Family dynamics play a central role in helping people manage substance use disorder. Guilt, resentment, codependence, secrecy, and denial fuel addiction and prevent people from healing. Working through issues with a good family therapist can strengthen family bonds and allow people to heal. That’s why at CeDAR, we believe a family program is a necessary part of addiction treatment. Thus, we invite our clients’ families to participate in a week-long family program designed to educate and promote healing.

Addiction does not affect just one person, but everyone who loves them, as well. If someone in your family has a drug or alcohol problem, give us a call at 720.848.3000 to find out more about our hospital-affiliated Denver detox and rehabilitation campus.

family therapyHow Does CeDAR Define Family?

Years ago, family meant blood relatives, but that thinking is different today. The family unit doesn’t necessarily involve dad, mom, and siblings. Your family is people you have close emotional connections with and who influence your life.

A family counseling program might include blood relatives and extended family members such as close friends and life partners. Anyone with an emotional investment in the patient’s well-being might be part of the family therapy.

What Role Does Family Play in Drug and Alcohol Treatment?

Experts often call addiction a family disease because it affects more than just the individual with a substance use disorder. Watching drug use can lead to painful feelings for friends and family. It can ruin critical relationships.

Addiction can lead to:

  • A negative home environment
  • Anger and resentment from family members
  • Worry and fear over what will happen to a loved one
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Guilty feelings from parents who wonder what they did wrong
  • Chronic stress

A family therapy program addresses these issues and helps to resolve them.

Addiction is also a family disease because substance abuse may be part of dysfunctional coping within the family unit. It can be born out of an unhealthy family dynamic. Family therapy works to change that and encourage healthy relationships.

Addiction Is a Whole-Family Illness

Education is an important part of a family counseling program, too. The more the people in a patient’s life understand substance use disorders, the better they can support recovery and improve outcomes.

An understanding of the disease of addiction creates a stronger support system for recovery. Family can learn how to address issues that might lead to relapse and encourage the healing that is an essential part of recovery.

What Are the Benefits of Family Therapy?

A family counseling program gives family members a voice. It shows them how to talk to some they love about addiction and to show recovery support. It also helps ease feelings of distrust, fear, and anger that might develop because of drug abuse.

The ultimate goal is to help families develop coping skills and strategies that keep that person in their life with a substance use disorder on the right path. That happens because therapy provides the family members with better communication skills and an enhanced understanding of the disease.

Family therapy is also critical for identifying and managing codependency that might exist within the family unit. Codependency can lead to enabling behavior and misplaced anger.