The role of family therapy in addiction treatment is more essential than most people realize. It can have a significant impact on a person’s successful recovery.
Addiction is often referred to as a “family disease.” It means that a person’s addiction may have been influenced by dysfunctional family issues. But, it also means that a person’s addiction affects everyone in the family to some extent.
According to NCBI, family therapy is:
“Family therapy is a structured form of psychotherapy that seeks to reduce distress and conflict by improving the systems of interactions between family members. It is an ideal counseling method for helping family members adjust to an immediate family member struggling with an addiction, medical issue, or mental health diagnosis.”
With those things in mind, many treatment programs now offer family therapy as part of the curriculum.
Understanding the Role of Family Therapy in Addiction Treatment
Family therapy does not seek to place blame on one or more individuals. It is a method used to help families identify patterns of behavior that may be detrimental to a loved one’s recovery from addiction.
One of the biggest challenges a recovering person faces is having a strong support structure when they leave rehab. Therefore, family therapy seeks to help family members understand their role in providing that much-needed support.
For the most part, our family can affect who we are or who we become. If we are born into a happy, healthy family, we learn how to maintain loving relationships. But, if we are born into a dysfunctional family, we may struggle with everyday life and resort to drug or alcohol abuse. With this in mind, family therapy seeks to help families develop a sense of stability and wholeness.
What Can You Expect in Family Therapy?
Family therapy is designed to help families work through a major transition or difficult period. While individual therapy focuses on the person in recovery, family therapy focuses on the dynamics among family members. The goal is to improve communication and build trust among family members to create a better home environment. Some of the techniques employed may include the following:
- Education about addiction. Family members learn that addiction is not a “choice” and that no one in the family is to blame. They also learn about the underlying reasons for addiction.
- Strategies to deal with stress. A therapist works with family members to teach them new, healthier coping skills to deal with family situations.
- Understanding family dynamics. Families learn to identify any negative behaviors or feelings that can affect a loved one who is in recovery.
- Resolving disagreements. Family members work on cultivating more productive conflict resolution techniques.
- Codependency awareness. Therapists help families recognize behaviors that enable their loved one’s addiction.
- Importance of self-care. Families learn about the importance of taking care of themselves so they are more prepared to help their loved one.
The most common family therapy models include:
- Multidimensional – seeks to improve family functioning through multiple components.
- Cognitive/behavioral – focuses on behavioral modification to improve family interaction.
- Systemic – focuses on belief systems and perceptions.
- Structural – helps improve the way individuals interact within the family.
The overall goal of family therapy is to help heal any emotional, mental, or psychological issues that are pulling the family apart. This healing is crucial to the family’s ability to help a loved one who is returning home from rehab.
What are the Benefits of Family Therapy?
The main benefit of family therapy is that it helps bring the family back together. Also, it helps family members establish better communication, honesty, and trust. They learn to work as a team to establish a supportive environment for their loved one who is in recovery.
Another benefit of family therapy is that it may prevent younger members from experimenting with drugs or alcohol. Studies show that many teens who use drugs come from a family that has a history of substance abuse. With family therapy, young people are better informed about the dangers of substance use and will make better choices in their own lives.
Design for Change Recovery Can Help Your Family
Our family therapy program helps families make positive interpersonal, intrapersonal, and environmental changes. These changes will be instrumental in helping a loved one succeed in maintaining sobriety. As an added benefit, the entire family dynamic improves for everyone’s sake.
In addition to family therapy sessions, our programs include multiple options to suit each patient’s needs. With an individualized treatment plan, our patients gain confidence, rebuild self-esteem, and learn effective coping skills to help them avoid relapsing. Some of the options include, but are not limited to:
- Medically Assisted Detox
- Inpatient and Outpatient programs
- Group and Individual Counseling
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Holistic Treatment
If your loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, contact our Design for Change facility in Lancaster, California today. We will be happy to help you create a treatment plan that can be the brand new start your family wants and deserves.
Our caring, highly skilled staff members can help your loved one and the whole family conquer the disruptions caused by addiction-related issues. So, call now. We’re waiting to hear from you.
- ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ – Family Interventions: Basic Principles and Techniques