How Does Family Therapy for Addiction Treatment Work?
Family therapy for addiction allows members of a family unit to come together in support of one member who is in recovery for a substance use disorder. The definition of family can include more than just parents, children, siblings, and other branches of the family tree. It can also include close friends. Each person who is the focus of family therapy for a substance use disorder can help decide who they would like to participate in it.
Addiction to drugs and alcohol can be baffling to family members. They may believe their loved one can overcome addiction through sheer willpower or that they purposely choose to hurt or embarrass the family. Family therapists help lead sessions that educate everyone about the reality of substance use disorders. They help explain how addictions can develop and what it takes to overcome them. The therapists also provide a neutral point of view that helps each family member feel comfortable candidly discussing their emotions and experiences.
Family sessions can be held once a week or less often, depending on the needs of the family and the specific treatment program. Each session generally lasts about an hour.
Benefits of Family Therapy for Addiction
Families can enjoy several benefits from taking part in family therapy for addiction. Often, when drug or alcohol addiction takes over a person’s life, communication within the family breaks down. Things like resentment, dishonesty, and playing the blame game develop and cause a rift. Family therapists use their training to help families speak openly with each other and establish healthy new ways of communicating. They can come to an understanding of the challenges that their loved one faces and learn the most effective ways to help them stay sober. This allows everyone to learn to set and respect boundaries and problem-solve as a family.
People with substance use disorders sometimes feel ganged up on by their families. They may lack the ability to communicate exactly how they feel or the needs they have for proper support. Additionally, they may feel unfairly judged or attacked by a family member, particularly when confronted about their addiction. The family therapist uses their experience to lead the conversation and direct people in things like role-playing exercises to help everyone feel heard and validated. A person who feels they are truly being heard proves more likely to fully listen to what others have to say.
In addition, people who have a substance use disorder often also deal with a mental health disorder. When someone suffers from both a mental health disorder and an addiction, it is called a dual diagnosis disorder. This can include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and several other conditions. Family therapy allows everyone to understand the signs and symptoms of both addictions and mental health disorders. They also learn how improvement for one disease can influence healing in the other one. Families learn how best to support their loved ones with all the health challenges they experience.
Request a Confidential Callback
What to Expect During Family Therapy in Los Angeles, CA
Family therapy begins with the therapist explaining the goals of this type of treatment. While the focus is on the person with the substance use disorder, the entire family is invited to contribute to the sessions. The therapist will explain what participation is expected of them and how it can benefit them. Each person will have an opportunity to speak their mind. As a result, people will learn to engage in respectful, honest dialogue that strengthens the entire family unit.
Confidentiality is key to any type of talk therapy. Family members can expect that what they discuss should stay in the room. If a member of the family feels hesitant about their ability to commit to family therapy, they can attend an initial session or two and make a decision after that.
Begin Family Therapy for Addiction Recovery in Los Angeles, California
Do you have a loved one who struggles with a substance use disorder? If so, communicating with them likely proves to be challenging. Renewal Health Group understands how family therapy for addiction brings families back together. When this happens, they can renew their bonds and help the individual with addiction become sober. In fact, participating in family therapy can help someone with an addiction improve their odds of achieving lifelong sobriety.
Would you like more information about our residential and outpatient treatment programs for addiction? Contact us today and find out how easy it is to get started.