Addiction is a family disease. Even though one person may be suffering from substance abuse, their addiction affects everyone around them. When our loved ones are using it’s common for them to lie to us, steal, and behave in a way that hurts us. We know they aren’t doing it intentionally but it still hurts.
While there isn’t necessarily a rule book on how to treat a loved one suffering from addiction, there are certain things we can do to gain insight into how our loved one is feeling, how we can help them, and stop enabling their behavior. Family Behavior Therapy is a great way for everyone to heal.
What is Family Behavior Therapy?
Family behavior therapy is a therapy that involves the drug or alcohol user and at least one significant other such as a cohabiting partner, parent, sibling, etc. The goal is to address issues that are related to substance abuse; conduct disorders, child mistreatment, depression, family conflict, and unemployment.
Family behavior treatment looks at a range of therapeutic-based approaches to help set goals on how to improve the home environment. The chaotic nature of someone suffering from substance abuse can be felt throughout the entire family. If your loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol and unable to maintain employment, they may end up living with you and their addiction will directly affect you. Family therapists believe that problems exist between people, not within people.
Is it Right for Us?
If you’re reading this and a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, you’re probably asking yourself if family behavior therapy is right for us. The answer is yes, it is. Single parents, foster parents, grandparents, extended family, stepfamily, etc can all benefit from this type of therapy. At Soba Recovery, we believe family therapy falls within phase two of the three-phase plan for our clients.
A family can best be compared to a system. In any system, each part is related to all the other parts. A change in any part of the system will affect the other parts. Families of any kind are interconnected and rely on each other for support.
Benefits of Family Behavior Therapy
When a drug or alcohol addict goes to treatment, they gain knowledge on how to recover from addiction. Since addiction is a family disease, the family needs to gain knowledge as well. For example, if our loved one is suffering from addiction and asks us for money, we may think we’re helping them by giving them a loan. In reality, our loved one will just use the money to buy more drugs or alcohol; therefore we’re perpetuating their addiction.
Family behavior therapy will teach families to set boundaries with one another and how to cope with changes. It’s common for family members to become accustomed to being their loved one’s caretaker and not knowing how to break the habit. This therapy teaches families to change their own behavior to help their loved one change their behavior. Addiction recovery is often misunderstood and it’s important for families to have a full understanding of their loved ones’ recovery. Family therapy also provides a safe space to communicate which is the foundation of any relationship.
Soba Recovery Can Help
At Soba Recovery Center we examine addiction from all angles. We’re dedicated to helping struggling drug or alcohol users and know their actions affect their families and loved ones. We’ve put together a three-phase plan and family therapy is offered during phase two, also known as early recovery. Repairing relationships is a crucial component of early recovery. If your family member or loved one is suffering, let us know so we can help them and you.