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5 Benefits of Family Therapy During Addiction Recovery

wife and husband benefits of family therapy

People struggling with a substance use disorder often feel isolated and fight their battle alone, primarily because of the tendency to withdraw from friends and family. However, their problems do not occur in a vacuum. Addiction is a disease that impacts the lives of all it touches, including friends and family, leading to it being considered a family disease. Addiction experts agree that family members and close friends, in certain circumstances, play a critical role in addiction recovery. Therefore, effective substance use disorder treatment should include a family therapy program.

At Northpoint Seattle, we understand the role of the family in addiction. Families can be complicated. Mending damaged relationships, examining family bonds, and navigating complex family histories are vital components of family therapy. Healing relationships and establishing a familial support system could be the change that helps you achieve long-term sobriety. Call us at 425.414.3530 to learn more about the importance of family therapy during addiction treatment.

A Look at the Benefits of Family Counseling

Family is one of the most vital and most influential forces in our development. Our family members are the first relationships we form and are often the strongest. However, the impacts of addiction cause disruptions in even the most close-knit families. The primary goal of family counseling is to help manage the issues that impact the functioning of both individuals and the family unit.

The “family systems model” states that a family is an interconnected unit, and each member affects how the system functions. Therefore, changes in one family member influence change in the rest of the family, as individuals and as a collective group. From this perspective, it is easy to recognize the importance of family therapy. Just as addiction impacts all family members, family dynamics influence addiction, creating a cycle of dysfunction.

The benefits of family counseling are unique to each family member, but overall expected benefits can include learning to:

  • Develop and maintain healthy boundaries
  • Facilitate communication and cohesion
  • Build empathy and understanding
  • Identify and change dysfunctional roles
  • Improve coping skills and problem-solving strategies
  • Rebuild trust
  • Share thoughts and feelings in healthy ways

Family counseling looks at problems as patterns and systems that need to be modified rather than emphasizing one person’s role. Strong family relationships play a critical role in the family’s overall well-being.

The Benefits of Family Therapy During Addiction Recovery

Families do not cause substance use disorders (SUD). However, when individuals have substance use disorders, their families can be one of the many factors affecting SUD development. The family can either contribute to the problem by ignoring it or help by motivating the individual to enter treatment and supporting them throughout recovery.

Family therapy provides a venue for family members to learn more about substance use disorder. Additionally, individuals can gain insight into their roles, and their behaviors impact family dynamics. In response to the stress and disruption caused by the substance use disorder, family members take on new roles and develop unhealthy boundaries to maintain a sense of routine and normalcy. Codependent and enabling behaviors are common in family members living with an individual who suffers from addiction and can unwittingly foster addiction and complicate recovery for all involved.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) identifies five main benefits of family therapy during addiction recovery:

  1. Learning about addiction and its effects on the family, how treatment works and what to expect following treatment
  2. Opportunity to identify mental health issues such as depression or anxiety that impact communication and can contribute to relapse
  3. Easing feelings of fear, anger, stress, and confusion surrounding addiction
  4. Keeping your loved one engaged and motivated during treatment and after
  5. Fostering communication, coping, and problem-solving skills

Family involvement in a loved one’s addiction recovery improves the chances of long-term success, enhances each family member’s mental health, and improves overall family functioning.

Learn More About the Benefits of Family Counseling at Northpoint Seattle

Addiction does not occur in a vacuum but impacts the lives of all involved, especially within families. Where appropriate, the importance of family participation in recovery cannot be overstated. The family therapy program for addiction at Northpoint Seattle provides patients and their families with education about addiction and support in helping families replace unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones that promote the recovery process.

Contact us today at 425.414.3530 to learn more about the benefits of family therapy during addiction recovery.