4 Benefits of Family Addiction Therapy
Therapy, in the context of addiction recovery, is well known to be an invaluable tool for long-term sobriety. When most people think of addiction therapy, however, what comes to mind is one-on-one meetings or group meetings for patients in recovery. What should not be underestimated is the role of the patient’s family in their long-term recovery. The benefits of family addiction therapy are nearly as significant as the benefits of traditional client therapy.
What are the most notable benefits of family addiction therapy?
Though each family’s sessions will vary based on the individuals involved, most families will likely address the four following areas:
1. Dysfunctional behaviors that hinder recovery
Many families struggle with unhealthy or dysfunctional behaviors that may hinder the client’s recovery. Enabling behavior, such as lending money or even turning a blind eye toward slip-ups, builds a reality where there are few immediate, tangible consequences of abusing substances. This, in turn, enforces that the patient can “get away with” substance abuse, and can eliminate a powerful motivator for change and recovery.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from enabling, harsh criticism and undermining attempts to make progress are just as harmful. When individuals feel like they lack an understanding support network, the temptation to escape the harsh criticism and cruel comments by self-medicating can be overwhelming.
2. The impact of substance abuse on each family member
Families absorb much of the trauma and emotional upset that comes from a loved one struggling with addiction. Financial stress, fear for the health and safety of their loved one, and conflicts over the addiction or recovery take a significant toll on the family of patients in recovery.
When kids are involved, it is all the more critical for therapists to recognize the mental and emotional burdens that could affect the children’s emotional state and physical well being.
When a codependent relationship exists between someone struggling with substance abuse and their partner, it creates a situation that has an impact on the family unit as a whole.
Family addiction therapy will address these and other stressors. It will promote healthy coping mechanisms for any family member who needs help.
3. How the whole family can be a positive influence for recovery
The love and support from a close, caring family act as a healing balm for trauma and emotional difficulties. But knowing how to give support and be present without becoming overprotective or enabling counterproductive behavior is not a skill that comes naturally for most people. Family therapy can help loved ones learn how to give support healthily and maintain their emotional health in the process.
The skills families learn in family addiction therapy can lower the incidence of relapse for their loved ones by promoting better problem-solving techniques. Therapists can do this by reframing situations into healthier and more productive scenarios.
For example, if a family has a history of ignoring conflict until it reaches a boiling point and explodes, the therapist may work with them to come up with calm ways of expressing emotions when they feel something is becoming a problem.
4. Mending relationships and rebuilding bridges
Addiction takes a toll on each family member individually, but it also damages relationship dynamics between individuals. It is challenging to preserve happy relationships in an atmosphere where hiding substance abuse, lying about activities, and being suspicious of others’ behavior has become the norm.
An individual may experience success in uncovering and dealing with their issues that lead to addiction during treatment. However, familial relationships take extra time and effort to heal as there are often many more layers to these issues. Family addiction therapy aims to clear away those feelings of mistrust and tension left over from the height of the addiction struggle.
How Clear Life Recovery Can Help
Clear Life’s family addiction therapy uses proven techniques to address these and any other concerns your family may have. Our goal is to help each family move forward with their loved one in recovery as a healthy and happy unit. Call us today to start getting your family on the right track.