Family therapy is an integral part of the recovery process. It has two primary purposes. Firstly, a family therapy program uses the family to help the client stay clean and sober. Secondly, a family therapy program repairs unhealthy patterns and undoes harm done during addiction.
It can help the family to better understand addiction, and what is helpful to the client and what isn’t. Family therapy often works as part of a residential treatment program.
Family Therapy Systems Model
The systems model approach views the family as a system, with each part of the system (family member) affecting the others. When the client begins abusing drugs, it throws the entire system off balance. Other members adopt dysfunctional behaviors to cope with the dysfunction. Addiction impacts everyone in the family.
In some cases, there may be dysfunction before drug abuse occurs. Dysfunction often triggers drug addiction. The goal of a family therapy program is not to judge or assign blame. The goal is to identify unhealthy patterns and aid the family in adopting new ones.
Types of Family Therapy Programs in Phoenix, AZ
There are a few basic types of family therapy: behavioral contracting, solution-based therapy, and multi-family therapy.
Behavioral contracting focuses on creating an environment that helps the client stay clean. Often, therapists ask family members to write a contract, defining what behaviors are acceptable in the home.
Solution-based therapy is similar. The focus is on creating a drug-free environment with this type of family therapy program as well. 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 a group of individuals meeting to talk about their struggles and experiences, several families will meet for a session.
Goals and Duration
A family therapy program will usually have a set end date and clear goals that the family wants to accomplish. In addition to creating a home environment that helps the client to stay clean, improved communication is often a goal. Goals may also include recognizing negative behavior patterns and finding strategies and solutions that allow the family to run smoother.
The duration and frequency of therapy varies depending on the family’s commitment, schedule, and the severity of dysfunction. 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 brings many benefits. One of the most important is educating the client and family members about addiction. From the outside, it is easy to wonder why the person doesn’t just stop. People often view substance abuse as a character flaw or a lack of willpower instead of a disease. Family therapy can break down stereotypes and bring understanding, which leads to healing and support.
Setting boundaries and identifying dysfunctional patterns are also important. Family members of substance users and users themselves will often develop negative coping behaviors and lack clear boundaries. Blurred lines lead to codependency, and family members may unwittingly further addiction.
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.
Family Therapy Program in Phoenix AZ
Family is often the basis for a client’s support network. The stronger familial relationships are, the higher the odds that the client will remain clean and sober. If your family needs a family therapy program in Phoenix, AZ, contact Vogue Recovery Center online or call us at 866.682.8449 today. Let us tailor a family therapy program to the needs of your family.