The entire family suffers when one of its members is struggling with addiction. It can be difficult to cope when you see a loved one hurting themselves, and it can be just as hard to deal with your own guilt, anger, and shame. You may feel like you’re powerless to help, but there are things you can do to support your loved one and yourself.
Family therapy is one way to help everyone in the family heal. This type of therapy can help you communicate better, work through conflict, and understand each other’s perspectives. It can also help you build a stronger bond and support system. If you or a family member are struggling, contact Footprints Beachside Recovery today at 727.513.5972 to learn about our family therapy program.
Benefits of Family Therapy
Family therapy doesn’t just help the person with the addiction but the entire family. Some of the most significant benefits of family therapy include improving communication skills, access to addiction education and resources, peace of mind for the whole family, putting a stop to enabling behaviors and restoring boundaries, as well as helping the family heal from trauma. Addiction counseling, including family therapy, has also been shown to be very effective at preventing future relapses.
1. Improve Communication
It may have been months or even years since honest, open dialogue has taken place between family members. Family therapy for addiction provides:
- A safe, neutral environment for all parties to address these unspoken issues
- A forum for family members to share their experiences and support one another
- A vehicle for families to learn new skills and strategies for coping with addiction
It’s not unusual for unresolved anger and resentment to be a big part of why someone uses drugs or alcohol in the first place. If that’s the case, talking about those feelings can be an essential part of the healing process.
2. Access Addiction Education and Resources
As you explore the underlying causes of addiction, you discover how it works. There are different levels of addiction, and everyone is affected by substance abuse differently. You may find a more profound empathy for your loved one once you better understand the situation they’ve been struggling with.
3. Achieve Family Peace
Often, family members blame themselves for a loved one’s addiction. But you didn’t cause this to happen. You can’t cure it, and you can’t control it. Family therapy can help you all realize that nobody is to blame. The family can then work as a team to move towards productive goals.
4. Curb Enabling Behaviors
One of the ways you can assist with recovery is by identifying enabling behaviors and correcting them. These actions and attitudes make it easier for addiction to remain a problem in your household. Don’t make excuses, keep secrets or pick up personal responsibilities for someone struggling with addiction. They need to be accountable for their actions and not fall victim to relapse triggers. Family therapy can help everyone see their role in possible enabling so they can curb the behavior.
5. Learn to Heal Trauma
Unresolved trauma can be a significant factor in addiction. Family therapy can teach your family to cope with trauma in the following ways:
- By healing old wounds and restoring relationships
- By developing skills to cope with triggers and flashbacks
- By increasing communication and intimacy within the family
- By providing support for each other during difficult times
6. Relapse Prevention
When most people think about relapse, they think about the physical act of falling back into drug or alcohol abuse. But in reality, that’s just the final phase of a lengthier process. If you learn your loved one’s triggers and figure out how to spot the signs of relapse, you can take action to help get ahead of it before your loved one falls back into addiction.
When Is it Time to Consider Family Therapy?
With the stigma surrounding rehab and treatment, addiction therapy might seem intimidating to some. Still, it is incredibly beneficial and a vital tool in breaking an addiction, preventing relapse, and rebuilding relationships. If you can relate to any of the following statements, it may be time to consider family therapy.
- My loved one recently completed addiction treatment, and I feel like they/we need more ongoing support, especially as they transition back into regular life, which can be stressful.
- My loved one’s substance abuse is causing problems within the home and marriage, and I do not want to walk away or abandon them, but something needs to change.
- My loved one’s addiction is negatively impacting my children and I.
- My loved one has been sober for some time, but our relationship is still strained, and we could use help learning how to communicate better.
- I am struggling to maintain my personal boundaries within my loved one’s addiction and find myself enabling them more often than not because I don’t know what else to do for them.
Taking the first step can seem scary, but if you’ve tried to mend the relationship or family dynamic on your own and been unsuccessful, therapy can help tremendously.
Get Help for Your Family at Footprints Beachside Recovery
Footprints Beachside Recovery was founded by a family that witnessed the destructive power of addiction firsthand and worked together to heal its damage. We want you and your family to find that same peace. Contact Footprints Beachside Recovery today at 727.513.5972 to learn about our family therapy program, or fill out our online form and let us get back to you.