For many rehab residents, family therapy is an essential part of addiction treatment. While each person is ultimately responsible for his or her actions, it is important to understand the environmental influences and pressures that may have contributed to the addiction, pressured it to begin, or prolonged it so that these dynamics can be changed and improved. Why? Understanding can improve treatment outcomes.
The Intention of Family Therapy
Family therapy is not about placing blame on others for an addict’s behavior but is centered on learning more about each other and about the unwritten rules that have dominated family dynamics and relationships, sometimes for generations in a family’s history.
For some in rehab, recovery will be significantly more difficult until family dynamics are explored and understood. For those who want to help addicted family members, participating in family therapy can be an essential way to do so.
Getting the Most From Family Therapy
Taking a positive approach to family therapy is the first step to helping yourself or a loved one. While some of the subjects discussed are bound to be painful, the determination to avoid blame is paramount if the therapy is going to be helpful. The popular phrase “it is what it is” has much wisdom when considering family history and past actions as well as where things stand in the present.
Progress takes time, and much patience will be needed during the family therapy process. Having realistic expectations that progress will usually be “three steps forward, one or two steps back” will prevent frustration levels from rising and derailing any positive steps that are being taken.
Reading up on the issues facing yourself or a loved one can help everyone understand more about what is happening and the fact that your family is not alone in its challenges. Knowing what to expect can help you be more supportive during the therapy and lead to resolution of long-standing problems so that everyone can move forward in a healthy way.
A balance between focusing on what you need and what your other family members need is healthy. Therapy may be the first time you and other family members have been able to ask for what you need out of the relationship, and that is healthy, too. False assumptions about what family members want and how they feel can cloud everyone’s perception of the situation and lead to misunderstandings that need to be sorted out for a chance at recovery.
Be Open to the Therapeutic Process
The more you can let go of preconceived notions about what therapy is or what kinds of people go to therapy, the more you will be open to the process and the better it will work. Being defensive about your situation, your feelings, or your past or present actions obstructs everything a therapist is trying to do and perpetuates unhealthy patterns. Family therapy has helped countless people in Colorado drug rehab to understand themselves or their environments better and has helped in the recovery process by taking away some of the power that family situations may have had over an addict.
Recovery Village at Palmer Lake is a Colorado drug rehab that offers family therapy as part of our individualized drug and alcohol treatment programs. We want to help families heal from past hurts and be able to move forward in healthier ways. Contact us today to discuss treatment options including therapy.