Family Counseling For Addiction In Knoxville, TN

Contrary to what many people may see on the surface, addiction affects the entire family. While an individual user’s suffering is easy to see, it is crucial to remember how it impacts the entire family. Overall, when a family unit undergoes the stress and agony addiction brings, it can leave them feeling broken, hopeless, and lost.

Fortunately, family counseling for addiction in Knoxville, Tennessee, can help to reverse much of the damage done through addiction. By getting to the root cause of dependency and by involving all of those affected, family counseling for addiction can be a powerful healing tool that gives families a chance to reconnect and reprioritize before it is too late.

child joins parents during family counseling for addiction in Knoxville, TN

Family Counseling in Addiction Recovery

For those who are in a recovery program for drug and alcohol addiction, family counseling and therapy will play a large role in their treatment. It is a vital component of all addiction treatments because without it people are not able to dig into the reasons behind their addictions. Additionally, they can’t understand the impact that it has had on them mentally and emotionally.

For those seeking help who have families—especially spouses or children—we highly recommend family counseling. This is because the addiction does not just affect the person, it also affects those around them. By utilizing family counseling during drug and alcohol treatment at Tennessee Valley Recovery in Knoxville, Tennessee, clients are able to help rebuild and strengthen the family unit as a whole.

mother and crying daughter in family therapy session address the impact of addiction

The Impact of Addiction on Families

While many with an addiction may not be able to see beyond their own issues, their addiction also impacts their families. It disrupts routines, creates stress, can have financial impacts, and can cause many other issues. The worst affected are the children. Seeing their parents deal with addiction can actually lead them to develop substance abuse issues in the future. Family counseling for addiction in Knoxville can create a space for family members to open up about the negative effects.

The negative effects are different for every family, but can include any of the following:

Negative Emotions

Substance abuse can cause all family members to experience a range of negative emotions. This includes anger, depression, anxiety, resentment, guilt, and embarrassment.

Inappropriate Responsibilities

For the children of addicts, the risk of having to take on age-inappropriate responsibilities because the parent is unable is very real. This can mean having to care for younger siblings, work to pay bills, or call for help if a parent experiences an overdose or adverse drug reaction.

Poor Communication

Compromised communication occurs when dealing with a family member with an addiction. This often means having frequent conflicts. The needs of the non-addicted members are often ignored in favor of the addict’s needs and wants.

Unsafe Conditions

There are many risks for family members when a member of the household has an addiction. This can mean children being exposed to drugs and accidentally ingesting them. In addition, the experience of having to call the police because of a drug-related altercation.

Lack of Structure or Boundaries

A family with an addicted parent often lacks the structure that children need to thrive. They may also have a lack of boundaries, exposing children to age-inappropriate behaviors.

Damaged Relationships

The stress caused by the individual’s behaviors can cause significant damage to their relationships with their family. This can also happen when a person is often absent due to their alcoholism or drug addiction.

Unhealthy Habits Families Develop

As a result of the changes and stress that an addicted family member can inflict on a family, many develop unhealthy habits to cope. They may deny that their family member has a problem, or children may end up mimicking their negative behaviors. The most common issues within a family of someone with an addiction are codependency and enabling behaviors. Both are very detrimental to the family as a whole.

A New Day Begins with Tennessee Valley Recovery

Visit the admissions page at Tennessee Valley Recovery today to learn more about our treatment plans.


Codependency happens when people have to adapt to the behaviors and habits of the person with an addiction. These changes result in them ignoring their own wants and needs in favor of taking care of their addicted relative–often to an obsessive level. This is one of the most common issues addressed during family counseling for addiction in Knoxville.

Codependent behaviors can include:

  • Constantly worrying about their loved one’s habits and the consequences of their addiction.
  • Being in denial about the problem, including lying to or avoiding others so that they do not find out.
  • Having violent or irrational reactions to issues related to the addiction.
  • Neglecting physical and emotional needs to focus solely on the addicted loved one.
  • Turning anger about the situation onto others, such as the children or pets.
  • They may use unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as overeating, compulsive purchases, or hyper-focused on a hobby.
  • Allowing the addicted person’s mood to determine their own.

Enabling Addiction

Enabling is another unhealthy coping mechanism that can result from addiction, and can stem from either fear of the addicted loved one or love. This is when a family member supports the addict’s substance abuse by protecting them from any negative consequences. Enabling behaviors include:

  • Using drugs or alcohol with the addicted person.
  • Hiding feelings to prevent conflict with the addicted person.
  • Accepting the addicted person’s justifications or excuses for their substance abuse.
  • Protecting the addicted person’s image by making excuses for their absence or failure to fulfill responsibilities.
  • Going out of one’s way to make the family and home seem normal to others.
  • They experience feelings of guilt when unable to prevent the addicted person from experiencing the negative consequences of their addiction.
couple arguing over addiction

The Benefits of Family Counseling for Addiction In Knoxville, TN

Years of research have shown that family counseling is a very important part of helping addicts with families find longer-lasting sobriety. Both parties can feel heard so that they can effectively work towards healing their relationship.

When the family bond is strengthened, the person with a substance use disorder is supported in a healthy way, while the needs of the rest of the family are also addressed. Additionally, those who have children affected by their addiction can make amends and establish age-appropriate roles moving forward. This way a child does not feel like they are the parent and can fully enjoy their youth.

Further benefits of family counseling include the following:  

  • Creates a supportive home environment 
  • Gives everyone the space to talk about their feelings
  • Encourages better communication
  • Eases feelings of anger or fear
  • Allows family members to address any personal mental health concerns 
  • Teaches family members how to avoid triggering their loved one
  • Establishes healthy ways for families to cope with their loved one’s addiction
  • Promotes appropriate familial roles 
  • Identifies and stops enabling behavior
family spending time together outdoors

How We Approach Family Counseling in Addiction Treatment

Erratic behavior associated with substance use and mental health disorders contributes to high levels of relationship problems, conflict, instability, and stress. Substance use and relationship conflict create a damaging cycle that families have difficulty breaking. This cycle can lead to relapse for people with a substance use disorder.

An initial intake interview helps identify family strengths and challenges. There are a variety of strategies and interventions we use for the different stages of recovery. Our goal of family counseling in addiction treatment is to initiate change in relationship dynamics. This approach promotes healing in a family environment that is beneficial to long-term sobriety.

At Tennessee Valley Recovery our family counseling actively involves family members in treatment. During family counseling, members learn how to communicate in healthy ways. One of the most helpful things families can do is become educated on addiction. Family members learn about addiction and recovery and how it affects their loved one. Family education provides meaningful knowledge and tools so they can actively and effectively support their loved ones during recovery.

couple in a family therapy session in Knoxville, TN

Begin Family Counseling for Addiction In Knoxville, TN

Those who come to our rehab center in Knoxville, Tennessee get help and still live close to their family. We always recommend incorporating family counseling. The negative effects addiction has on a family unit are both very real and very long-lasting if not addressed. By coming to family counseling together, each family member gets a chance to be heard, and relearn how to function as a normal and healthy family.

If you are struggling with an addiction, we are here to help. Visit our admissions page today to strengthen your family bond and build years of happiness ahead.

A New Day Begins with Tennessee Valley Recovery

It is time to put your health and wellbeing first. Call us right now to learn more about how we can help you put a stop to your active addiction and begin living a life of recovery.

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Start Family Counseling for Addiction in Knoxville, TN

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