Relationships play a central role in any person’s life so it’s no surprise that they take the most damage when addiction happens. People struggling with addiction often end up ruining the very relationships they need to receive care and support. They may end up antagonizing and pushing away family and friends who only want the best for them. This may be out of guilt or shame about their addiction and lashing out at those closest to them is their way of dealing with those emotions.
Family members who find themselves dealing with a loved one’s addiction are often at a loss for what to do. Some end up excusing the loved one’s addiction and behavior, others may enable them while some may end up being resentful. Family communication and dynamics may break down as the members find different ways of coping with the addiction.
In such situations, help is needed to rebuild the bond the family had.
How Family Therapy Can Help
Since families are important in the recovery process, addiction treatment centers provide family therapy along with their treatment programs. At the Robert Alexander Center for Recovery, we encouraged loved ones to attend family therapy sessions along with the person in recovery.
Family therapy provides a safe space for the family to talk honestly and openly about what they’ve felt and experienced as a result of their loved one’s addiction. The sessions are led by a family therapist and can restore damaged relationships through:
Helping families communicate better
Addiction can make a loved one more secretive and withdrawn or more hostile and aggressive, none of which are conducive to communication. However, by working on their communication skills, learning to listen to each other and recognizing each other’s needs, families can improve how they communicate.
Helping families learn how to set boundaries
Addiction can erode boundaries in a family. Family therapy encourages family members to set healthy boundaries to maintain their autonomy and avoid conflicts that may contribute to relapse.
Resolving underlying issues
Sometimes addiction happens as a result of an unhealthy family environment. Through counseling, families can uncover the root causes of their loved one’s battle with addiction and can then work on resolving them. They can also learn to replace unhealthy habits with positive ones.
Supporting each other through the recovery process
Both those struggling with addiction and their families need support as they go through recovery. This support can start as early as the detox stage and through to the rest of the addiction treatment. Having a healthy and supportive home environment is especially crucial for those in outpatient programs as they don’t live in the sheltered environment of a rehab facility.
Addiction doesn’t have to crush your family and relationships. Help is available. Contact us to find out more about the addiction treatment programs offered at the Robert Alexander Center for Recovery. We can help you save the important relationships in your life as you undergo addiction recovery.