Realizing that a loved one is going through addiction can create a lot of frustration and mixed feelings in the family and closest friends.
But one thing is for sure: having a strong support system can help the person that is going through an addiction tremendously. This journey can come with a lot of ups and downs, but it is helpful and important to let that person know they are not alone in their path.
With the help of family and friends, the person can find the necessary strength to start a detox and rehab program. A strong support system can help you stick with the program and continue it even in the case of a relapse.
Family support can make a huge difference for someone that suffers from substance abuse and addiction. But how does family therapy actually work and helps?
Here’s what you need to know.
Family Therapy As a Tool for Addiction Recovery
Counseling or psychotherapy are normal parts of a rehab program that deals with addiction. During family therapy, a therapist will not only interact with the person going through the addiction but with the entire family.
Individual therapy is focused on the person’s behaviors, thoughts, as well as emotions, the center being the person as a whole, and their mental health.
Family therapy, on the other hand, focuses on family dynamics and the relationship between family members. This type of therapy tries to acknowledge and validate each family member’s role that they play in the family, as well as validate each individual, their experiences, and their mental health as a whole.
Having a family member that goes through addiction can create a pattern of behavior where the addict tries to run away, and the rest of the family goes into a chasing mode.
And even if they have the best intentions at heart, that kind of behavior could only make the other person want to run away faster. Both might feel misunderstood, and they can react emotionally to the situations happening. Call the best rehab cape town today
How Can Family Therapy Help?
Counting on a family therapist can open doors to new ways of dealing with a situation where someone experiences addiction. And not only that, some resources and techniques can be applied to other circumstances as well.
During family therapy, all members can learn about how they experience the situation individually and that can translate into how they behave towards each other.
Therapists are trained to help people discover new tools within themselves that help them manage the situation in the best way possible.
It’s Important to Give Family Therapy a Try
While individual therapy focuses on the thoughts, behaviors and emotions of one person, family therapy focuses on the relationships, and aims to understand and validate the experiences of all family members. The goal of family therapy is to bring clarity to all relationships, and to foster repair and closeness if family members choose. Family therapists believe that problems exist between people, not within people.
In the addiction context, a family therapist will explore with the family how substance use is embedded in a cycle of interaction within the family. For example, many young adults and parents are in what we call a fugitive/detective dynamic. The more the young adult acts like a fugitive (hiding, lying) the more a parent acts like a detective (snooping, chasing) – and visa versa. In addition, family therapists can provide additional education about substance use for the whole family and support family members in reducing their unhelpful behaviors and increasing their effective behaviors.
Family members can experience a lot of fear, anxiety, worry, and uncertainty when it comes to a loved one struggling with addiction. A therapist will help all family members to understand each other better and make the process more manageable. Rehab Cape Town offers a wide range of services to suit all therapeutic needs.