Family Therapy for Addiction
Addiction doesn’t just affect the person using substances. Those suffering from substance abuse disorder can find themselves caught in a number of destructive patterns, ensuing chaos all around them, including their closest relationships. At Birmingham Recovery Center, we understand the impact addiction has on those struggling, as well as the impact on the entire family. Our Family therapy for addiction programming helps guide you through the shame, fear, hopelessness, and restore family strain to find connection and healing.
How Does Family Therapy for Addiction Work?
A family system interacts involving emotions, behaviors, and physiology. No matter how close you may be to the person suffering, every person in the family system is affected by addiction and causes ongoing distress for loved ones. When a person is struggling with addiction, they will see a distinct change in their loved one and may not recognize their thoughts, patterns, or behaviors anymore. At Birmingham Recovery Center, we help the family engage in the treatment process by offering educational and emotional support. Providing a detailed treatment plan with the family in mind, we offer family therapy for addiction to restore relationships and define long-term recovery for the entire family unit.
Family therapy for addiction dials in on the dynamics that may have contributed to the addiction and helps family members identify their own negative patterns and coping mechanisms. In turn, family therapy for addiction helps members gain understanding, communicate any unspoken feelings, and ensure that nobody in the family system is in danger or in harm’s way. Typically, family therapy for addiction takes a number of ways that include:
- Individual family therapy sessions that involve one therapist and the entire family
- Group sessions with multiple families
- Family education sessions that involve psychoeducation on addiction and what the loved one may be going through
- Individual counseling for family members including spouses, parents, or children
- 12-step meetings for family members including Al-anon or Nar-Anon, or Alateen.
Types of Family Therapy
In addition, there are a number of therapy models that clinicians and therapists can use to help family members identify their own barriers. Some of these can include:
- Multidimensional Family Therapy: This type of therapy typically focuses on adolescents and helps parents build communication strategies, and setting clear boundaries.
- Behavioral Family Therapy: This type of therapy identifies maladaptive thinking patterns and helps regain new footing with positive ones that are crucial to addiction recovery.
- Structural Therapy: This therapy helps strengthen and identify the dynamics within the entire family structure. It helps build communication and set clear and effective boundaries.
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The Effect of Addiction on Families
Watching a loved one go through addiction can be frightening. It creates loss in relationships, jobs, money, respect, autonomy, and a sense of meaning. In other words, addiction brings about a loss of free will, and when someone becomes chemically dependent on substances, it alters the brain’s ability to determine a person’s needs, judgment, regulating emotions and rational thinking.
Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease. When families begin to understand the “disease concept,” of addiction, they can understand the efforts that are taken towards recovery. When caught in the middle of their loved ones addiction, oftentimes, family members try to plead, bargain, shame, persuade, or threaten their loved one to stop using only later to feel blame, shame, and rejection when every attempt fails. Unfortunately, addiction thrives in a darkened world of misunderstanding and a loved one’s desperation can turn to enabling which can allow an addiction to persist.
When families begin to understand the disease concept and retract the blame of substance abuse, it can be an eye opening experience and life-changing towards recovery. Loved one’s have an influential factor and can help combat substance abuse, as well as learn their own learned behaviors from addiction. Family addiction therapy can help identify these patterns.