Addiction and mental health conditions can cause so many negative consequences to an individual’s life. One of these consequences can be the suffering of the people who are the closest to them: the family. If your family has experienced damages to your relationships due to addiction or mental health conditions, family therapy can help. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of family therapy so that you and your loved ones can get back on track.
The Benefits of Family Therapy: The Marriage
Addiction and divorce can go hand-in-hand. Substance abuse can make someone act in ways they normally wouldn’t if they were sober, which can cause a host of negative consequences in marriages. In fact, substance abuse was cited as the reason for 34.6% of all divorces. Some of the reasons people divorce due to addiction includes:
- Emotional distress and abuse
- Physical abuse
- Financial difficulties due to the substance abuse habit
- Loss of trust
- Breakdown in communication
Learning How to Communicate
Ever heard the saying “communication is key”? Unfortunately, when a marriage lacks communication, it is often the key to divorce. People suffering from addiction often hide, deny, or defend their use to their partner. They are not open about their suffering, and it can be difficult for the couple to speak to each other calmly. One of the benefits of family therapy is learning how to communicate with each other without creating an argument or volatile situation.
Addiction can cause an individual to act secretively in order to hide their addiction. This can cause a huge breakdown in trust. When the individual suffering from addiction decides to get help and become sober, it doesn’t mean that all of the pain instantly gets wiped away from their partner. Rebuilding this trust is an important part of recovery.
The Benefits of Family Therapy: The Children
Children of a parent who suffers from addiction are twice as likely to abuse substances themselves. Having a parent who suffers from addiction can also lead to a variety of emotional and behavioral issues that can be lifelong. One of the benefits of family therapy is making sure the child is heard, validated, and can learn to have positive experiences with the parent and reduce the risk of lifelong emotional issues.
Building Positive Interactions
When a parent is suffering from addiction, it can cause interactions between them and their children to become negative. Whether it is arguments, constant worry, confrontations, broken promises, or absence, your child may begin to look at the parent in a negative light. Through family therapy, the parent and children can learn how to begin positive interactions with each other to rebuild the relationship.
Slowly Building Trust
Broken trust is a huge side effect of addiction when it comes to relationships. Between a parent and child, this can be devastating. Slowly rebuilding trust is one of the many benefits of family therapy. This can include making small promises, such as ice cream on Saturdays, and working up to bigger ones such as trips, gifts, or attending sports games. Slowly working up this trust ladder will help your child understand that you can make promises, keep them, and follow through.
The Benefits of Family Therapy: The Family Unit
When an individual is suffering from addiction, the entire family is affected. In addition to individual family therapy between spouses and parent and child, it is beneficial to have the entire family participate together. This can help set boundaries, bond together, and begin making memories and traditions together.
Once a loved one completes treatment at a luxury rehab facility, it is important to establish an aftercare program and set boundaries before they leave. Part of this is through family therapy, so all parties can be comfortable once the individual returns home. Boundaries can include:
- Must attend weekly meetings
- Have dinner every night as a family
- No raising voices at each other
- When someone is feeling triggered or upset, have a plan
- Must stay sober
- How to handle a relapse situation
One of the benefits of family therapy is that it isn’t always hard, emotional conversations. You will have the opportunity to learn more about your loved ones, have them hear you and validate your feelings, and work on activities together to help you bond as a family unit. This will help establish positive interactions, rebuild trust, and get the relationships back on the right track.
Making Memories and Traditions
Addiction can rage through families like the worst possible hurricane or tornado. It can be full of negativity, sadness, and difficult memories. Chances are, your loved one has been absent at holidays, birthdays, or other important events. One of the benefits of family therapy is you will learn how to make positive memories and create traditions with each other. While the past will always be there and is difficult to forget, at least now moving forward you will have happiness to look forward to.
About The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center
If your loved one is suffering from addiction, it can make the entire family suffer. The best way to get back on track is by attending family therapy. The Pointe Malibu Recovery Centers’ highly trained and experienced physicians, nursing staff, and clinicians guide our clients through the medical detox and stabilization process, all the way through to the end of your loved one’s stay. Our medical team works closely with each client to minimize the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with stopping drug and/or alcohol use.
After stabilization, your loved one will be ready to receive counseling — one-on-one, group, and family sessions — so that they can learn the tools needed to stay sober and treat any underlying causes and conditions.
If you’re ready to start your family’s journey to long-lasting recovery, we are here for you.