Healing during recovery from a substance use disorder is never a solo act. Whether a person is married or single and with or without kids, there is often a significant impact on every loved one around them. Restoring relationships within the family is also an important step for them in sustaining sobriety during and after a treatment program. Today, let’s talk about what makes family therapy so essential as part of a larger effort for someone working to start a sober life.
Family therapy for addiction is a way for loved ones to participate in a patient’s recovery process while addressing their own needs. During a therapy session, a family member is invited to openly share how a loved one’s substance use has affected them. They can also practice healthy communication skills. In addition, participating in family therapy can keep a loved one motivated to stay in treatment and give you an opportunity to learn more about how addiction has affected their health and well-being, physically and mentally.
Why do you need family therapy for addiction recovery?
A substance use disorder affects everyone in the family. Each family member may have their ways of reacting to a loved one’s SUD and coping with it. It can create stress and instability and greatly disrupt how the family functions as a whole.
The impact on children in the family can be especially significant. Addiction in a parent or older sibling can affect a child’s development. It can lead to mental, emotional, and physical problems for a child. They may struggle in forming healthy relationships, in learning and staying focused, and resisting risky behaviors. The child of someone with an SUD becomes more likely to start using drugs or alcohol themselves during their pre-teen or teenage years.
Family therapy gives children and adults an opportunity to learn healthy coping strategies as individuals and as a collective group. It’s designed as a safe space to share feelings about a loved one’s addiction. Also, it teaches people how to recognize enabling behaviors, such as taking responsibility for other people’s choices or trying to act like everything is normal.
Benefits of Family Therapy for Addiction
Regular family therapy can be valuable for both a patient and their loved ones. Here are some of the ways a family and a person in treatment can benefit from making a commitment to family therapy.
- Keep a patient engaged in treatment.
Staying motivated and focused on recovery takes a lot of effort for a patient. Knowing their family is invested in their healing is a factor in staying in treatment and committing to their recovery needs long-term.
- Address mental health issues in the family.
Family therapy provides a place to open up about all the factors that contribute to family relationships. Mental health concerns, such as depression or anxiety, can be a big impact on how family members interact and communicate. They can be factors in a loved one’s relapse if they create instability or conflict in the family unit.
- Voice concerns about a loved one’s substance use.
Family members are given a safe space to share the impact of a loved one’s drug or alcohol use on them. Also, they’re invited to ask questions so they can better understand how substance use is affecting the family member in treatment. Getting feelings of fear, anxiety, stress, or confusion validated helps, too.
- Practice healthy communication skills.
Maintaining the support needed throughout recovery depends on healthy communication skills for all family members. A family therapy session is an optimum place to practice how to engage with each other in respectful, productive ways.
- Learn about addiction as a whole and your loved one’s type of substance use.
Family therapy can serve to educate you on how addiction works as a brain disease. It’s also a way to get more awareness of a particular drug’s impact on your loved ones physical and mental health.
Free Family Support Group
Origins Counseling Dallas offers weekly a free Family Support Group, held remotely on Wednesdays from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. via Zoom. The Family Support Group is open to the public and all are welcome to attend. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Origins Counseling in Dallas, Texas, made available by a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 561.841.1264.