September 6th, 2023
The support of family can be one of the most effective weapons in the recovery battle as the struggle of addiction reverberates far beyond the individual. The impact echoes through the lives of those around them, spreading pain, confusion and heartbreak. At Oasis Runcorn, we acknowledge that substance abuse and behavioural addiction are not isolated issues. That is why our rehab treatment programmes incorporate family therapy to heal the damage done to loved ones, help them through the treatment process and create a home environment that is conducive to recovery.
Understanding family therapy
Family therapy for addiction is a type of psychotherapy designed to foster stronger relationships within the family of those who are going through rehab. It focuses on improving communication, enhancing understanding and developing a tight support network for addiction sufferers. By engaging in family therapy, your family can learn to reduce conflicts, nurture relationships and cooperate in effective strategies to manage stress and other relapse triggers.
Family therapy as a cornerstone of recovery
In the context of rehabilitation, family therapy serves a profound purpose in digging up the root issues that may have led to the development of substance or behavioural addictions. It provides a supportive environment, a safe space where both the individual and their loved ones can navigate through the stormy seas of recovery. Family therapy can help your family identify any dysfunctional communication or behaviours that are intensifying the issues and provide practical lessons in healthier skills for managing conflict.
Is family therapy right for me?
Family therapy can be a powerful tool for those in recovery and their loved ones. It can provide major benefits for you and your family if:
- Unresolved family issues need to be addressed
- Communication is strained or has broken down
- Substance use or compulsive behaviours have damaged family dynamics
- Underlying issues need exploration
- Trust has been lost between family members
Different approaches in family therapy
Every family is unique, and addiction impacts each in a different way. This is why there are multiple approaches to family therapy to cater to the diverse needs and circumstances of families. At Oasis Runcorn, our family therapy programmes include:
- Cognitive-behavioural family therapy (CBFT): Helps individuals and families identify, challenge and modify the thought and behavioural patterns contributing to substance abuse or compulsive behaviours.
- Structural family therapy (SFT): Aims to establish a healthy and stable home environment that supports sobriety while the individual is going through aftercare.
- Solution-focused family therapy (SFFT): Encourages families to identify and focus on solutions rather than dwelling on problems.
- Systems family therapy (SFT): Promotes positive communication skills, delves into the relationships within the family and enhances understanding of each person’s role in family dynamics.
- Narrative family therapy (NFT): Utilises the power of storytelling to help clients explore their identity, values, beliefs and behaviours related to their substance use or damaging behaviours.
Family therapy as a catalyst for change
Family therapy can be a powerful catalyst for change and recovery. It promotes lasting change by addressing not only the immediate issues around addiction but also the root causes and relational dynamics. Here’s how it can help:
One of the primary aims of family therapy is to fortify the bonds within the family, which is especially crucial during recovery when trust may have been eroded.
Establishing healthy communication…
Family therapy can teach you how to communicate effectively and create an environment where difficult subjects can be discussed with mutual respect and understanding. It promotes openness, fostering an atmosphere where everyone’s voice is heard, acknowledged and respected.
Addressing underlying issues and triggers…
Family therapy can pave the way for important conversations about what led to substance use or compulsive behaviours and any underlying issues that may be contributing factors. It helps you understand the nature of dependency, helping to identify triggers and devise strategies to handle them.
Through family therapy, all members can gain a deeper understanding of the mechanics of recovery. You can learn:
- How dependencies develop
- How to identify triggers
- How to support a loved one’s recovery
- How to safeguard your own mental and emotional well-being
Family therapy provides a caring environment for the individual in recovery. It makes them feel less alone in their journey, giving them the opportunity to receive comfort, encouragement and constructive feedback from those who care for them most.
Advice for loved ones engaged in family therapy
If you are about to begin the family therapy process, here are some important points to bear in mind:
Understanding the process…
It is important that you know that family therapy is not a quick fix. It’s a step-by-step process that takes time and effort from all participants. Understand that progress might be slow, but every step forward is an accomplishment.
Be prepared to take an active role in the family therapy process. Your contribution is invaluable in building healthy family dynamics and offering the necessary support to your loved one in recovery.
Maintain open and honest communication throughout the process. Speaking about your feelings and listening to others helps to build understanding and foster empathy within the family unit.
Educate yourself about family support programmes and their objectives. Understanding the purpose and outcomes of therapy will help you provide more effective support and have realistic expectations.
Looking after yourself…
While supporting a loved one through recovery is essential, do not neglect your own well-being. Take time for self-care and recharge mentally and emotionally, and you will be better positioned to provide support.
Respecting everyone’s pace…
Each family member may process and respond to family therapy differently. It’s crucial to respect everyone’s pace and provide them with the space they need.
Revisiting roles and dynamics…
Understand that family roles may shift during the family therapy process. Be flexible and open to reshaping dynamics to create a healthier family environment.
Commitment to the process…
Family therapy is a commitment. Being consistent with therapy sessions, implementing learned strategies and being open to change are all important parts of the healing process.
Begin family therapy with Oasis Runcorn
At Oasis Runcorn, we provide a wide range of family therapy services designed to help families navigate through the challenges of recovery. Our seasoned family therapists foster a secure, confidential environment for you to explore your relationships and establish healthier communication patterns. Reach out to us today to begin family therapy with Oasis Runcorn.