Author: Justin Mckibben
Learning how to deal with an addict in the family may seem nearly impossible. An addict in the grips of their addiction is not a lovely person in the smallest sense of the word. In fact, many addicts in the grips of their addiction are scary, mean, and not the person you thought you knew and loved.
Many times when an addict goes to rehab their family is still left with the feelings of what it was like when the loved one was in active addiction. They usually don’t know how to deal with an addict in the family, whether that individual is clean and sober or not. Taking that into consideration, here are 7 reasons family therapy is important in rehab.
- Understanding Disease of Addiction
Addiction is far more than a case of bad judgment or running with the wrong crowd. Having an addict in the family means it is important realize that they will keep using drugs, no matter the consequences because of the chemical changes in their brain, not because of poor character.
Family therapy is important in rehab because it educates the family on how addiction affects the individual, so they can better understand that it is a disease, and that an addict in the family doesn’t choose to have an addiction.
- Mastering Emotions
Family Therapy is important in rehab because it teaches both the individual and the family how to communicate with their emotions in a healthy and constructive way. Being in treatment and dealing with the affects addiction has had on the family can be a difficult aspect of early recovery.
Family therapy helps to re-establish connections, while allowing the family to progress as a collective in positive coping strategies. Educating both the family and the addict in new ways to process and share their feelings with one another.
- Helping VS. Enabling
As family, we always want to help the ones we love, especially when they are struggling. Family therapy is important in rehab because it gives the family a better idea as to how to properly provide healthy support.
Enabling is not helping, and it is something anyone with an addict in the family should learn about, because many times when trying to help an addict in the family, parents or siblings end up enabling the addict’s behavior and never directly address the issue. Family therapy is important in rehab because it teaches enablers how to set better boundaries.
- Understanding Treatment Plan
Of course when you or someone you love is in treatment, you want to make sure everyone feels confident and informed as to how that treatment plan has been put in place to provide effective transformation.
Another reason that family therapy is important in rehab is to keep the family members up to speed and involved in how the time spent in rehab is being utilized. The more the family knows about the rehab their loved one is in and the way their treatment is being addressed, the more they will know what to expect in times of transition, and how to give support.
- The Role of the Family in the Healing Process
The healing process does not end once a person has left the treatment facility. Lasting and fulfilled recovery reaches far beyond the walls of any rehab or residential facility. The role of the family is essential not only during the period in rehab, but in continued recovery.
Family therapy is important in rehab because it provides more information in regards to the treatment plan, and gives a deeper look into how the family contributes to the addict’s recovery once they are outside of rehab. Knowing the importance of continuous work in recovery and how the family can help may have an addict set up for success before they ever leave treatment.
- Giving Up Codependency
One part of addiction that many families fail to notice is the problems created by co-dependency, because many family members do not realize that they are in a co-dependent relationship with their addicted loved one, and they get something out of that person’s life-style and behavior.
Sometimes family members don’t realize that an addict’s behavior and need for support can actually provide them with a feeling of being needed or being connected. Depending on someone who desperately depends on us in active addiction can be hard to acknowledge.
Sometimes we feel needed by helping a sick person or by relying on their mood to be happy. Family therapy is important in rehab because it reveals the real dangers behind co-dependency.
- Recovery Programs After Treatment
Sometimes people are able to stay clean and sober for a time after treatment without any drastic issues, but this is most common with people who suffer from physical dependence, and not addiction.
For the ‘real deal’ addicts and alcoholics out there, it is typically more than some time in rehab that supports a serious life change. One more thing that shows that family therapy is important in rehab is that it helps to highlight the different ways an individual can remain clean and sober, and helps the family to become familiar with such fellowships.
There are also fellowships in place to support the families of addicts and alcoholics, whether they are actively recovering or not. These support groups are designed to provide some level of guidance and assistance from peers and other families in the same situation.
Too many families are torn apart because of the disease of addiction, and sometimes the family has no idea how they can make an impact that drives improvement. Family therapy is important in rehab because it gives not only the individual addict, but also their loved ones, the resources to change for life. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135