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Family Addiction Counseling Techniques

Addiction is a family disease. Beyond affecting the person with the disease, addiction can impact everyone who loves them, especially their immediate family. Being able to treat the entire family can be vital for a successful recovery. When a person decides to seek treatment for their addiction, they are receiving individual care. When a family receives treatment, the goal is for the entire family to be heard and to have their needs met as well. Most practitioners encourage both forms of treatment to provide a comprehensive approach to healing.


What is Family Therapy?


Family therapy is a set of therapeutic approaches that aim to help strengthen a family and provide them with resources that will help them live without drugs or alcohol. Family therapists work to help families find ways to reduce the harmful consequences caused by addiction. Additional issues known to be addressed in family therapy include helping people deal with parenting skills, abuse, depression, conflict resolution, and unemployment. Care can and should be individualized for individuals to achieve an effective outcome. Families can expect more of an educational experience from family therapy, allowing participants to ask questions to increase the dialogue that helps with the healing process. 


Individual therapy plays an important role in a person’s recovery, as it helps them to focus on understanding and improving their thoughts and behaviors. Family therapy helps to focus on the relationships, and aims to understand and validate the experiences of each family member. Family therapists strive to bring clarity to all relationships and to repair the brokenness that may have occurred because of addiction. Without receiving addiction therapy on a family level, the possibility for a person to become hindered in their recovery increases, as family members may continue their dysfunctional or enabling behaviors.


How Effective is Family Therapy?


Treatment experts highly recommend that substance abuse counselors incorporate family therapy techniques into their treatment plans. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have put out a guide for substance abuse counselors and family therapists to utilize when providing care. The guide includes basic information regarding substance abuse treatment models and the role of 12-Step programs and other self-help programs for individuals and their families. The manual, which is called “Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy’,’ also includes a discussion of treatment models that can integrate substance abuse treatment as well as family therapy. 


Research continues to show the effectiveness of family therapy, reinforcing that it may be a useful component of successful addiction treatment. One study conducted by the SAMHSA notes that family therapy helps to reduce substance use and other harmful behaviors while also improving social functioning. Additionally, couples who seek therapy together have been shown to experience a healthier relationship, reduced occurrences of separation and divorce, and a decrease in domestic violence. 


The Benefits of Family Therapy


The benefits of family therapy can make a great impact upon a person’s trajectory. Healing can finally take place and trust can be restored. Here are a few of the most common benefits of family therapy:


  • Individuals can gain a better understanding of the nature of addiction, and why certain behaviors take place when the disease takes hold. 
  • Each person has the opportunity for self-assessment and the ability to gain insight from a therapist.
  • Maladaptive family patterns can be discussed and treated with healthy replacement behaviors. 
  • It’s essential that a person fighting addiction and their family all become effective communicators. This will require serious investment by all parties. Having a therapist to guide the group and address toxic means of communication can help achieve successful outcomes in recovery.
  • Though regaining trust can take a lot of effort, it is an extremely important part of the healing process. Family members may be understandably reluctant to trust again, due to the turmoil they have gone through. Developing open communication, encouraging honest interactions, and implementing positive changes are all ways to mend broken wounds.  
  • During family therapy, everyone’s voice will be heard. Addiction can lead to burned bridges and hurt feelings. Being able to share inner pain and anger in a safe and healthy place can contribute to collective recovery.
  • Learning how to set boundaries is a necessary step toward healthy recovery for the entire family. 


Our families serve to connect our lives. Seeking treatment that brings your family together and teaches them healthy behaviors is one of the best things a unit can do for a successful recovery. If you or a family member needs a family therapy program, call RECO Intensive at (561) 464-6533. We provide dedicated support that can help address your concerns and answer any questions you may have about treatment options.

If you or someone you love is battling addiction, getting the right kind of help is key. While individual therapy plays an important part in the recovery process, don’t forget family therapy, either. Utilizing therapy to unite your family and loved ones who have been affected by substance abuse can serve to mend broken relationships and educate individuals to eliminate maladaptive behaviors. The benefits of family therapy are lasting and significant, which is why family therapy has become a staple in modern addiction treatment. Addiction affects more than just the user; everyone can benefit from participating in the healing process. RECO Intensive understands the work it takes for a family to heal from substance abuse and the trauma that it may have caused. We help patients and their families acquire skills to help cope with conflict and create and maintain healthy boundaries that will keep their recovery successful. Do not wait any longer. Call us at (561) 464-6533 to learn more.

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