Many family members come into therapy feeling hurt, angry, sad or guilty — feeling as if they didn’t do enough to prevent the addiction.
It’s important (for parents especially) to understand that a family member’s addiction is not your fault. And while you didn’t create this situation, you can be part of the support system that helps to activate recovery. Discovery Point Retreat educates the family on the genetic and environmental aspects of addiction, and gives you the tools to help. And along the way, family therapy helps us to recognize that we all have a common goal: to get better, with every member of the family taking responsibility to make that happen.
The emotional hurt that substance abuse causes within families can be a challenge to address, because everybody views it differently. Some people get angry when they’re hurt. Some people become sad. Some people withdraw. Some people over-engage in a family relationship to try to “fix” that person. At Discovery Point Retreat addiction recovery center, our therapy helps to show different ways to engage within a family system — to be as supportive as possible both in treatment and afterward, and rebuild that sense of trust.
If someone is struggling to stay sober and there is a sense of mistrust in the family, it can feel like a double-edged sword; because they don’t feel trusted and supported by the family, that in itself is a trigger for them to want to use again — and it can form a cycle. Family therapy at Discovery Point Retreat seeks to identify these cycles, and stop these patterns from continuing to emerge.
This involves changing thought and behavioral patterns that have been ingrained for years. In order to do so, we begin by first building a therapeutic rapport, because it’s essential to have a good, trusting relationship with your therapist in order for you to engage.
Then, you can begin to acknowledge you’ve had a maladaptive pattern in dealing with your family — and that there are areas where you’d all like to improve. It involves all members of the family coming to the table and being willing to take 100% of the responsibility for their part of the problem.
It can be tempting for families to make the substance abuser the target, because they are an identified “problem.” But family is a system, and each person is a part of that system with their own responsibility and their own part to work on. The ongoing process will continue to require maintenance; there is no single family therapy session that will cure everything. But by coming to treatment to reset and try to achieve a new goal together, you can do better — and feel better — as a family.