Addiction impacts the whole family. Recovery from addiction requires a plan which includes the entire family in order to be successful. Since the process of recovery is lifelong, it’s important to understand what families can do to support their loved one in the process of recovery.
Family Counseling Services
One of the key components of coping with a loved one’s addiction is counseling. All family members meet with a neutral party who is able to keep a bird’s eye view of the situation and provide necessary feedback, therapeutic intervention, and ongoing support throughout the process. Often, during these sessions, individuals within a family will learn to recognize and work through their own issues and patterns which sustain the addictive behaviors as well as grow in their understanding of the addiction process as a whole.
Individual & Family Education
A family who attends counseling together, as well as individually, to work through their issues are better educated on addiction process and recovery. This therapeutic training allows them to recognize destructive patterns of thinking and behavior which contribute to the cycle of addiction. Children need help to recognize that an addiction in the family is not their fault. Young adults and teens need individual counseling for both their concerns and those of their parent while younger children benefit more from play therapy to help understand their feelings about the situation. Family support can have a major impact on the overall success of a person’s long term recovery.
Lifespan of Recovery
Through an addiction counselor, the family can set goals for recovery that meet the needs of all people involved. It may be necessary to continue counseling for several months as needed in order to best support their loved one. It is helpful for the family to recognize that addiction is a lifelong battle and staying connected to resources like family support groups, centers of worship, and recovery counseling can be very helpful.
It’s important for the family to participate in a program which has a curriculum designed for families of loved ones with addiction. They are tailored towards spouses, parents, and other family members who seek guidance and support in helping a loved one be successful in their recovery. Through these programs, families learn together about healthier communication, parenting, and disciplinary skills, among others. These are skills which will help the loved one struggling with addiction as well as the whole family unit long after the program ends.
There is no single correct way to experience the process of addiction recovery. It takes a family to support the loved one through the ups and downs. With a focus on counseling and appropriate curriculum-based programs, it is possible for a family to find ways of coping with addiction that benefit everyone in the end.
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