Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy aimed at helping family members resolve conflict, improve communication, and better their overall relationships by identifying and addressing emotional, psychological, and behavioral problems. Addiction is considered a family disease because of the devastating effects substance abuse has on family and friends. Experts agree that family members play a critical role in the recovery process and that every member who can participate should.
At Harmony Hills, we understand the importance of family participation for long-term recovery. Our family therapy program helps you and your family members heal from the wounds caused by addiction. To learn more about the role of family therapy in recovery, contact us at 855.494.0357.
The Benefits of Family Therapy for Relationships
Most family therapists approach treatment based on the family systems model, which believes that a family is an interconnected unit and that each member affects how the system functions. In other words, changes in one family member influence changes in the rest of the family, both as individuals and as a collective group. From this perspective, the notion that addiction is a family disease becomes clear.
Family therapy is used in various substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment settings, including here at Harmony Hills. In the context of our family therapy program, the term “family” is not limited to blood relatives or those who share a home but includes anyone who plays a significant role in a client’s life. Substance use disorders and mental health disorders often lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. A critical benefit of family therapy is that everyone can see that they are not alone. Support from loved ones promotes successful recovery.
The specific benefits of family therapy are unique to each situation, but expected benefits can include:
- Improving communication
- Developing healthy boundaries
- Recognizing and improving family dynamics
- Addressing dysfunctional roles
- Improving coping skills and problem-solving strategies
- Rebuilding trust
- Learning to share feelings in healthy ways
Through family therapy at Harmony Hills, you will also be able to identify and build upon the strengths of the family unit as a whole and its members. You and your loved ones will have a safe and supportive space to explore and discuss the impacts of addiction or mental health disorders on all involved.
The Impacts of Substance Use Disorders on Families
Just as substance abuse or addiction impacts all family members, family dynamics influence the substance use disorder, leaving families stuck in a cycle of dysfunction. In response to the stress and disruption caused by the substance use disorder, family members take on new roles and develop unhealthy coping mechanisms to maintain a sense of routine and normalcy. Codependent and enabling behaviors are common in family members living with an individual with a substance use disorder. These behaviors can unwittingly foster addiction and complicated recovery for all.
Codependent behaviors can include, but are not limited to:
- Constant worry about the addiction and its consequences
- Living in denial, including lying to others about the addiction, covering up the addiction, or avoiding contact with others to circumvent the topic
- Neglecting your own needs to tend to the needs of the addicted person
- Engaging in unhealthy behaviors to cope, such as over-eating or
- Basing your mood on that of the addicted person
- Directing misplaced anger at others
Enabling behaviors can include, but are not limited to:
- Accepting excuses and justification for the addictive behavior
- Taking on the responsibilities of the addicted person
- Minimizing consequences or making excuses for the addicted person’s behavior
- Going out of the way to make everything appear normal to others
- Keeping your feeling inside to keep the peace
- Using drugs or alcohol at the insistence of the addicted person
When family members do not seek treatment for their dysfunctional behaviors, recovery is hindered. Family therapy provides the whole family with education about substance use disorders and helps support members in replacing maladaptive behaviors with healthy ones.
Learn More About the Family Therapy Program at Harmony Hills
At Harmony Hills, we know the importance of family healing to successful recovery from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Family therapy is one of the many mental health therapy programs we provide in our comprehensive treatment planning. To learn more about the benefits of our family therapy program, contact us at 855.494.0357.