however, by the end of the three day Family Program each person has a new awareness and the building blocks to start the journey of recovery.

Family Program Components

Each client’s family members are invited for a three-day stay over a weekend during the client’s treatment term. The Family Program takes place at our facility and incorporates: Reactive Attachment Therapy, Psychodrama and Family Therapy.

  • Reactive Attachment Therapy – When addicts suffer with from attachment issues, they can interfere with all types of relationships. Some carry a sense of loss or yearning inside them, and may struggle with codependency or abandonment issues, without understanding why. Learning how to deal with these issues and how to set healthy boundaries allow our clients the opportunity to heal, gain self-esteem and self-respect. Clients learn to gain fulfillment within themselves, instead of relying on outside sources of validation.
  • Psychodrama – Families explore internal and external conflicts through dramatic play. Acting out scenes facilitates learning about behaviors, roles, and communication skills. This process enables our clients to gain a deeper insight to their interactions.
  • Family Therapy – Families are complex. When substance abuse is added to the family dynamic, relations can become even more complicated. Our Family Program is designed to help families work on and mitigate their internal conflicts with a caring, experienced, certified counselor.

Additionally, the entire family is introduced to the concepts of addiction as a brain disease, understanding relapse, codependency, setting boundaries, the recovery process and how to incorporate support groups into daily life.

Family Program Facilitators

Joseph Hunter, MA – With over two decades in recovery, our Founder and CEO, Joe has put his life and heart into every aspect of Design for Change. His passions lie in guiding clients and their families to healthy solutions in dealing with issues related to substance abuse. As a Cognitive Behaviorist, he uses an intensive style of counseling to lead others into developing behavioral changes that will aid them in their ongoing recovery lifestyle.

James Tracy, DDS, LAADC, CADCII, CETII – Dr. Tracy has been conducting Professional and Family Interventions for over 20 years. He is a nationally recognized speaker and educator in the areas of Impaired Health Care Professionals, Family Treatment, Opiate Addiction secondary to Chronic Pain and Systemic Family Interventions. He is an expert in providing extensive monitoring services and family case management. He has experience in program development and facilitating family programs for some of the most respected treatment centers in the country.
His career in Interventions began with/through his own personal struggle with addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol. He originally became involved in conducting peer interventions on other addicted Dentists after he began his own recovery program in 1988. He soon realized a few years into his recovery that an intervention would have saved his family from years of suffering. He then became determined to help other Health Care Professionals find relief from that same suffering. For over 16 years Dr. Tracy has had the distinguished honor to be directly involved with some of the top Treatment Programs in the country. At Design for Change Recovery Services, Jim facilitates family workshops and counseling the clients’ families as a family-care consultant.

Our experienced facilitators work to guide each family member through the process of finding a balance in their own lives and evaluating their relationships, working on healthy communication and understanding that rebuilding trust will take time and commitment.

Participants’ Insights

We opened today’s blog post with one parent’s observation after attending our most recent Family Program weekend. We would like to share two more observations:

“I learned about myself a lot. I feel I will be able to live a more happy life.”

“I feel comfortable and confident that our son is in the best hands possible for his continued recovery.”


Design for Change (DFC) Recovery believes in “changing lives one step at a time.” Addiction impacts the whole family and it is important for family members to understand the disease and the process of recovery. If you have questions about our treatment program, please contact Design for Change Recovery. DFC is a 12-step based gender specific residential treatment program in Southern California.

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