Improving Family Ties Torn By Addiction
The family unit is one of the strongest connections you’ll have in this life. However, even the closet family can encounter problems in communication. Sometimes, those difficulties last a long time and hurdles seem impossible to get over due to the familiarity of family members. Also, when you add a drug or alcohol problem into the mix, it can feel ten times more difficult. It may take a professional family addiction therapist to get you all back on track in order to restore stability and contentment to your daily lives. Family therapy goals create real objectives to, not only to overcome problems, but also to define norms and boundaries for the entire family.
What is Family Therapy for Addiction Treatment?
Family therapy is intended to reduce stress and conflict through the improved interactions between all family members. Typically, it’s best to have all family members who are affected by addiction (usually everyone) in one room. While this may be challenging in today’s COVID-19 world, families can make this happen with telehealth and virtual continuing care. What sets family therapy apart from individual addiction treatment rests in the perspective and not dictated by the number of people in the family.
Family therapy looks at obstacles as patterns that need to be corrected, rather than aiming solely at the addicted family member’s role in the problem. It is also called strengths-based treatment. Strong family relationships play a crucial in the overall behavioral health of each family member. This technique can be effective in helping family members modify to another family member’s struggle with an addiction or mental health finding. It is incredibly useful at improving communication and decreasing tension.
Objectives of Family Therapy
Family therapy can be valuable to all family members on many different levels. Family therapy has the strategic goal of developing these top four areas:
1. Create Healthy Boundaries
Setting boundaries is an important part of establishing one’s identity and is a crucial aspect of mental health and well-being. Boundaries can be physical or emotional, and they can range from being loose to rigid, with healthy boundaries often falling somewhere in between. Above all, healthy boundaries may the most important aspect of self-care when it comes to coping with an addicted family member.
2. Expedite Honest Communication
Open lines of honest, respectful communication are not the hallmark traits of a family struggling with addiction, but that is the goal. Addiction creates secrecy, skepticism, and resentment. The point is the family therapist will need to establish trust and buy-in from all stakeholders to spur forthrightness and a thoughtful tone of delivery. This is thought of as re-training since most families lose their way in world of addiction.
3. Promote Problem-Solving
In order to solve large and small family conflicts each family member is asked to do three things. The first is to let go of their pride or let their guard down. It’s time to be collaborative and not combative. Secondly, family members are encouraged to sincerely reconcile and not just be “right.” Lastly, keep everyone focused on what exactly is the issue. No parking lot or ad-hoc issues that can derail team problem-solving.
4. Develop Compassion for All Family Members
Families torn apart by alcoholism and drug addiction have a difficult time feeling for one another as father-son, mother-daughter, etc. They simply become to know opposition and frustration, rather than understanding and compassion. Addiction therapists break down these walls and ask family member to imagine being the other person, to demonstrate genuine care and concern (while acknowledging each other’s feelings). It is also important that members ask questions between active listening. This part is exceedingly difficult, but well worth the effort of keeping everyone focused on one thing at-a-time.
Simple Path Recovery is a beach side, boutique addiction treatment center located in Pompano Beach, FL. Recognized as a Top Florida Drug & Alcohol Rehab, Simple Path is committed to individualized care, 12-step integration, and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Their addiction helpline is available 24/7 at 855-467-3625.
About the Author
Matthew Koenig is the principal of Last Call Marketing, which devotes their efforts to Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Website Design and SEO, primarily in healthcare and tourism concerns. Mr. Koenig is based out of South Florida. His sober date is June 10, 2013.