Family members often are a central part of a recovering addict’s support system, and that is why we involve families in our recovery program. Here is look at how family therapy can strengthen your recovery from addiction.
Seeing the whole picture
Incorporating family therapy into your recovery program reminds us and our clients that addiction doesn’t just affect the individual—it affects familial relationships as well. So when considering a comprehensive addiction recovery program, it truly wouldn’t make sense not to involve some sort of family therapy.
Offering needed healing
With that said, it’s important to remember that family members of a recovering addict need healing as well. Chances are they have suffered seeing their loved one battle addiction, and they may very well be coping after the effects of codependency. Family therapy allows family members to find the healing they need as you seek healing yourself.
Strengthening the support system
When you strengthen members of a recovering addict’s support system, you allow them to be better able to support the loved one in their recovery. So in offering healing to a family, you are in turn strengthening the healing process for the recovering addict.
Codependency is when family members and friends of an addict lose the ability to have healthy, mutual relationships with a loved one. In codependency, the relationship becomes one-sided and emotionally destructive. Well meaning family members may even inadvertently enable addictive behaviors. Family counseling can teach family members how to identify codependency and arm them with the tools they need to build a healthy relationship once again.
Family counseling can also teach family members and recovering addicts how to better communicate with one another. Strong communication, after all, is one of the most powerful ways that family members can support their loved ones through recovery. Family therapy helps family members and recovering addicts identify points of dysfunctional communication—and replace those weak points with stronger communication methods.