It is a common mistake among families dealing with addiction to think that the only issue stems from the addiction itself. While the drug and alcohol abuse are definitely the main focus of recovery, there is also much more work to be done outside of that singular facet of the problem.
There are many things that can contribute to addiction, and factors within the family are some of the most common hurdles to jump for recovering addicts. Past trauma, mental health issues, and problems arising from other members of the family can all create roadblocks in early recovery. However, if the entire family is willing to work together in order to break down these walls, the whole process can be made much easier for everyone.
Gaining The Tools to Recover
Addiction causes wreckage in families and in lives. One of the most crucial steps to healing the wounds created by addiction and the actions taken by addicts is therapy for everyone involved.
While individual therapy is absolutely a great step in the right direction, if the family as a whole is going to come back together as a unit there needs to be some sort of mediation and guidance to that process. Group therapy can provide all members of the family with the necessary tools in order to begin and maintain their own process of recovery while also learning how to truly come to terms with the issues that have come up through the cycle of addiction.
Hashing Out The Issues
As hard as it might be to admit, nobody is perfect. That includes family members of drug addicts. During the worst parts of addiction, an entire family’s focus can be pulled to one individual member, leaving other family members to figure out how to deal with their emotions in whatever way the can manage. This is another one of the main reasons that family therapy is so important to recovery. Parents of addicts are sometimes not on the same page with each other, siblings can be angry and resentful about past actions, and children can have a hard time coping with or understanding the situation at hand.
Going through a therapeutic process individually and as a whole can be extremely helpful in solving these issues while making sure that everyone feels heard and understood.
Dealing With Resentment
As mentioned above, resentment is a problem that is common among siblings of addicts, but it is most definitely not limited to them. It is very possible that any number of family members could be resentful toward their addicted loved one, and that is not without good reason.
However, if resentment within a family is not handled in a healthy and constructive way, it can create many roadblocks to recovery for all involved. Group therapy can provide a safe and constructive space for each individual to air their own grievances and deal with them in a way that it can be resolved and moved forward from.
When people are angry, they tend to act irrationally, but a controlled environment for those emotions to be dealt with can make all the difference in the family’s healing process.
Ending Enabling and Setting Boundaries
Lastly, it is imperative that the family of an addict learns how to not enable the behaviors and mentalities common to addiction. Enabling is the process of directly or indirectly allowing and encouraging addict behaviors to continue, whether it is through action, inaction, or mindset. Many parents have struggled with this issue, and it can be incredibly difficult to stop doing due to the love a parent has for their child, or any other number of reasons.
Family therapy sessions can help all members of the family to identify the enabling in their own lives, learn ways to stop doing it, and set healthy boundaries for themselves. This is not an easy thing to do alone, and it can be very difficult to see within yourself, so a third party looking in on the family dynamic can be a truly massive help with this issue.
Overall, each family is different and will have their own recovery process. Family therapy is not a required step for sobriety, but it can be a crucial stepping stone to healing for the addict and their family, and is a very useful tool for those who have struggled around addiction for a long time.
Please don’t hesitate to call New Life House today at 888-357-7577 or email us at [email protected]. We can provide you with all of the resources you need to make the right decisions in order to bring happiness and stability back into your lives!