When you or a loved one first goes to rehab, there are a number of questions and uncertainties. It is an uneasy time during which emotions are high and there is a lot of stress on everyone. If it is your first experience with rehab, there will be plenty of new phrases and things you will be introduced to that you had no idea existed, and you may not be sure why there is a part of drug and alcohol treatment. One example would be family therapy, which actually plays a crucial role in treatment for both the patient and their family.
Family Therapy in Rehab
Family therapy is an absolutely essential component of any treatment program for everyone involved. It is true when they say that addiction is a family disease, as it reaches everyone who is close to the addict. Sometimes, family members can suffer just as much or even more as the addict.
Regardless, there are things that everyone in a family unit needs to work on in order for treatment to be effective. Family therapy helps to:
- Solidify an addict’s family members role in their recovery, and teach them ways to help.
- Create a neutral platform where family members and the addict can discuss unresolved issues and come to a resolution.
- Help both the addict and family members understand addiction and the addict’s particular needs.
- Inform family members on ways to get help for themselves, since they are emotionally affected also.
- Bring families together in realizing that they can fight addiction as a team.
There are so many benefits to family therapy that they are difficult to list. First of all, it is important to remember that as a family disease, addiction can be unwillingly supported by family members who have no idea they are enabling the addict. In therapy, a counselor will educate the entire family unit about codependency and how to avoid common habits that can actually make addiction worse.
Also, there are often many circumstances in which there are hostility and anger in the family unit. In rehab, you will have the opportunity to speak as a whole family, either in person or on the phone, with a therapist present. They will help to facilitate the discussion and guide you towards solving any issues that persist.
Each addict and their addiction is unique. As a family, you’ll be able to speak to the addict’s doctors and nurses and get a better sense of what is causing the addiction. Many times there are underlying causes that can be treated. At the same time, it is essential for family members to practice self-care and also to make sure they are well informed on addiction. Having an addict in the family can take a toll on everyone both physically and mentally. There are support systems out there that your therapist will discuss with you. Also, there are other ways to make sure you stay sane and clear-headed throughout the whole process, without letting it completely consume you.
Last but certainly not least, addiction can be extremely isolating. The addict may feel as though they are completely alone in their fight against drugs and/or alcohol. Family members may feel as though they are the only ones in the world dealing with this kind of pain in their family unit. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
First of all, there are thousands, if not millions of other people out there going through the same thing as you. And, they are getting through it and coming out better on the other side. Second, if you can work through any issues and work as a team – as a family – to fight addiction, everyone will be much better off. Learn to lean on one another for support, and continue to educate yourself on how to fight addiction. The more you know, the better you will be.
Family therapy in addiction treatment is great for everyone involved. It also helps doctors and therapists get to know their patient on a deeper level when they understand the entire family dynamic.