Some people get dealt a great hand of cards when it comes to our families, and others, not so much. It is easy for us to criticize and pass judgment on members of our family, and it’s exceptionally easy for us to be too hard on them. Every family comes with its own form of dysfunction, but a family in many instances can provide a support system necessary for a successful recovery.
Even the closets of families, though, can hold many secrets. Family therapy is a tool that can be effective for many reasons, whether your family is close or not. Especially when it comes to struggles with addiction, substance use disorder, or other mental illnesses, family therapy can be an opportunity to educate your family on any struggles you may be facing. Recovery takes a village, and a supportive family can be a part of that village.
Here at the Lakehouse Recovery Center, we integrate family therapy into our treatment program and curriculum, offering it to every person who comes through our door. If family therapy is something you think could help you in your recovery journey, reach out to the Lakehouse today to learn more.
Why Families May Go to Therapy
There are many reasons why a family may decide to go to therapy, which may or may not be related to addiction or substance use. A family essentially functions as a unit, and when one person in that unit suffers from addiction or mental illness, the whole family suffers. Often, a family will fall into or develop toxic and unhealthy habits, making a family member’s transition into recovery more difficult than it already is. This transition can be difficult for families whether or not they have these unhealthy habits.
Many families attend therapy for reasons that have nothing to do with addiction recovery or treating substance use disorder and other co-occurring mental illnesses. Families often attend therapy when parents are going through a divorce, when children are experiencing behavioral problems, and even simply to learn how to better connect and communicate with one another. Therapy can help the family to move forward and heal and provide a solid support system. While goals can vary, therapy can help a family to meet set goals.
Family Therapy and Recovery
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in a brochure about how family therapy can help those in recovery, defines a family as “a group of two or more people with close and enduring emotional ties.” Family therapy is often introduced after someone has made progress with their treatment. Timing is critical because as an individual in therapy, they are trying to maintain stability and structure. They have to learn about their triggers, coping with cravings, and how to get their life back on track.
At the beginning of treatment, family therapy is not always at the top of the priority list. It’s crucial for someone to feel comfortable in their recovery as the potential for the proverbial pouring of the salt into their wounds runs high.
Here at the Lakehouse, we believe that family can be an essential part of recovery, but we also know that some family dynamics can be clinically harmful to patients. We offer family therapy to every individual who comes through our doors, leaving it up to each person whether or not they want to make use of it.
If family therapy is something you are interested in, talk with your therapist, counselor, or case manager to figure out when and how the best way to go about that might be in regards to your recovery.
The Effectiveness of Family Therapy
According to SAMHSA, most research has shown that behavioral treating that includes family therapy is more effective than treatment that does not include family therapy. Additionally, regarding instances of individuals struggling with mental illness or addiction, SAMHSA informs that family therapy in conjunction with individual therapy can:
- Reduce psychiatric symptoms
- Relieve overall levels of stress
- Increase medication dependency
- Decrease the rate of relapse and rehospitalization
- Help individuals decide to enter into treatment
- Decrease the chance of individuals dropping out of treatment
- Reduce continued use of alcohol and drugs
Aside from working with patients struggling with addiction, SUD, and mental illnesses, family therapy “improves how couples treat each other, how children behave,” and “how the whole family gets along,” according to SAMHSA. You and your loved ones can benefit from family therapy during your treatment and ongoing recovery.
Many people commonly seek out family therapy for a variety of reasons. Research has shown the effectiveness of family therapy and addiction recovery. All kinds of illnesses can have negative effects on a family. On the flip side, a positive change such as recovery can even be detrimentally affected by the dysfunctional dynamics of some families. When someone decides to incorporate family therapy into their recovery, it can vary based on when they feel stable enough to tackle the stress of family problems. Here at the Lakehouse Recovery Center, we offer family therapy to every client that enters our treatment program. While family therapy can be effective for recovery, we also understand that the decision to utilize family therapy needs to be each individual’s decision, the same way that we believe each person should feel empowered and in control of their recovery. To learn more about our family therapy offerings, reach out to us at (877) 762-3707 today.