Family therapy is an essential component of addiction recovery. Addiction affects the friends and family of those who are dependent on a substance(s). Dysfunctional behaviors may support the habit, loss of trust, and deep emotional hurt.
Family Therapy Overview
Therapy is an invaluable tool for mending trust and relationship security, no matter how addiction impacts the family. Family counseling often begins with addiction education and how healthy, positive, and productive relationships are formed and kept.
The therapeutic approaches in family therapy lead the family to move forward. As a result, they can support recovery and maintain sobriety for their loved ones with addiction. Moreover, healthy parenting skills, identifying past abusive behaviors, describing the enablement concept, and positive and productive communication skills are essential.
In a large percentage of cases, addiction may be generational, and the behaviors within the family are from experience. Thus, family therapy offers a safe environment for open and purposeful dialogue among the members. Here, they can provide healing and self-awareness for all members.
How Addiction Impacts Families
Addiction can damage family relationships and break down the family unit, affecting each family member differently. Without professional leadership, it is almost impossible to identify harmful behaviors that may contribute to continued addiction.
Family therapy points to the roles each family member has in the impaired individual’s addiction without negatively assigning blame. Tip 39 of SAMHSA’s Substance Use Disorder and Family Therapy examines hurt feelings, wounded relationships, and dysfunctional family habits. Additionally, it exposes the vulnerabilities of all family members participating.
The families of those with a substance use disorder are essential in the support of treatment and recovery from addiction. Family therapy can encourage family members to respond, communicate, and offer understanding and support. It contributes to the treatment process.
To stop blaming, adopting new therapeutic work allows the family to come together for a positive and healing cause. Breaking the chain of generational dysfunctional family relationships is cathartic for everyone.
Benefits of Family Therapy for Addiction
The most beneficial aspect of family therapy in addiction treatment is the educational component in understanding the nature of addiction. In addition, family dynamics, relational dysfunction, and assessment of each family member can be helpful knowledge. This is especially true when shared by an insightful therapist.
Each family member benefits from awareness of their role in supporting the family member in treatment. Individual therapy for family members may be a recommendation once the assessment is complete.
Other benefits of family therapy in addiction treatment include the following factors:
- Learning healthy, positive, and productive communication methods is crucial for a successful recovery.
- Repairing broken trust is vital because addiction breeds dishonesty. Once betrayal occurs and faith is absent, it is challenging but not impossible to repair.
- Identifying emotions and feelings to process and share responsibly is essential for reconciliation and continued relationship growth.
- Developing boundaries involves all family members. Learning accountability and responsibility for actions helps to reinforce boundary development.
- Initiating self-care, self-love, and individual support methodology is imperative to maintain the strength of supporting others after caring for oneself.
One population intensely affected by developing a substance use disorder and breaking family relationships is teenagers. Family therapy can play a critical part in healing for everyone involved. It can re-establish healthy family relationships through and after treatment.
Married couples with one spouse in treatment can also benefit from rebuilding trust and learning to communicate healthily to repair relationships. It is doubtful that family relationships would ever reach healthy and positive levels without the initiation of family therapy as part of treatment.
Goals of Family Therapy
The primary purpose of family therapy in association with addiction treatment is to teach positive and supportive communication skills to all family members. Learning how to communicate is necessary for the next step of improving home environments to be more accessible.
Addiction treatment techniques all share the goal of enhancing self-awareness and self-reliance to live a sober lifestyle. Building a solid support system through family therapy allows for longevity in sobriety. Family therapy enhances behavioral therapy techniques that support a sober lifestyle.
Improving social skills relies upon improving communication skills, which is the foundation for positive, supportive relationships in the future. Possessing the skills to re-establish trust in broken relationships is a valid accomplishment to support self-confidence and self-esteem. The goals of family therapy reach beyond the treatment plan into the future for success in the prevention of relapse and continued sobriety.
Therapies Most Often Used
Family therapy styles are different for each population: adults, teens, and children. After the initial addiction assessment, further attention is paid to the family members to find specific needs and levels of involvement of the family members.
Involvement with family therapy can begin immediately, but the family member with the substance use disorder must participate in a medically monitored detox program before treatment starts. The family must receive a solid understanding of the nature of addiction before any other therapy begins.
Family therapy techniques commonly found in substance abuse treatment programs include the following:
- Behavioral contracting involves developing a written contract to maintain a substance-free home by learning how to identify triggers for substance use, potential problems that could occur, causing relapse, and the development of strategies to avoid these issues.
- Multidimensional family therapy is most productive for adolescents and focuses on substance abuse and behavioral problems. The therapist teaches coping skills to the teens and relationships skills for the peers and family relationships. In the meantime, the parents receive counseling for addiction, mental health conditions, and parenting skills.
- Multidimensional-focused family therapy focuses on solving specific problems within the family dynamic, focusing on a sober home and techniques for abstinence.
- Behavioral marital therapy focuses on a married couple specifically to create new coping, communication, and relapse prevention skills.
- Multi-family groups are families working together to receive insightful help on many fronts. This practice supports families working together to achieve the same sobriety goals.
Enhance Addiction Treatment With Family Therapy Near Tennessee
Recovery from addiction is a multi-faceted journey with diverse pathways to investigate. Including family therapy to increase the percentages for a successful recovery by strengthening the entire family can be beneficial. Tennessee Recovery Center offers a family therapy program that can work through challenging family dysfunctions and teach the nature of addiction and communication techniques.
Contact the center for additional information on their other addiction programs.