Knowing how to act and respond when dealing with addiction in the family is a vital key to any recovery process. A trained therapist can give you all the tools you need to overcome addiction as a family unit. While substance or alcohol abuse may be puzzling to you, it’s much easier to think that way when you’re not the one with an addictive dependency. Many who struggle with addiction desire to remove the stronghold from their life, but feel unable to.
Others are in denial that they even have an addiction problem and need the loving family unit to shed that light on their dark path. The most effective method of helping a loved one come to terms with their struggle is to sympathetically address it together as a family. Here are all the basics you need to know when approaching family therapy and addiction in the family.
What is Family Therapy?
LUNA Recovery utilizes family therapy as a proactive addiction recovery approach that provides the opportunity to mend relationships while tackling issues head-on. In mental or addiction disorder cases, family therapy provides a supportive family atmosphere that every struggle with addiction in the family needs. Our team equips clients with effective family support tactics to help you properly put things in perspective
What is the History of Family Therapy?
Traces of family therapy were first utilized in a smaller capacity in the early 1930s as experimental family studies. However, its efficacy had not yet been fully understood or noticed as a full-blown method of therapy. However, thanks to a dedicated team of physicians seeking revolutionary alternatives, family therapy officially began its standalone development in the late 50s.
Thanks to research and development from top physicians of the age, family therapy was officially accepted as a standalone treatment for numerous disorders in the early 60s. To this day, the efficacy of family therapy continues to grow and develop through the natural institution and processes of modernized treatment.
What are the Benefits of Family Therapy?
There is often no greater resolve for addiction in the family than being surrounded by loved ones in recovery. The presence of friends and family in therapy affects your heart in a way that can provide the clarity that may be lacking in the moment of indulgence. All of the tools below can equip you to handle any obstacle life throws your way.
A Strong Support Team
Every individual struggling with addiction, especially as it pertains to addiction in the family, needs a strong supporting cast. Life gives you family to help you overcome the mountains in your life and substance struggles are no exception. We all need help in one way or another. A strong support backing is the foundation of many of life’s accomplishments Why not allow that help to come from those who love you most?
Family therapy can help restore and strengthen family relationships and communication that may have otherwise been lacking before therapy. Much of the reason relationships deteriorate while addictions within the family unit worsen is a lack of communication. Family therapy enables you and your family to voice your concerns through impact statements. These impact statements allow you and your family to see the state of your addiction. From there you can determine the course of action to be taken together to tackle addiction in the family head-on.
It takes the efforts of an entire unit striving together to overcome addiction in the family. The first important key to resolving any addiction struggle is understanding addiction is faced as a family, not as n individual. For this reason, LUNA Recovery therapists utilize efficient therapy to train each family member to do more than just cope with addiction. A caring doctor equips the entire family with relapse prevention methods and other vital tools through meticulous training. Allow LUNA Recovery to build you and your family up together as you go through the journey of recovery as one.
By bringing the family together, a therapist gathers information from various perspectives to hone in on the common denominators. These methods allow a therapist to accurately identify root family issues and addiction triggers. By identifying these problems, a therapist can map out an efficient approach to tackling problems and addiction in the family circle.
What are Different Approaches to Family Therapy?
The root cause of addiction and conflicts as observed by a therapist will determine which approach is taken toward recovery. Observing the approaches below can help you choose which therapy is right for you as a family.
Systems Theory Approach
This approach operates under the principle that every family member’s actions and reactions affect each other in different ways. This is not to give anybody an excuse for their struggles, but quite the opposite. This opens up healthy communication for all family members to take responsibility for their actions as equally as their struggles. Only by taking responsibility can you then take action and make progress in your recovery together.
Psychoeducation therapy teaches you about mental conditions and how they affect addictions in the family and family relationships. Understanding possible underlying mental conditions helps the family understand, empathize, and proactively support one another in recovery.
This perhaps is the greatest family and relationship-building approach of all the methods. Though usually designed for teens, this structured approach can get to the root of some possible family issues stemming from childhood.
How to Deal with Addiction in the Family
Addiction in the family can cause a lot of friction that causes all sides to react irrationally and counterproductively. Keeping an open mind on the issues at hand and how to resolve them can help you respond proactively. Using the word “recover” as an acrostic is the most efficient way to check every recovery box necessary to combat addiction in the family.
Respect The Condition
This means understanding addiction dependency is a difficult circumstance to overcome even for the most willing therapy recipients. Respecting a loved one’s addiction will help you harness the remaining coping and recovering factors listed.
Encourage Their Progress
By respecting a condition of dependency you can properly encourage one another as a family. Encourage the one struggling with addiction in the family. This also means acknowledging any good steps regardless of how small or big. In the case of relapse, this means assuring them they haven’t failed but can get back on track. Encouragement is not something they get when left to their thoughts of discouragement and relapse. You could be the one voice that keeps them fighting.
Confide in One Another
It is vital for all parties, including the addicted, to confide thoughts and concerns with one another sympathetically. Confiding in one another helps you understand each other and builds family confidence toward a sober future. Furthermore, opening the doors of communication elevates trust and leads to the next vital tip in dealing with addiction in the family.
after you’ve confided your thoughts and concerns with one another, you can begin to openly discuss struggles with addiction in the family. Open therapy discussions help a family grow closer together and with family growth comes the opportunity for growth in recovery.
Remove any judgmental thoughts, comments, or judgments from the family discussions and influence. Expressing judgment in any form will only worsen matters and could likely deepen the addiction struggle. The best influence you can have on your loved ones when dealing with addiction in the family is to reserve judgment.
Empathize and Sympathize
Empathizing and sympathizing go beyond understanding their condition. Empathizing means sharing their feelings and share their struggle. Sharing their struggle means considering their pain; the pain of wanting to quit, but not being able to. Sympathizing with the pain of withdrawal symptoms and dependency is a trait the addicted will appreciate. It doesn’t mean advocating or condoning negative behaviors, but proactive sympathy can change a life.
All of the above have one common principle; recovery and addiction in the family require It may sound simple, but it can be difficult, especially when things aren’t going according to plan. It is important for all members as it pertains to addiction in the family to voice support and confidence in one another. This means supporting them in your actions as equally as your words. This does not mean condoning setbacks in recovery but encouraging one another when setbacks happen. Your encouragement and support could be the greatest relapse prevention technique for a loved one’s sobriety.
Recovery Awaits at LUNA Recovery Services
LUNA Recovery can help alter the course of your family relationships and addiction struggles. implementing the most modern family therapy techniques allows everybody in the family to not only make amends but build strong family values and relationships. Now is your chance to take control of your fate and the fate of your family. LUNA Recovery will teach and provide you with resources on how to best deal with addiction and more importantly how to overcome it.
Dr. Allaire received his Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of Houston, as Valedictorian of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and his Medical Doctorate from Baylor College of Medicine, where he served as Chief Resident. He is the medical monitor for the Physician Counseling Committee of the Harris County Medical Society and the Medical Director of Serenity House Detox. Dr. Allaire specializes in medically assisted detox cases, treating patients in recovery from addiction or other mental health disorders, the medical assessment and monitoring of patients with addictive disorders, medical care related to eating disorders and the medical treatment of patients with mental health conditions.