We always hear stories about the way addiction sufferers have to deal with the ramifications of using drugs or alcohol. We hear about the way their addictive behavior adversely affects the lives of others in almost every way. What we don’t often hear about is the collateral damage addiction causes to family and friends.
Yes, family and friends are the ones who usually have to deal with their loved ones while they are making messes of their lives. For a lot of the said family members, the damage is very real.
It’s hard to avoid it when the relationship between the addiction sufferer and a loved one is close. It’s important to remember the role the family unit plays in our lives. Our family members are the ones we depend on when we need love and care. Any time the family unit is hurt but a family member’s addiction, ut tends to have an adverse of anyone who is closely involved with what is going on. You might be wondering how friends and family members suffer when there is an addiction sufferer in the family.
Actually, the collateral damage can come in several forms, including:
- They become co-dependent enablers
- They suffer from direct damage in the form of theft, legal issues, and physical damage
- Relationships are lost
Considering the extent of the problems caused for loved ones, the need for family therapy becomes very real. There needs to be a way for the addiction sufferer and their important family members and friends to mend fences. Without this opportunity, it will become infinitely more difficult for the addiction sufferer to get the support they need while in recovery.
Let’s have a discussion about family therapy.
How Family Therapy Plays a Key Role in Addiction Treatment
When a client enters rehab, they will get exposure to three kinds of therapy. Most of their time is spent in individual therapy where they can learn to deal with the issues surrounding their addiction illness. A lot of clients are also given an opportunity to get involved with group therapy sessions.
This gives clients an opportunity to share experiences and build support resources for the future. When family problems are indicated, family therapy is offered by therapists. These therapy sessions bring together loved ones who need to learn how to deal with some of the underlying issues that are affecting important relationships.
There are in fact three primary benefits to family therapy. They include:
- Giving family members chances to mend fences
- Educating family members about the addiction
- Teaching family mmbers how to become reliable support resources
Let’s look a little closer at these benefits.
Chance to Mend Fences
When the damage caused between family members becomes absolute, it’s difficult for family members to forgive and forget what has transpired. If family members become estranged, there is simply no path for an open conversation. If everyone is willing to cooperate, a therapist can bring family members together to help mend fences. Each individual gets an opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings with the hope an open conversation will create a level of understanding that might lead to some forgiveness.
Educating Family Members About the Addiction
When a loved one gets wrapped up in the cycle of addiction, it often leaves family and friends wondering what went wrong. Sometimes, loved ones even blame themselves, which often leads to codependency and enabling. It’s the role of the therapist to educate family members as to what likely led their loved ones down the path of substance abuse.
Helping Family Members Become Support Resources
Once family members understand the nature of their loved one’s addiction issues, it becomes easier for them to figure out how they can help. At the end of the day, everyone needs love and support from family and friends. For the addict who is trying to maintain recovery, that supports is something that can make a real difference between the addict staying clean and relapsing. If your addition has had an adverse effect on your close relationships, we encourage you to seek family counseling.
That is certainly something we can provide you as part of an overall treatment plan. When you are ready to step forward and seek help, we want o to be the first call you make. You can reach out to one of our representatives by calling us at 844-639-8371.