Tag: family dynamics

Sobriety for the Entire Family: Family Dynamics in Recovery

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.

changing unhealthy family dynamics

How does addiction really effect the family?

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.

Family Therapy

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.

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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.

Learn how to deal with your family in sobriety!

Family Restructuring

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.

What’s emotional sobriety all about?

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.

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My Brother is in Rehab…What Now?

You’re in Recovery and Your Brother is in Rehab…What Do You Do?

By: Tim Myers

Nothing. You do nothing. Nothing special. Nothing out of the ordinary. You do nothing. Well, maybe make a sign that says Do Nothing, and hang it next to your bed.

I’m in recovery. I’ve been sober for almost four years. My brother’s in treatment and is scheduled to get out in just a few days. I’m not handling it very well.

family in rehab

First of all I’m like, “WHY WASN’T I A BETTER BROTHER!!??” That’s just me being a drama king. I know how I’ve lived my life for the past three years has showed him that we can recover. I know that, but still the feeling that I could’ve done more to prevent his addiction pops up.

Having those thoughts is arrogant as all hell. I’m not more powerful than addiction. If I were, I probably wouldn’t have pretended I was superman, tied a bath towel to my neck, and jumped from my horrible ex-girlfriend’s second story bedroom window…twice.

After I call my sponsor, I know it’s not my fault, but now I think I’m Superman again. “I CAN HELP, I CAN HELP, LOOK I’M SOBER!” Good for me, I should be sober! I shouldn’t get special attention now that my brother is hurting. Lord knows I’ve had my family’s attention for far to long anyway.

Is addiction genetic? Find out the link between addiction and genes today!

Helping Myself…Helps My Brother

My brother, the one in treatment, used to call me the “golden child.” He didn’t call me this because I was really fantastic, but because when I messed up my parents would say, “OH TIMMY!” and when I would do great things, like stay sober for a few moths, they’d say, “OH TIMMY!”

So, enough of Timmy. I’m not needed to help my brother right now. I’m not qualified and I’m still a newcomer. If my family could’ve gotten me sober, I wouldn’t have ended up in nine rehabs in five different sates in a ten-year period. My brother needs his space. He needs his own path, his own story, and his own life. I know this, so I’ll unpack my bags.

I’m sitting here racking my brain, trying to figure out what I can do. I realize anything I do to try and help my brother could possibly hurt him. I also realize that anything I do to help myself might help my brother.

This is the time I need to hit more meetings. This is the time I need to check out Al-Anon. This is the time to connect with fellow recovering friends who’ve been through the same struggles.

I could raise my hand at a meeting. I could buy a drunk I’m not related to a cup of coffee. I could pray and mediate. The best thing I can do for my brother is take care of myself. The worst thing I can do is get so caught up in his stuff that I let my own program fall into the pit.

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Attraction Rather Than Promotion

I look back to when I had five months sober. I looked at my sponsor like an older brother. If he had relapsed, it would have been a major blow to the idea that recovery is real and possible. It would have been a major blow to the idea that God is real and he loves me. If I go down, if I drink, there may not be too many other role models for my brother to look towards.

It wasn’t my fault. Thank God. I shouldn’t put the cape on and save the day (because it can’t be saved by anyone other than God).

I need to do nothing for my brother. I need to remain where I am. I need to take car of myself in all the ways I want to take care of him. I need to do nothing for my brother. I need to do everything for myself and the others who ask for my help.

I can do nothing for my brother right now, but by doing nothing, I may be helping him get everything.

Learn how to get your family back after addiction

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