Addiction treatment takes many forms. In a quality rehab program, combining multiple evidence-based approaches will yield the best results. Family therapy is one option that can dramatically increase the success of rehab and minimize the chance of relapse.
Family Therapy Utilizes an Existing Support System
One of the most important resources for clients in recovery is a support system. The best support systems deliver comfort and care as well as accountability. It’s possible to create a support system thanks to group therapy, local 12-step meetings, and fellow peers. However, the family is a built-in, vital network.
After all, family members already care about and love one another. Often, they are eager to take action and help those they care about. Unfortunately, determining how best to help an addict is often easier said than done.
Through therapy geared to the whole family, it’s easier to understand how to support family members in recovery. It makes it easier to understand how to offer help, but it also teaches loved ones how to set boundaries for their own health and happiness. This allows everyone to be healthier, and can often go a long way in rebuilding broken or damaged relationships.
Teaches Family Members About Addiction
In decades past, addiction was classified as a moral failing or even a choice. Today, medical professionals widely agree that addiction is an illness. Once a person receives an addiction diagnosis, they need medical attention. Part of family therapy is ensuring that all family members understand the reality of addiction and how to treat it.
Through therapy, family members learn that addiction isn’t something that their loved one can simply avoid. Recovery isn’t just a choice, but a course of treatment and therapy. Once family members know this, they’re more likely to show patience and compassion for their loved ones who are struggling with addiction.
Another critical element of therapy for families is the genetic aspect of addiction. Significant evidence suggests that addiction runs in families and that certain people are genetically predisposed to the illness. Learning about this can go a long way in ensuring that family members adequately educate their children about the risks. This can make a big difference and even stop a future addiction before it develops.
Differentiates Between Helping and Enabling
Many family members want to do everything they can to help their loved one. Sadly, their good intentions can make an addiction worse. In many cases, family members unknowingly enable addiction when they’re just trying to help. One aspect of therapy is teaching the difference between helping and enabling.
Money is always a big issue when it comes to enabling. Addicts may ask for money in order to pay bills, pay fines or just to pay their mortgage. However, handing over any money allows them to live without facing the financial consequences of their actions.
If a person with an addiction asks for cash, his or her family members should decline. Saying no puts an end to enabling. However, if that same person asks for help picking a rehab facility, family members should step up to the plate.
Encourages Continuing Care After Rehab
Family therapy can also help ensure that individuals in recovery get the right help every step of the way. To begin with, that means finding a suitable rehab program. Some of the things to look for may include the following:
- Separate women’s and men’s programs
- Structured schedule
- Residential and detox combination
- Holistic approach
- Spacious, comfortable environment
In addition, family members should learn what continuing recovery takes after rehab ends. By understanding the full continuum of care, they may be able to help prevent relapse.
Family therapy is a critical part of facing an addiction. At Silver Pines Treatment Center in Pennsylvania, we can help you create a plan for lasting recovery. Call 866-345-2147 to begin the journey to sustainable sobriety.