Addiction does not exist in a silo. The person misusing drugs or alcohol is not the only one affected. There is a ripple effect that touches everyone in the family as well as friends, co-workers, and communities. The impact of addiction is far-reaching. Therefore, it makes sense that individuals in addiction recovery are not the only ones who can benefit from counseling or therapy; family members can too.
Family members may have difficulty understanding how or why a loved one became addicted to drugs or alcohol. They may not realize why recovery is not as easy as just stopping substance use. These substances change the way the brain processes and responds to information. This can lead to changes in behavior and actions which can take a toll on relationships, finances, and family dynamics.
Trust is something that is easily broken but takes time to rebuild. As individuals are undergoing treatment for addiction, family members can also engage in therapy to promote healing. No one is alone is this journey and there are many resources and opportunities for guidance and support available.
Why Choose Counseling?
Counseling provides a safe and therapeutic environment where family members can express their emotions and work through challenges they are facing. Their feelings are validated and the fact that addiction affects everyone is recognized. Engaging in professional therapy can have many benefits:
- It provides a safe space to share, and a professional can help facilitate communication and problem solving.
- Family members learn more about the role they play in recovery and how they can be supportive of relapse prevention efforts.
- They can develop strategies for implementing changes in their own lives to cope with the challenges addiction recovery presents.
- Everyone can work together to build better communication skills, work through challenges, rebuild relationships, and develop a renewed sense of trust.
- It can be the foundation for building a strong support system and connecting with others who have experienced similar situations.
- Counseling helps everyone to be on the same page and working toward mutually beneficial goals for recovery.
- It can improve understanding of addiction and its effects.
Many treatment centers offer family therapy so that everyone can be involved and have their need addressed. However, some people also find that individual sessions can be beneficial. While they spend some time with their whole family or their spouse/partner addressing issues, they also take time for themselves to focus on their individual needs. Each person may have their own preferences for what works best for them and their family dynamics.
Counseling can help everyone learn to cope with stress and work through challenges as they arise. It can break down enabling or codependent behaviors that can interfere with recovery efforts. It also helps to build more positive behaviors and relationships that can benefit families throughout all aspects of their lives now and in the future.
Crossroads offers a four-week educational series on the effects of addiction on friends and family periodically throughout the year. It is open to anyone who is impacted by substance use whether their loved one is in treatment or not. Crossroads recognizes the importance of providing education and support to everyone affected by substance use disorders and encouraging healing. This is just one option for family members and a way for them to receive support and continue moving forward.Sign up for Crossroads’ next educational series to learn more about addiction, recovery, and family involvement.