Making Family Therapy for Drug Addiction Work for Your Situation
Family therapy can help you discover the root cause of drug or alcohol addiction. Connections with spouses, family members and loved ones are often the most fulfilling yet sometimes also the most challenging relationships in our lives.
Collaborating with Family
Over the years, many addicted individuals have come to discover the sources of their addictions are deeply enmeshed with intricate and convoluted interpersonal relationships. We also see that often times when an individual has been struggling with addiction, close relationships are ruined or strained and the family members suffer. Throughout a client’s stay at Meridian Treatment Solutions, the client and counselor will collaborate with the client's family.
The counselor will work privately with them to help identify any negative or false beliefs they hold about themselves that have fueled their dependency, influenced their family life, and disrupted any other aspects of their life. These beliefs were likely formed when they were a child as a result of a dysfunctional relationship with one or more family members. During their one-on-one sessions, they will learn how to free themselves from these false beliefs so they can begin their healing.
The dynamics of family bring together many different needs under one roof. Even families that are divided by divorce or death remain in many ways a unique group with a select membership. Finding the best way to deal with problems within the family means accepting that the problem of one part of the family may be symptomatic of a larger problem within the whole. To look at all the possible roots of an issue is to look deep within the way that the family communicates and what beliefs create the foundation for the family structure.
What to Expect With Family Therapy
Good family therapy involves all members of the unit, making the family as a whole responsible for the solution, even if the problem appears to belong to only one member. By strengthening the whole, family therapy strengthens each individual member as well. The therapy will help them all explore how they interact, how good their communication is, how well they are supporting each other and any resentments or issues the behavior of each is creating among the other family members.
Family therapy teaches teamwork and the concept that the family unit can and should function as a healthy whole. It shows how essential good communication is and reveals where that communication is lacking. Families learn what really motivates their individual behavior and how that behavior affects the whole. When one member is struggling to deal with a problem they have internalized they may be surprised to find how what they thought was a personal struggle has impacted their entire family. Once they gain this understanding, their family can help them find better ways to deal with their struggle.
Therapists who work with families generally employ a very active technique for their sessions. Family members are all given assignments to complete that will help them understand what is going on and the role they play within the family. Changes in approach can be discussed as a unit and the therapist is there to make sure that all voices are heard, whether they be parent or child.
Is Family Therapy Only For When Problems Have Developed?
Although many choose to come to a family therapist when the situation has become difficult, that isn’t the only time families can benefit from such counseling. Therapy can prevent problems from arising when it is used before the situation can develop. For example, if a family has recently formed through the marriage of partners who both came with children, therapy can help them blend the different backgrounds and ways of communicating they have used in the past into a new and unique family. These types of sessions can also help each member develop an understanding of the new people who have come into their lives. Step siblings can learn what new expectations and changes may be coming and how best to adjust to them. For the new parents, therapy can bring better communication that will avoid potential problems.
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