Family dynamics have changed over the past few decades. These changes have impacted how we view life and our roles.
The modern family may include:
- Single-parent families.
- Unmarried couples and children.
- Gay and Lesbian marriages.
- Share child care.
Regardless of what family unit you belong to, family therapy is still one of the effective treatment methods for addiction treatment.
In fact, experts have researched to find that behavioral health treatment integrated with family therapy works better than any other addiction treatment program.
Effective family therapy holds many benefits. Some of the benefits include:
- Reduce relapse.
- Improve medication adherence.
- Reduce psychiatric symptoms.
- Relieve stress.
Table of Contents
What Is Family Therapy?
Family therapy is not similar to the other addiction therapy you are aware of. Instead, it is a set of therapeutic approaches that try to use family bonding and resources to help the patients live a life without the influence of drugs.
The reason why this approach is considered to be impactful is that it seeks to reduce the harm of addiction on both substance abuse and their family members.
In addiction treatment, family therapy is often seen as education. It allows the family members to understand the logic behind the addiction and what they can do to help their family members.
Therapeutic intervention may include:
- Discussing family roles.
- Identifying the ways to build back communication.
- Learning the things that can help and why they might be harmful.
- Understanding how the patient must be feeling.
Objective Of Family Therapy
There are two main objectives for bringing the family into the addiction treatment program.
- Support For The Individual Suffering From Addiction: The important thing while recovery is tech support. It is because of the support people recover faster. If they feel like no one supports them in their treatment, they lose all their motivation.
In addition, by bringing family members into the addiction treatment program, we can reduce the chances of relapses.
- Improve Emotional Health: One of the worst parts of addiction is that families lose trust in the patients suffering from addiction. This might negatively affect the patients. With family therapy, trust can be established.
People are encouraged to forgive the patients for the addiction and are asked to help the patients with the recovery. The recovery process can pick up the pace with support from family members.
Types Of Therapies
Therapy style and format are often different depending on whom we are dealing with. Therefore, treatment should not follow a template. Instead, it needs to be formulated based on an individual’s needs.
That being said, it is important to determine the appropriateness of the level of involvement of the family members.
Here are different ways in which family therapy can be conducted.
Behavioral Marital TherapyThe therapist helps the couples to create a drug-free environment. This is usually done by introducing a couple of coping skills, communications skills, relapse prevention skills, and abstinence reinforcement.
- Behavioral Contracting
The therapist helps the family members create an addiction-free home. They also help the family to identify the triggers and predict the possible outcome.
- Multidimensional Therapy
This type of therapy is used in the case of adolescent addiction. This therapy focuses on substance use and behavioral problems. First, the therapist meets with the teen and their family members. Then, after understanding the current situation, they offer their solution.
- Multifamily Groups
This therapy method is close to being called group intervention. In this therapy, family members meet with each other every week and share what has happened the whole week. This is to let them know that they are not alone.
- Solution-Focused Therapy
This therapy is solution-oriented. What does that mean? It means that the therapist looks at the current scenario and gives a solution to cope without giving a second thought to what might be causing this problem.
Benefits Of Family Therapy
A large body researched to demonstrate the positive impact of the family on the addiction treatment recovery. What does that research show? Let’s find out!
- Better Understanding
It has been seen that with family therapy, the family members had a better understanding of addiction and how it affects the behavior of the people suffering from them.
Just as the family members assess the patient, the family members get the opportunity to assess their knowledge about addiction and their short-sightedness.
- Improved Communication
It is impossible to promote addiction recovery in an environment where communication breaks down. However, with family therapy, communication can once again be stimulated. With improved communication, people can talk out their feelings and understand each other.
- Sharing Feelings
During active addiction, bridges of sharing feelings can easily be burned to crisp. For example, family members may be angry about the addiction but are afraid of showing their emotions. This can affect the flow of sharing feelings and emotions. And once lost, it takes time to express the same feeling again.
- Regaining Trust
Substance use and dishonesty sometimes go hand in hand. This might result in losing trust. Once that happens, family members may no longer want to open their hearts to help a loved one who has betrayed their trust. Family therapy can help build that trust.
- Learning Self-Care
Family therapy teaches the family members the importance of self-care. It is because of the lack of self-care people take steps towards addiction. Therefore, family therapy teaches the importance of self-care.
Regain Family Connection!
Addiction is a family disease!
This is because it affects the whole family. One addicted patient can change the whole atmosphere of the house and can impact how family members communicate with each other.
Hence, finding and working with qualified family therapists for addiction treatment can be instrumental in healing the family wounds. However, doing addiction treatment on your own might not be helpful.
If your loved one is abusing any substances or walking down the path of addiction, it is essential to stop them and seek help from a professional family therapist.