Does Family Therapy Work in Addiction Treatment?

Without question, the number one focus in drug treatment is helping the addict address and overcome their addiction. Once the addict has finally admitted their substance abuse has spiraled out of their control, they will undergo an individualized treatment plan which includes therapy, life and coping skills training and relapse prevention education. Helping the addict get clean and sober is obviously important, but it is only half of the total recovery equation. In order for the addict to maintain their hard-earned recovery, their family must also be a part of the recovery process.

Family therapy has become an essential tool in healing the entire family and helping the family as a whole create a nurturing and supportive environment for the addict to grow confident in their recovery. In addition to our effective drug treatment programs, Dream Center for Recovery also offers quality Florida family therapy programs that help each family member cope with and move past the damaging effects of drug and alcohol addiction. Call us toll-free today.

Addiction is a Family Disease

family therapy session

Many therapists and other addiction professionals firmly believe that addiction is a family disease. When a loved one becomes addicted to drugs and alcohol, it stresses the family unit to their breaking point. Addiction impacts the stability of the home and the family’s cohesiveness as well as their mental, physical and financial health are stretched to the limit.

Normal routines are constantly being interrupted by unexpected or even frightening kinds of experiences that are part of living with alcohol and drug use. Addicted loved ones will bend, manipulate and deny reality in their attempt to maintain their addiction, and this will cause family members to engage in enabling behaviors that can alienate other family members. As a result, the entire family unit will become as dysfunctional and sick as the addict.

What is Family Therapy?

Family therapy in Florida addiction treatment programs had their origins in the 1950’s. With this model of treatment, it following points are emphasized:

  • A whole family system is more than the sum of its parts, and these parts are interconnected.
  • There are certain underlying and unwritten rules that determine the functioning of a system.
  • Family systems are dynamic, carefully balancing continuity against change.
  • Promoting or guarding against system entropy (i.e., disorder or chaos) is a powerful dynamic in the family system balancing change of the family roles and rules.

A Florida family therapy program recognizes the fact that family members often unknowingly play a role in a loved one’s addiction. With both the addict and family present in therapy, an experienced therapist works with the entire family unit and identifies those behaviors which allowed a loved one’s addiction to bloom. By changing these behaviors, the family is able to change the way they interact with each other can create an environment is when healthy communication and behaviors are encouraged and reinforced.

How is a Florida Family Therapy Session Organized?

Family therapy involves the entire family meeting together. There also may be sessions in which part of the family meets or the therapist may choose to work one-on-one with a particular family member. A typical Florida family therapy session usually lasts about an hour and take place at a clinic and it will take place at the therapist’s office. The primary focus of the therapy session may be on the person in treatment, on another family member, or on the family as a whole. These sessions can be low-key or intense, depending on the purpose of the particular session.

During a typical family therapy counseling session, the therapist may ask questions or listen and observe while the others talk. This is done so the therapist can observe  how family members behave and communicate with each other and what the family’s strengths and needs are. The particular techniques used by the therapist will depend on the phase of treatment for the member in treatment and the family’s readiness for change.

In regards to the focus of each session, it can be widely dependent on the what the family is focusing on during that particular phase of the recovery process. For instance, one session can be devoted to talking about family concerns and how individuals within the family are feeling at the moment. During another session, the family might want to focus on the changes that have been happening.

Coping skills can also be a focus of a Florida family addiction therapy session. Family members can learn how to deal with anger, regret, or sadness. Additionally, the focus of a session might be on learning how to communicate more effectively with each other. Family therapy is extremely versatile and can be highly adaptable to the unique dynamics within the family unit.

Does Family Therapy for Addiction Treatment Work?

Research suggests that behavioral health treatment that includes family therapy works better than treatment that does not. Family therapy, in conjunction with individual treatment, can help those with co-occurring disorders by increasing their adherence to taking medication as well as, reducing rates of relapse and daily stress. A Florida family therapy program can also help addicts decide to enter and stay in a drug treatment program. Family therapy can also reduce the risk of addicts dropping out of treatment and helps promote long-term sobriety. By making positive changes in family dynamics, the therapy can reduce the burden of stress that other family members feel and helps create an overall environment which is healthy and conducive for meaningful long-term recovery.

Dream Center Recovery Center’s Family Therapy Program Helps the Entire Family Heal

If a loved one is struggling with addiction, it may be difficult to look the family and understand how they play a role in a loved one’s substance abuse struggles. If your family needs help addressing a loved one’s addiction, Dream Center for Recovery’s family therapy program utilizes a wide variety of therapeutic options that can be specifically tailored to your family’s unique dynamics. Through our Florida family therapy program, the whole family can address and overcome addiction together.

Call us today to learn more about our family therapy programs.