Journalists don’t write many articles about the collateral damage addictions cause. We hear a lot about drugs, alcohol, and the addiction sufferer, but we don’t hear much about the destructive nature of addiction. That destructive nature is never more evident than when we look at what it does to the family unit. That’s where much of the collateral damage occurs. It’s no coincidence that family therapy has become an important part of dual diagnosis treatment programs in Texas. With that in mind, we thought it would be prudent to investigate family therapy for addiction a little further.
How Addiction Affects the Family
Before family therapy has a chance to work its magic, there needs to be a clear idea of how a person’s addiction is affecting family members. Essentially, we can classify the effects on family and friends into three categories as follows:
The Enablers – These are the family members who have an awareness that substance abuse problems exist. Setting that knowledge aside, they tend to do things to enable their loved one to continue their addictive behavior. A good example of this would be the family member who gives the addiction sufferer money when they know where that money is going. Basically, enablers do nothing to help.
Co-Dependents – This group consists of friends and family members that allow themselves to participate in addicts drama. If the addiction sufferer steals money, it’s usually from co-dependents. These are the people that sit by and watch their own lives crumble while they try to help their loved one. Without the drama, they begin to suffer.
Avoiders – These are the friends and family members that give up on their loved one. They carry around anger and offer nothing in the way of moral support. These are also the folks that are least likely to participate in a family therapy program.
The Benefits of a Family Therapy Program in TX
Every family therapy program for addiction has a very specific purpose. The most basic goal of family therapy for addiction is to bring the family somehow back together. By the way, one family member’s addiction can cause issues between other family members, exclusive of the addiction sufferer. When the family unit splinters, a family therapy program is the best way to bring family members back together.
A lot of the tools a therapist uses focus on teaching family members to communicate in ways that are constructive. They need to learn or relearn how to effectively express their feelings to one another without stepping on toes. If family members can learn to communicate among themselves, they’ll likely find it easier to deal with difficult situations.
In the end, the most important goal of family therapy is providing the addiction sufferers with an important support resource. Recovery is a difficult process. It’s an even taller mountain to climb if the person in recovery has no support from the most important people in their life. If family therapy provides only one benefit, this is the one that counts. With family support, the person in recovery’s odds of staying clean go up exponentially.
The Right Step Hill Country – Bringing the Family Unit Back Together
No matter what other programs our therapists might prescribe, the family is usually part of the process. Addiction treatment programs require a lot of hard work and time. When our therapists create a treatment program, they want it to work the first time. Making sure family members are on board with the process enhances the likelihood of success. For a clear understanding of what we do, here’s a menu of our treatment services;
- Evidence-based therapies like CBT and DBT
- Individual and family counseling
- Inpatient and outpatient treatment options
- Detox programs
- Chronic Relapse tracking program
- Alumni programs
- Access to 12 Step programs
We also offer mental health and dual diagnosis treatment programs in Texas.
If addiction is adversely affecting your life and family standing, you do have options. For yourself, addiction treatment is the answer. For the family, family therapy could make a big difference. The first thing you need to do is reach out for help. At The Right Step Hill Country, we can offer that help with a simple phone call to 1.844.675.1628.