Written By: Fiona Stockard
The Importance of Recovery for the Entire Family
It’s 2014, everyone is well aware that addiction’s a family disease. What most people don’t realize, though, is that recovery’s also a family matter. Addicts don’t get sick alone. They don’t get healthy on their own, either.
What’s family recovery? For that matter, why should the family be forced to work on themselves when they weren’t the ones drinking or drugging to begin with? Those are both valid questions. Let’s examine how the family can effect positive growth.
Strategies for Healthy Family Dynamics
We’ll be looking at four common ways families can bring about positive change. These are family therapy, Family Systems Theory, Family Restructuring, and Addiction Treatment Continuing Care.
This is an umbrella term for many different modalities of family recovery. In fact, Family Systems Theory, Family Restructuring, and Addiction Treatment Continuing Care are all forms of family therapy.
Family therapy varies in its form and intensity. It can range from infrequent, one-on-one counseling sessions, to comprehensive entire family workshops. It can be as mild or as inclusive as the family wishes.
Implementing any type of family therapy while one or more members are in active addiction usually doesn’t produce spectacular results. Rather, in active addiction members are capable of listening and learning, but are incapable of effecting change.
Addiction demands stasis and all forms of family therapy attempt to bring active change to the family unit. Therefore, it’s advisable to begin family therapy only after your loved one has sought treatment.
Family Systems Theory
This is an inclusive and multilayered way of addressing family concerns. Family Systems Theory examines the roles and dynamics at play in families. It then seeks to heal unhealthy behavior and relationships through intensive and comprehensive family counseling.
This counseling challenges long-established roles and entrenched modes of thought. It offers each family member the ability to “walk a mile in each other’s shoes.” The individual suffering from addiction learns what their family struggles through. Meanwhile, the family learns how addiction how warped their loved one.
In this way, the family moves together from codependence to interdependence, where family members work with each other towards a common goal, instead of staying stagnant in unhealthy patterns.
Family Restructuring is type of family therapy in which family members actually live, for a period of time, with the individual in treatment.
During this period, the family engages in daily clinical intervention. While addiction, it’s effects on the family, and unhealthy dynamics are certainly addressed, Family Restructuring also offers a wider lens. It looks at trauma, mental health, and issues of grief and loss as well.
Through this comprehensive approach, the family leaves with a greater understanding of both positive and negative family dynamics. Family restructuring also reinforces the idea that healthy communication is key to the addict’s sobriety and the greater family’s recovery.
Addiction Treatment Continuing Care
This is a long-term form of family therapy. Addiction Treatment Continuing Care is an umbrella name for the many services treatment centers offer graduates of their programs. For the sake of this article, as well as brevity, we’ll only be looking at Addiction Treatment Family Therapy Continuing Care.
While a family member’s in treatment, they’re protected. They’re in a drug and alcohol free bubble. They’re also in a family free bubble. However, when they graduate and reenter the world, both drugs and family stress emerge.
This is where Addiction Treatment Continuing Care steps in. Continuing to work with the same clinician(s) the family has established trust in promotes a level of accountability. Engaging in family therapy, of all kinds, keeps addicts and their families from falling back into well-worn patterns of unhealthy behavior.
Addiction is a complicated and often misunderstood disorder. Quality addiction treatment requires a comprehensive and compassionate approach. Fortunately, that’s where Lighthouse Recovery Institute steps in.
We offer Comprehensive Addiction Treatment at a variety of levels. Call us today at 1-844-I-CAN-CHANGE or 1-(561)-381-0015 to find out about our individualized and inclusive substance abuse programs.
Recovery is possible for anyone and everyone. Learn how we help you or a loved one take the first step towards a new life.
Lighthouse Recovery Institute: Guiding You to a Brighter Tomorrow