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Family Therapy Program in Phoenix, AZ

Family Therapy for Addiction

Addiction affects the entire family, and family involvement is an integral part of the recovery process. People in recovery who feel supported by loved ones have better outcomes. Family participation in a loved one’s addiction recovery process may:

  • Increase the chances your loved one stays in addiction treatment
  • Improve social and family relationships
  • Help prevent relapse

A family therapy program teaches you ways to support your loved one in their recovery. It also helps repair the emotional damage everyone has suffered because of addiction and teaches you healthier ways of relating to one another.

Some areas commonly covered in family therapy include:

  • The disease model of addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions
  • The role traumatic experiences play in substance abuse and mental health issues
  • The impact of substance abuse on family interactions
  • Codependency and setting boundaries
  • Resources for loved ones of people with addictions and mental health disorders
Family Therapy Program

Family Therapy Systems Model

At Vogue Recovery Center, we follow the family systems model approach, which views the family as a system, with each part of the system (family member) affecting the others. When a family member begins abusing drugs, it throws the entire system off balance. Other members may adopt dysfunctional behaviors to cope with the situation.

In some cases, family dysfunction comes before drug and alcohol use. Dysfunction can even be a trigger for substance abuse. Typically, it’s not one factor that triggers addiction, but several challenges that create the perfect storm. Family dysfunction is often one of several factors. The goal of a family therapy program for addiction is not to judge or assign blame. The goal is to identify unhealthy patterns and help you adopt new ones.

Types of Family Therapy Programs

There are a few basic types of family therapy:

  • Behavioral contracting focuses on creating an environment that helps the client stay sober. The therapist may ask family members to write a contract, defining what behaviors are acceptable in the home.
  • Solution-based therapy focuses on creating a drug-free environment. Instead of a written contract, the family and therapist discuss solutions. Discussions include triggers, conflict, and issues within the family.
  • Multi-family therapy is similar to group therapy and has many of the same benefits. Instead of one family meeting to talk about their struggles and experiences, several families meet for a session.

Goals of Family Therapy

A family therapy program often has a set end date and clear goals for the family. In addition to creating a home environment that helps the client stay sober, improved communication is often a goal. Goals may also include recognizing negative behavior patterns and finding strategies and solutions that allow the family to function better.

Each family is unique, so family therapy sessions and goals will be different depending on your needs. Some common goals of family therapy in an addiction treatment center may include:

  • Identifying and changing behaviors that contribute to issues like substance abuse
  • Learning about enabling behaviors and healthy boundaries, then setting specific boundaries that don’t enable alcohol or drug addiction and other negative behaviors
  • Improving communication between family members
  • Identifying family roles and how those play into dysfunction
  • Learning productive ways to problem-solve around conflict

Some family therapy is processing-based, which means you talk and problem solve with the therapist and other participants. Family therapy may also include some tools that complement talk therapy, like:

  • Writing letters to oneself or each other
  • Journaling
  • Homework assignments, such as reading or accomplishing a specific task
  • Role playing, which may include reverse role-playing

The duration and frequency of therapy varies depending on the family’s commitment, schedule, and challenges. Family members may participate in individual counseling as well as family counseling.

Anyone important to the client’s recovery may participate in family therapy sessions. Participants include parents, siblings, extended family, spouses, and even close friends.

Benefits of Family Therapy

A family therapy program offers many benefits. An important aspect of family therapy is education about addiction. From the outside, it’s sometimes easy to wonder why your loved one doesn’t just stop using drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse may be seen as a character flaw or a lack of willpower instead of a disease. Family therapy can break down stereotypes and bring understanding of the nature of addiction, which supports healing.

Setting boundaries and identifying dysfunctional patterns are also an important part of family therapy. Family members of substance users and the users themselves will often develop negative coping behaviors and lack clear boundaries. Blurred lines lead to codependency, and family members may further addiction without meaning to.

Lastly, family therapy helps rebuild trust and communication. Addiction undermines trust and communication—the foundation of any healthy relationship. Rebuilding takes time and effort, but it is useful and worthwhile.

What Happens in Family Therapy?

People are often apprehensive about family therapy. You may be worried you’ll be blamed for your loved one’s struggles, or it will just be one big fight. The truth is, many people find family therapy to be helpful and healing.

Family therapy will vary by the therapist’s approach to counseling and your family’s needs. Most family therapy takes place in a therapist’s office or other private space. The therapist will ask each attendee questions around problems, family dynamics, and roles. In family therapy for addiction, it’s often eye opening for loved ones to learn that some of the ways they’ve been trying to help the individual with addiction are actually keeping them stuck in drug and alcohol abuse. Family therapy isn’t about blame. It’s about recognizing these behaviors and what purpose they serve—and changing them.

Most people don’t look forward to talking about difficult emotions and situations, but avoiding these topics is a temporary solution. Those issues will continue to grow and resurface if less unaddressed. In family therapy, the counselor serves as a guide, helping participants:

  • Clarify communication between family members
  • Get to the root causes of issues fueling conflict
  • Decipher feelings that come up during communication
  • Recognize how ways of communicating or behaving impact each other
  • Notice problematic family patterns and their roles in them
  • Begin viewing the family as a whole unit, not an entity made up of separate parts that don’t affect one another
  • Learn healthier ways of communicating with and supporting each other

Often a family therapist will meet with the family as a whole as well as with each individual separately. This gives everyone an opportunity to have their voice heard and get individualized guidance from the counselor.

Family Program at Vogue Recovery Center

Family members must also heal from the emotional aftermath of drug and alcohol abuse. To help our clients and their loved ones begin to rebuild their lives and relationships, we offer family therapy as appropriate and with the client’s consent. We tailor therapy and support resources to the individual needs of our clients and their loved ones.

In family therapy at Vogue Recovery Center, you’ll learn how to best support your loved one in recovery while taking care of yourself. In family therapy for substance use disorders, you’ll learn to:

  • Recognize signs of relapse
  • Set healthy boundaries and expectations
  • Communicate honestly and effectively
  • Take better care of yourself and each other

Activities and topics are carefully planned to help you learn more about addiction and mental illness and connect with others sharing similar struggles. The experience provides the opportunity for open communication among family members with the guidance of professionals, so everyone can begin to heal.

We work individually with both clients and their families to address the issues that have led the client into substance abuse treatment. We take a family systems approach to treatment, recognizing the family as a connected, living system. An issue with one of its members indicates issues that need to be addressed as a whole unit. We help families understand the roles each member plays in the system and begin healing the whole unit and the individual parts.

Family is often the basis for a client’s support network. The stronger familial relationships are, the better chances your loved one will maintain sobriety.

Vogue Recovery Center offers several treatment and recovery programs, including:

Heal Your Family

Addiction tears families apart, but it’s possible to repair the emotional wounds of addiction and move forward together. If your loved one is struggling with alcohol and drug abuse, getting them into a treatment program is the best thing you can do for them. Participating in treatment and supporting them in sobriety is the next.

We understand how difficult this is right now, but we want you to know things can be better. Call Vogue Recovery Center for a free, confidential consultation. We’ll help you and your family recover together.

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