Addiction is a family disease because when one person struggles with addiction, the fallout on family and other loved ones can be devastating. Lost trust and increasingly ineffective communication eat away at relationships. Families can also experience a range of challenges when one of their members is struggling with a mental health disorder. One of the most effective ways to begin healing is through family therapy. In addiction rehab and psychotherapeutic practice, family therapy is often considered one of the pillars of treatment programs.
What is family therapy? Learn the answer to that and other mental health and addiction therapy questions at CeDAR. Call us at 720.848.3000 or use our online form to hear about our evidence-based treatments and residential and outpatient options.
What Is Family Therapy?
Families often tend to get locked into patterns of behavior and communication. These patterns can be intergenerational, so legacies of long-ago trauma may still affect how people interact in situations involving their families. Is it possible to break those habits and forge new ways of being a family? The answer is yes. Family therapy can do that.
Family therapy helps people avoid the pitfalls of dysfunctional communication. In some families, no one talks about how they feel because they are afraid of being hurt. In other families, members can wield emotions like weapons. In family therapy, there are clear boundaries, rules of engagement, and expectations that participants must abide by to ensure everyone is listened to in a safe environment.
Family therapy is when the family members meet with a therapist. It can be fairly time-limited, between ten and 15 meetings, or continue longer if needed for resolution and healing.
What to Expect in Family Therapy
If you are in an inpatient program, your family members will join you in the treatment center for weekly sessions. If you are receiving outpatient treatment, you will all meet on a set date and time with your therapist.
People in family therapy can expect to do the following:
- Develop mutual compassion and empathy by listening to one another – For example, a patient struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD) will hear about how their addiction-related behaviors impact others. The family will come to understand how devastating addiction is for the person struggling with a SUD.
- Establish rules for communication – These rules help family members practice healthy and loving ways to speak and listen to one another. This involves emotional regulation so that rage, grief, or other disruptive emotional responses do not threaten conversation.
- Learn to solve problems together – Family members can use newly learned communication techniques. For instance, family members can move forward together to establish better outcomes in the future rather than making threats when aroused, for example, by a sibling or child with a third driving under the influence (DUI) offense.
- Examine the roles within the family – This examination helps discern if some unhelpful patterns can be attributed to self-imposed role definitions. For example, a child may gradually understand that the parent’s addiction is not their fault or responsibility. The parenting role must change to ease conflicts, emotional strife, and family breakdown.
- Build on the strengths within the family – Some examples include love and supportiveness. Problem-solving usually needs to be worked on to build trust or respect.
Analyze how co-dependence may work within the family – This can keep everyone stuck in unhealthy roles, patterns, and emotions.
Family therapy is a proven approach that can have a ripple effect beyond a single person or specific moment in time. In most cases, it is a pillar of effective therapy for addiction and other mental health disorders.
Consider Family Therapy with CeDAR in Colorado
If you are asking, “Where can I find family therapy near me?” and looking for excellent mental health and addiction care in Colorado, CeDAR can help. Our evidence-based therapies, including family therapy, professional staff, and a range of residential and outpatient choices, make CeDAR a proven option. Your well-being deserves the highest level of care.
Working with family in a group therapy setting can heal wounds and improve outcomes for all. Reach out to CeDAR to find out more about family therapy. Fill out our online form or call 720.848.3000 today.