Addiction is a complicated mental health disorder. Its effects are felt beyond just the addicted person to their family, friends, and loved ones. Addiction prioritizes the substance or behavior at all costs, including at the expense of family members and loved ones. This includes lying to, stealing from, and hurting family and friends. Before you seek treatment, you could cause long-lasting damage to important relationships. In recovery, your friends and family are crucial components of a solid support system that you need in recovery. Family therapy in addiction recovery aims to heal the family system overall and repair the relationships between you and your loved ones.
It’s common for people who become addicted to drugs and alcohol to pull away from their relationships and become socially isolated. You might alienate yourself from people who try to help you and form relationships with people who are also addicted. You might no longer prioritize things like hygiene, daily responsibilities, and normal social interactions. Your relationships with some family members might become strained and disintegrate completely. Some loved ones might pull away from you to protect themselves and their mental health. In your addiction, you act erratically, which erodes the trust between you and your loved ones. Your parents, spouse, children, and friends build anger and resentment which threatens the infrastructure of the family unit.
Often, children become the caretakers of their addicted parents and grandparents become parents to their grandchildren. Addiction is a cyclical family disease that perpetuates unless something like family therapy is introduced into the family system. For example, if a parent is an alcoholic, their parent or other relative is likely an alcoholic. As their addiction progresses and their children become their caretakers, this trauma is instilled in their children who will grow up with their own issues and potentially fall into alcoholism and addiction too. They might then need their own children to become their caretakers. And so the cycle continues.
Many family relationships are holding on by just a thread. Everyone involved is desperate for help but unsure of where to find answers and afraid there are none. At Recovery in Motion, involving family members and loved ones in your treatment is an integral part of our addiction treatment programs. We make family participation a high priority. Family therapy in substance abuse treatment is part of a holistic treatment plan that addresses every aspect of your life. It’s a key component of the rest of your sober life in recovery.
Your family’s participation in your substance abuse treatment is a vital piece of your recovery. It improves your chances of successful long-term recovery and is an opportunity to heal dysfunction and solidify the family foundation as you move forward in sobriety. These sessions help heal your closest connections and allow you and your loved ones to forgive yourselves and each other. Family therapy sessions are an opportunity to learn, share your perspectives, and release guilt and shame.
As part of healing these relationships, you will work with your therapist to identify which family members will participate in family therapy sessions. During these sessions, your therapist will help your family get to the root of your family trauma, learn healthy communication skills, and work through conflict. Families are also encouraged to get involved as you develop your relapse prevention techniques. It’s important to include your support system as you set behavioral goals to minimize your destructive choices and have people celebrate your triumphs. During these meetings, you will all be involved in treatment planning so that you and your support system understand each step.
While most of the therapeutic process in substance abuse treatment focuses on you as the addicted person, family therapy focuses on the family unit. The goal of family therapy sessions at Recovery in Motion is to rebuild a happy, healthy home environment for everyone. Your family learns about the characteristics of addiction and how to avoid their own enabling behaviors. These might include lying for you, loaning you money, or allowing you to cross their boundaries with no consequences.
The therapeutic work of family sessions leads you and your loved ones through the process of developing and maintaining healthy habits. The ultimate goal is to establish your family as a healthy system in which each person does their own healing work and everyone strengthens each other.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse points out that family therapy produces effective results in the progress and maintenance of addiction recovery. At Recovery in Motion, we are committed to providing evidence-based treatment, including family therapy. We encourage every client to invite their family members and loved ones to participate in the treatment process. We know that these family sessions are a vital tool for anyone in recovery and are the ideal setting for confronting and healing any rifts in the family system. We feel strongly that participating in family therapy gives each of our clients the best possible chance for long-term recovery. If you’re ready to get control of your life back, call us today. We’re ready to help you.