Family Education and Counseling During Treatment

Family Therapy and Counseling

Families play a significant role in recovery. Whether it is the task of getting the addict into treatment in the first place or participating in family addiction treatment, families provide love and support in ways others can’t.

Family Intervention and Support Services

Family and friends of drug or alcohol dependent individuals often feel helpless. Convincing a loved one to enter treatment can be difficult. Often, the addiction has built a destructive cycle over time, to the point where daily interactions enable the addicted individual. It is important for the family to understand that seeking treatment is a supportive step in the sobriety journey.

Northland helps families talk to their addicted loved one about the need for treatment through intervention services. Whether a family uses a counselor to mediate the intervention process or a private family talk, it is important to understand that the family dynamic in drug and alcohol addiction is incredibly powerful. With guidance, family, friends, and co-workers can play a critical role in getting the individual to treatment, and in helping that treatment succeed long-term.

Once the individual is safely enrolled in treatment, families are encouraged to interact with their loved one in positive ways, to participate in family addiction treatment, and to attend Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meetings for their own emotional support during what is usually an incredibly trying and stressful time.

The Family’s Role in Recovery

The support a family provides is essential to the patient’s success because these are the people the patient is most comfortable with and will spend most of his or her time with after rehab. Having supportive loved ones participate in family therapy helps clients work on interpersonal interactions, rebuild broken relationships, and heal emotional wounds. A family’s role in recovery is to be supportive, open-minded, and willing to listen to feedback and make changes for the collective good of the family.

Loved ones should also consider getting help for themselves. When family members are able to take a break and assess their own behaviors and environment while their loved one is participating in outpatient therapy, they often identify adjustments they can make to help break the addiction cycle and get their own lives on track as well.

How Can You Help?

Put simply, recovery is restoring the life that was lost during active drug addiction. As a complement to medication-assisted treatment, there are many ways family and loved ones can help the person suffering from addiction. Family and significant other involvement is an important part of a recovery program.

The following is a list of ten ways you can help a loved one during his or her recovery:

  • Learning about the disease – the biology, psychology, and sociology of addiction.
  • Understanding that addiction is not a problem of poor will-power or poor self-control.
  • Understanding that this is a hereditary disease that results in long-term changes in the structure and function of the brain that lead to behaviors that are potentially fatal.
  • Learning about the behaviors that occur during addiction, why they occur, and how they can be changed.
  • Learning how living and social environments play a key role in triggers, cravings, and relapse.
  • Learning how easily family members can get drawn unwittingly into supporting their loved one’s addiction (co-dependency).
  • Encouraging and motivating your loved one to attend and complete treatment even when they don’t feel like it.
  • Understanding that you cannot make the addict get better, but you are not helpless. You can make changes that promote recovery for your loved one, and for you.
  • Participating in support groups that help the family of the addict recover (such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon).
  • Attending the family education sessions with your loved one.

There are many challenges facing families dealing with the disease of addiction. Sometimes the biggest obstacle is watching a loved one continue self-destructive behaviors, and not knowing how to help. Families can be comfortable enrolling a loved one in Northland’s outpatient program, knowing the person will be receiving the very best care possible. Our therapists use clinically proven techniques to help clients break through their addiction and integrate back into a meaningful life. Our family addiction treatment program utilizes the love and concern of family and friends to help with the recovery process.

With guidance, family, friends, and co-workers can play a critical role in getting the individual to treatment, and in helping that treatment succeed long-term.