Family and Addiction
As a family member of someone struggling with addiction, you’ve likely experienced many highs and lows as you’ve watched your loved one sink into the depths of addiction and then finally make the decision to accept help and get treatment. At Lumiere Healing Centers, we understand that the family is an integral part of the patient’s recovery process, and we strive to help both patients and their families get what they need.
Work on Negative Patterns with Family Therapy
It’s quite common for the immediate relatives to meet with a family therapist at some point in their loved one’s treatment process. The therapist usually asks to meet with multiple family members at the same time, if possible, because this provides the therapist a more comprehensive picture of the dynamics and communication patterns.
These meetings can help you:
- Identify interaction patterns that may be less than beneficial to your loved one’s treatment and recovery
- Recognize behaviors, such as enabling and blaming, that can hurt the recovery process
- Learn and practice more effective communication techniques
- Understand how to change the family dynamic and reestablish trust and respect
It’s important to understand that family therapy is still focused on the patient and how the family dynamics and interaction patterns can be adapted to encourage a supportive but not an enabling environment for the patient post-treatment. This is why we also recommend that family members attend a local Alanon or Naranon group where they can get the emotional support they need from other people dealing with the same issues.
Understand Your Role During and After Treatment
While it’s normal to want to be very involved in your loved one’s treatment, it’s important to understand that you won’t be able to get much information during the treatment unless the patient specifically gives us permission to share more details. Visits are usually discouraged because they can distract the patients from their treatment.
You’ve likely been dealing with your loved one’s addiction for quite some time, and this can take an enormous physical and emotional toll. Now that the patient is safe and getting treatment, it can give you some much-needed time to step back, regroup and breathe. This break also gives you time to plan for when your loved one exits treatment. It’s very important for patients to continue an active recovery once they finish the initial detox or residential treatment stay, and this is a time when the family can be a very important source of stability and support.