Family First – Family Therapy For Substance Abuse
Addiction doesn’t just affect an individual. Addiction negatively impacts the entire family.
When a family member is abusing alcohol and/or substances, the whole family suffers. Chemical dependency affects everyone in the lives of the addicted individual. It is a common misconception for those who are substance/alcohol dependent to believe that their addiction only affects themselves. This is simply not the case and the truth is actually much harder to face. Additionally, the addicted family member often denies there is a problem. Denial is the cornerstone of addiction.
As an individual progressively becomes more and more dependent on substances/alcohol, slipping deeper and deeper into the abyss, the addicted family member engages in behaviors they never dreamed of prior to addiction. The addicted family member most likely will lose perspective on their normal priorities; including the relationships with those they love and those who love them. Issues concerning employment, school, and other responsibilities will start to arise. One-by-one, different aspects of an addict’s life will suffer as a result of their addiction.
The behaviors that an addicted family member participates in can become very confusing, even devastating, for those around them. Nothing seems to matter anymore and often the family cannot understand why. Dishonesty, manipulation, and denial over the use of alcohol and substances cause great friction in the family. Trusting the addicted family member will become increasingly difficult. The family will try to hang on to the trust they used to enjoy until they’re no longer able to and the trust is gone completely.
The addicted family member will continue to cover up the addiction and make excuses for the addiction and the associated behaviors. Those who are addicted become masters at covering up the problem; even making other family members believe that they are the problem. The family becomes more and more polarized, with some family members giving up while other refuse to believe that there is a problem or that the problem is not as big as it seems
Family Therapy Sessions
In cases such as these, family therapy for addiction can be a large part of the treatment process. Family therapy helps to address the damage done to our client’s personal relationships while still in treatment and helps family members try to understand that change is possible and that better days lay ahead.
Our family program also helps family members come to understand what may be helpful for their loved ones as the addicted family member navigates through the process of sobriety. Support of family is exceedingly important with many family members not knowing what to do, or not to do, to show their support of the newly sober family member and help him or her maintain his or her sobriety.
For Family Members
The family therapy for addiction program at Prominence Treatment Center is quite diverse in regards to the variety of approaches applied, but there are some basic commonalities. It is highly recommended that the families of an addicted individual participate in as many of the services we offer in this area as possible. We provide a multi-family group every Saturday where the available family members of each client attend group together. This provides an opportunity for the loved ones of our clients to obtain some of the psychosocial education that we provide, as well as be a part of the healing that takes place here.
Additional individual family session may be suggested as well. When a family member is not available to attend therapy in person it is common to have family and/or couples sessions take place via telephone at least once a week or as needed with the client, client’s family members, and the client’s psychotherapist. It is often amazing what can be accomplished in a few sessions. Often years or even decades of issues can be resolved through our family program. Now is the time to make a commitment of change and help a family member reach sobriety.