Family Counseling Program
When an addict or an alcoholic enters treatment, their family is often left behind to clear up the wreckage of active addiction. This can be a difficult and painful process, and many families don’t know where to begin. It’s important for families and loved ones of addicts and alcoholics to have the coping skills and emotional tools to navigate through the recovery process. Many people are unaware of this, but when an addict or an alcoholic exists in the family, the family develops a system for communicating and relating to the patient and to each other that can be unhealthy. In order for the addict or alcoholic to fully recover and have the best chance and long-term sobriety, they need to return to a healthy family environment. Likewise, in order for the family of the patient to live happy, well-adjusted, fulfilling lives free from their loved one’s addiction, they must have their emotional health addressed.
Addiction is a family disease, and Discovery Institute treats it as such. We understand that families of addicts are deeply affected by addiction. Family dynamics can also have a huge impact on the addict and their recovery. To create the most effective environment for recovery, we need to work with the whole family through drug addiction counseling services.
In addition to utilizing the family’s experience to confront the addict or alcoholic with the emotional consequences of their abuse of substances, we also address these experiences with compassion and care. Many families find that having a professional listen to their story can be a huge relief, because the nature of addiction is secrecy and deception. Being able to speak to the painful experiences of watching a loved one struggle with addiction can be cathartic and healing for family members of addicts and alcoholics.
Every family is different, and at the Discovery Institute we understand the necessity of tailoring our program to fit the specific needs and concerns of different family dynamics. Our family counseling services are individualized and age-appropriate to meet the needs of all of the important people in our patients’ lives.
What Happens in Family Counseling Sessions?
Family counseling is done on an individual basis, according to the specific and unique needs of each particular patient and their loved ones. Our counselors are trained and experienced in family dynamics, conflict resolution, and fostering communication between individual members of a family. In family counseling, we involve families of loved ones in the care of the addict in a number of different ways. These techniques and methods include:
- We address the family dynamic with the client, to identify any unhealthy behavioral patterns or emotional roles that may be contributing to their addiction. This may include assessing family history and interviewing family members regarding their emotional experiences in the home.
- Codependency and unhealthy environments are identified and addressed. Our goal is not to lay blame on any particular person or dynamic, but rather to identify unhealthy ways of relating within the family in order to create new ways of interacting and relating with one another to promote emotional health and boundaries for everyone in the family.
- We keep approved family members in-the-loop about their loved one’s progress towards recovery. From achievements to set-backs, we know how important it is for loved ones to know what is going on. This includes regular status updates on clients’ progress in drug addiction counseling.
- We bring the families and addict together in family counseling to discuss important matters in a controlled and safe environment. These can take place in person, or over the phone if location doesn’t allow it. The client’s counselor will be on-hand to moderate the conversation and ensure that the most important topics are addressed.
- We speak to the family members without the addict present. Sometimes loved ones can have concerns that they need to process before they speak about it in front of their addicted loved one. Private conversations with a counselor will allow them to vent their concerns and frustrations, and to work through them and figure out the best way to approach the addict.
- We offer support to families with addicted loved ones. From information and reading materials to support groups like Al-Anon, we offer families a plethora of resources to help them heal and cope with their trauma.
To effectively conquer addiction, the addict and everyone close to them must be on the same page. Discover Institute’s drug addiction counseling and family counseling program gives families the best chance they can to recover together through support groups and effective therapeutic techniques.
Benefits of Family Counseling
Family counseling benefits all members of the family unit, including the addict or alcoholic. In addition to helping to create a healthy dynamic so that the patient has the best chance of staying sober after treatment, family counseling helps all members of the family to process their emotions and experiences. Family counseling also:
- Promotes honest and open communication within the family system. Addicts and alcoholics often lie and manipulate their family members, and sometimes family members keep secrets for addicts and alcoholics because they want to protect them. These patterns can hurt everybody, and family counseling along with drug addiction counseling help to break these habits and foster new, healthy forms of communication.
- Provides a channel for venting emotions. Families of addicts and alcoholics often suppress their feelings. Counseling provides a safe, healthy space for loved ones to express these emotions and process them.
- Helps families to set boundaries. It’s hard to know what an appropriate boundary is. Under the guidance of a counselor, our program allows families to set healthy boundaries with the addict or alcoholic in their lives, so that the patient has healthy limits to support their sobriety and the family feels that their needs are respected.
Our counselors are experienced in helping families to create new, functional, healthy relationships with one another. Addiction and alcoholism can rob families of happiness and joy. Through Discovery Institute’s family counseling and drug addiction counseling programs, that happiness and joy can be restored, and the whole family can recover together.