When addiction strikes, it is usually not only the patient who suffers. It can also have a detrimental impact on family life.
Family therapy seeks to combat this by bringing the family into the recovery process.
Family therapy can be especially crucial for professionals who may not have as much time with their family as would be ideal.
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A Helping Hand
In some cases, the family can be a crucial component in the recovery process, making family therapy a core part of a patient’s programme.
The role of the family in addiction recovery usually flows both ways, with the patient listening to the family and the family learning how to approach and help the sufferer.
Structured Family Therapy
The impacts of addiction span beyond the addict themselves, with family members sometimes becoming casualties.
These impacts can be hard to discuss; family members may not speak out for fear of worsening the situation, or they may retaliate in an unhealthy way.
Structured family therapy typically consists of a regular group therapy session.
Lead by a trained professional, family members can discuss the effects that the patient’s addiction has had on them, both individually and as a unit.
From here, the appropriate steps can be taken to help mend the relationships within the family unit.
Family members learn to make lifestyle changes that, over time, help them provide adequate support to their loved ones and lead happier lives themselves.
When confronting addictive behaviour, it can be challenging to see a loved one hurting themselves.
However, it is essential to recognise that although the situation can seem helpless, it isn’t.
Indeed, some steps can be taken immediately.
In these cases, it is crucial to consider the following:
- Recognise the signs of addiction – this includes changes in behaviour or appearance, secrecy or denial
- Know how to react – feeling guilty, angry or hopeless as a family member is natural. Try to avoid reactions that risk enflaming the problem, and remember that you are not to blame
- Know where to turn – sometimes, facing a loved one’s addiction can feel lonely and complex. Know when to seek help, be it from another relative, close friend or experienced professional.
- Learn to tackle denial – denial is common amongst addicts, so it’s essential to know how to approach it and capitalise on moments when denial is at its lowest.
- Tell your loved one how you feel – addictive behaviour in loved ones can be frustrating, so it’s essential to mediate emotion and be a positive force in their life.
Whilst family therapy is widely available. It typically comes with long waiting times.
The Executive Rehab Guide is published by Castle Craig, the UK’s leading private addiction rehab.
Castle Craig offers world-leading family therapy, both online and in-person, as well as specialised family accommodation, allowing you to be near your loved one when they need you the most.
Please visit our website for more information or a free consultation.
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