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How Family Therapy Can Help Treat Addiction

When it comes to the negative impact that addiction can have on a person’s life, the most devastating one is often the impact it has on the addict’s family. The negative consequences of addiction can be felt by parents, spouse, children, friends, or other extended family members.

Family therapy and family support can be a very powerful tool in helping to support a loved one in addiction treatment. Not only does it help create a healthy and supportive environment for the addict to recover, it also helps to strengthen the family bonds by working through problems within the family that were influenced by the addiction.

What is Family Therapy?

Family therapy treats the effects of addiction for the family unit as a whole, in a supportive and encouraging environment. Addiction often creates turmoil within the family, including a range of negative feelings or emotions. Addressing the impact on the entire family is often essential to a person’s long-term recovery. It is often just one component of an entire addiction treatment program. During family therapy sessions, you will discuss a range of topics, including:

  • Different behavioral problems that have been caused by negative interactions
  • Symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns
  • Issues on unemployment, or dropping out of school
  • How negative interactions, poor communication, and negative behaviors influence both addiction and family dysfunction
  • New, positive ways to communicate and interact
  • How rebuilding a healthy family unit can create a strong support system for everyone

Discussing these topics, no matter how difficult it may be at first, helps to create healthier relationships for the entire family, including parents, children, spouses, and other family members. The end goal of family therapy and family support is building a supportive environment for the addict to be more successful in their recovery. While some addicts may benefit from staying within their family unit during treatment, others will benefit from temporarily staying at their treatment facility instead.

What are the Advantages of Family Therapy and Family Support?

Family therapy and family support help to encourage the positive aspects of the family dynamic to help a person overcome addiction. A strong family bond helps create a build-in support group for all members, most importantly the member struggling with the addiction. It also helps to identify and address any negative situations or behaviors that may influence addiction recovery.

A quality family therapy program will offer comprehensive treatment that helps to manage addiction, and help every member of the family heal and grow together. It should focus on identifying and correcting a number of different problems, including:

  • Negative communication habits, including criticism, passive-aggressive behavior, yelling, and more.
  • Unhealthy habits within parent-child relationships, including skewed perceptions of the relationship by both parties.
  • Denial about substance abuse issues, especially when used to hide problems rather than addressing them.
  • Anger issues within the family, including directing these emotions toward other family members as a way to deflect blame.
  • Unrealistic expectations for recovery that may cause anxiety within the family.
  • Other negative behavioral patterns that are causing stress.

The overall goal of family therapy is to help all members understand how and why their family dynamic is unhealthy, how it influenced or was influenced by addiction, and how it can be changed to improve relationships for the entire family.

How Does Family Therapy Work?

Family therapy will often be a component of a patient’s psychological and behavioral health addiction treatment programs. Most family therapy programs will follow a series of steps, which can include:

Intervention

For families with an addict who has not sought treatment on their own, family therapy often begins with an intervention. These professionally-guided sessions aim to help an addict understand things from the perspective of their loved ones, and encourage them to get the help that they need.

Assess Family Interactions

Once a family begins therapy, the counselor will pay attention to how the family interacts with one another in order to identify problematic behaviors and negative habits.

Talk Therapy

Each member of the family will be able to discuss how they feel, how the addiction has caused a negative impact in their life, and how they perceive the family unit as whole.

Adjustment Behaviors

Throughout treatment, your therapist will suggest ways that the family can adjust their behaviors, including healthier communication and coping skills, to create a more positive family dynamic.

Build a Support Group

The end goal of family therapy is to help each member learn how to support the others in a positive and loving way. This means that the family will be able to help each other in the future, and support the addicted member in their recovery for the long-term.

Family Therapy For Addiction in Atlanta

Many people may find the idea of family therapy to be awkward or uncomfortable, but the fact remains that addiction has a huge impact on a family. If you want to have a healthy family dynamic once again, the most effective way to achieve this is through family therapy. By being able to discuss their feelings, and the negative ways that a member’s addiction has affected them, families are able to open up and create better avenues of communication. For people in addiction recovery who have already lost or gave up on a connection to their family, therapy can still help rebuild a relationship based on your willingness to quit substance abuse for good.

Having the support of your family members has been shown to significantly increase your chances of not just completing treatment, but also your ability to stay sober in the long run. If your addiction has had a negative impact on your family members, contact us today to learn more about our family therapy programs, and how we can help you find a more complete and lasting recovery from your addiction.

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