Tag Archive: family therapy

  1. Benefits of Including Family in Therapy

    Leave a Comment

    family therapy

    New parents devote a lot of time to planning for the optimal ways to take care of their new child. Typical subjects like nutrition, socializing, and educational goals rank high among things moms and dads think about. What often comes as a surprise involves an adolescent who develops an addiction to alcohol or drugs. Most parents find themselves unprepared for this development.

    Adding Family to the Therapy Equation

    Parents who have a child struggling with a substance abuse disorder often seek out myriad ways to help them. The parents may utilize approaches like a detox program, residential treatment, and outpatient resources. These treatment plans can offer a significant impact on a child’s recovery. One thing these programs have in common is how they rely solely on the young person to do the hard work to change.

    If you have an adolescent or young adult client who has not yet tried family therapy, this therapeutic intervention may be a key component missing in their recovery. Consult with the parents and explain to them the benefits of coming together as a family during therapy sessions.

    Some parents initially have a chilly reaction to this idea. They mistake family therapy for being a way to blame them for their child’s problems. An initial session with just the parents may help calm their fears. Your client may express initial concerns that the sessions will focus on blaming them for everything. You can also talk privately to your client to ensure they understand that family therapy helps everyone.

    Helping Parents Understand the Value of Family Therapy

    Sometimes a therapist feels concerned that introducing the idea of family therapy to a client or their family might not be favorably received. However, explaining some basic concepts to both the young client and their parents can help everyone see the benefits of family therapy and get on board with trying it.

    Family therapy can involve parents, step-parents, other adults in the family, and age-appropriate younger family members. Talk to everyone about how a family contains interconnected individuals by their relationships with each other. For example, each family member holds a certain amount of influence or ability to be influenced by other members.

    Family therapy helps identify relationship patterns and how people communicate with each other. This therapy benefits individuals and the family unit as a whole to become aware of any unhealthy dynamics taking place. Each person involved in the sessions can have a chance to discuss their feelings and the impact they feel related to how the family currently works. This open discussion allows everyone a potentially eye-opening view of ways to change for the benefit of the child and the entire family.

    Adolescents and young adults who experience a healthy shift in the dynamic of their family relationships often find this spills over into their recovery. When communication skills improve and old patterns get replaced with healthier ones, everyone wins. For your patient, this “new normal” in the family unit may help ease their desire to use drugs or alcohol as a coping skill.

    Other benefits of family therapy include:

    • Bringing topics often not discussed out into the open in a safe environment
    • Learning to establish and respect boundaries with each other
    • Improving the ability to problem-solve promptly
    • Fostering good communication skills
    • Defining roles and related expectations for everyone
    • Offering family members concrete ways to support the child while also holding them responsible for their part in recovering

    Common Objections Some Parents Have to Family Therapy

    If a parent or other family member offers initial reluctance to the idea of family therapy, ask them to talk about their concerns. Many people fear change of any kind, even if it might prove to be positive. Parents may feel uneasy discussing specific topics in front of the entire family. You can guide them as to how to approach this. The family members may feel a lack of confidence in attending therapy together. Explaining the goals can help them get on board.

    Some parents and other family members may simply be exhausted from dealing with the family member who struggles. Help them understand that ignoring the issue will only prolong it. Coming together as a family looking to improve all relationships can help move the child’s recovery along, taking it out of the spotlight as time goes on.

    No matter how well you explain things, a family member may still state they are unwilling to attend family therapy. In this case, let them know that others will be joining the sessions without them. Let the hesitant person know they are free to participate if they change their minds. If the family members begin to see progress made when others attend family sessions, they may feel inspired to become a part of the process.

    Therapists who treat adolescents and young adults with substance use disorders often find solo sessions with their clients are not enough. Introducing the concept of family therapy sessions may leave both their client and the family unsure of what to expect. Explaining how family therapy works and the many benefits of it can help everyone come together with two goals: helping the child stay in recovery and allowing the family to function with healthier dynamics. Sustain Recovery believes in treating their clients while they are in a residential program, as well as giving them and their families the skills to build healthier relationships. We teach our clients to develop empathy for themselves as well as understand how they fit into their particular family. If you have a young client with a substance abuse disorder, call us today at (949) 407-9052 to discuss our long-term programs that help them choose recovery.

  2. The Importance of Recovery Therapy for Families

    Leave a Comment

    al anon

    If you’re not abusing drugs yourself, it may seem silly to attend a group therapy session, even if you do have an addicted loved one. However, it’s not just the addicts themselves who are hugely affected by addiction, nor are they the only ones who can benefit from knowledge. Addiction isn’t an isolated problem; it involves and causes a whole lot of others.

    Family rehab isn’t about sharing culpability for someone’s addiction; it’s a chance for everyone to get their thoughts in the air. You didn’t cause your loved one’s addiction, nor can you cure it, but you can help. Part of that is educating yourself. You can’t get that entirely from books; sometimes you need to hear an addict speak directly from the heart.

    Family Drug Rehab Programs include:


    Family Orientation

    During orientation a family counselor will teach you the fundamentals of family drug addiction rehab, what to expect, and the costs. You will also have to fill out a questionnaire or undergo a survey to help determine your needs. You only have to do this once.

    Family Education

    A typical family counseling program will involve several weeks of education and meetings, with different topics. Communication, codependency, enabling, and boundaries will certainly be covered, as will the familial nature of alcoholism and other substance addictions.

    Family Rehab Parent Groups

    These groups typically meet for several months. Many parents feel that only other parents can understand their situation, so these groups are popular.

    Family Process Groups

    These particular groups are for conveying improvements and setbacks to licensed counselors. In times of concern, struggles, and triumphs, it’s easy to take a misstep.

    Family Aftercare Program

    Aftercare is a broad term for long-term addiction treatment services. It begins while the patient is in treatment and continues for one year after discharge. It takes place in either a group setting led by trained aftercare facilitators or some other sober-minded activity, so long as it demands regular attendance.

    Al-Anon meetings

    Al-Anon is a 12-step program for anyone who has been affected by someone else’s addiction, whether or not they have an addiction themselves. AA helps loved ones create a more peaceful lifestyle. They’re completely free and they can be found almost anywhere.

    3-Day Family Workshop

    At some facilities, short days-long workshops are available by appointment. They’re meant for people just emerging from rehab and are intended primarily to help transition the patient toward some of the more rigorous treatments outlined above.


    Family counseling services are of great importance to us here at Sustain, since we recognize addiction is a family problem. To get started with our recovery services, give us a call at 949-407-9052

I first met Sayeh in November of 2013 just after my 15 year old daughter had been admitted to a residential treatment program. As part of the program I was required to attend 2-3 AlAnon meetings a week. Sayeh attended the same AlAnon meetings as well as Alumni events as I. It soon became apparent to me that Sayeh had a heart for recovery, program, and God. When I was encouraged to get a sponsor I didn’t hesitate. Dependable, respectful, kind and generous of spirit, she exudes an inner peace that I hope to achieve with her loving guidance, as I work my own program. She is patient, & full of wisdom that she is always happy to share with her sponsees and fellow parents. I am so grateful our journeys brought us together.

© 2022 OCTLC Inc.