How Can Family Therapy Help Me Make It through Rehab?
As the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) points out, “family has a central role to play in the treatment of any health problem, including substance abuse.” For this reason, family work is generally an important component of any drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.
Family therapy takes a systems approach, where each family member is part of the overall family system and changes in one member will affect the system and all of the other family members. If you look at things this way, it becomes clear how important it is that all family members participate in therapy during addiction treatment. The system needs an overhaul and every member has to make their own effort to keep it working.
If you are looking into rehab programs, it will be important for you to consider the role your family can take in your recovery. Plus, as the family dynamic will be the focus of the work, they will benefit as well. Yes, they will be concerned about your substance abuse, but they will also have their own issues and goals and family therapy can help all of you with this.
For help connecting to rehab centers, answers to questions, and links to resources, contact 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) and speak with an expert.
The first thing to keep in mind is that family means a lot of things to a lot of people. SAMHSA reminds readers that cultures and belief systems have a lot of impact on how family is defined and they change over time, meaning the definition of family does too.
The one thing all families, regardless of definition, share is an emotional bond that endures. No matter how far away family is geographically, they can always be counted on to remain emotionally connected and to remain participatory in the family system. They will contribute to the family dynamic.
Even though there isn’t one specific family definition, there are some general categories that family falls into.
Immediate family is generally the family members you would live under the same roof with. So, this means all types of parents—step, adoptive, foster, biological, and grandparents serving in a parental role. Children— step, adoptive, foster, biological—and partners—married, unmarried, gay, straight—would also be included here.
Extended family is made up of relatives who live outside the home. These can be relations by blood, law, or marriage. Examples include cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.
Elected or intentional families are interesting because they are families created by choice. These bonds can often be stronger than those formed by blood. Many people think of friends, peers, co-workers, exes, members of a community, and others as family.
When you are in rehab, you can look to anyone you consider family for help.
Family behavioral therapy, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “is aimed at addressing not only substance use problems but other co-occurring problems as well, such as conduct disorders, child mistreatment, depression, family conflict, and unemployment.”
It does so by using a collection of approaches with one thing in common: the belief in assessing the family system and intervening to correct problem areas. It will look for your family’s strengths and resources and use those to help you live without drug or alcohol abuse and help your family with the issues and goals that are tied to your addiction. It will help them to work together and to define their goals for therapy more specifically than a general notion of improved functioning.
How It Helps
Because of the diverse methods used, research into the success of family therapy is disjointed. It is hard to make comparisons. However, there are studies that have shown great results for family therapy.
Family therapy has been show to
- Be helpful for youth with a conduct or substance abuse disorder
- Improve parenting skills, parental drug use, and family management for parents on methadone
- Encourage high rates of substance abuse treatment completion
- Be more effective than individual or group therapy for reducing drug use
If you are ready to take advantage of the benefits family therapy has to offer, call 800-487-1890 (Who Answers?) and get started now.