Just as entire families can be negatively affected by an individual’s substance abuse problem, a person in recovery may find tremendous strength in the positive influences of their spouse, parents, siblings, intimate friends, partners, close relatives, and children. Family therapy offers an opportunity for each member of this community to explore their relationships with one another, revealing and addressing unresolved tensions that may invite future substance abuse.
At Zelus Recovery, our family therapy program gives families the chance to strengthen connections and learn to communicate more effectively. Call our team at 208.518.0797 or complete our online form to learn how family therapy at Zelus Recovery can help create the necessary support system for permanent healing.
3 Family Therapy Activities
1. A Mixture of Solo and Group Therapy Sessions
Everyone’s path to recovery will be unique, which means that each individual will require a personalized approach. Often, a behavioral therapist will meet with family members one at a time to allow them to voice their thoughts and feelings without fear of being misunderstood. In some cases, the therapist may recommend individual meetings only for a certain period of time following detox.
2. Helping the Family Identify and Manage Triggering Situations
Successful recovery efforts involve re-establishing safety and trust within the household, which can be highly challenging if family members accidentally set the stage for their loved one to relapse. By learning what situations may be the most triggering for a person in recovery, family members will modify their behaviors and create an environment that is more conducive to success.
3. Development of Action Plans to Prevent Relapse
Recovery does not always assume a linear path. It is essential for both the individual with a substance abuse problem and the people around them to know exactly what to do should difficulties arise. By having a clearly articulated plan, these situations may actually strengthen trust and allow those in recovery to know they are truly loved and supported in their efforts.
What Happens in Family Therapy?
In the best of cases, the recovery process can be very challenging for everyone in the household. It can also be frightening, unpredictable, fraught with strong emotions, and exhausting. Each familial relationship is deeply complex, and each member has likely been profoundly but distinctly affected by a loved one’s substance abuse problem. However, each of these broken connections presents a new opportunity to foster tighter bonds.
Working with a therapist allows the family unit to identify what problems may have contributed to their loved one’s substance abuse and learn how to adjust those behaviors in ways that support everyone’s ongoing mental health. Family therapy also allows each member to identify and process the challenging feelings of grief, anger, guilt, and disillusionment that each person may feel and identify which areas in which they have the power to offer support. Therapists can also share family therapy activity ideas to strengthen familial bonds.
What Are Common Family Therapy Topics?
Some of the common areas that are approached in family therapy include:
- Assessment of each individual’s stage of life, familial role, unique needs, and reasonable responsibilities they may assume in the recovery effort
- Establishment of collective coping mechanisms that replace problematic behaviors with more healthful and sustainable ones
- The exploration of power dynamics within the family unit
- Improved communication strategies
- Instruction in how to set clear boundaries in what family members should do to support the recovery process
Get Your Family on the Right Track with Family Therapy At Zelus Recovery
At Zelus Recovery, we know from experience that full recovery involves the entire family unit to be successful and lasting. Everyone can benefit from counseling. If you or a loved one is suffering from a substance abuse problem, call us today at 208.518.0797 or complete our online form to learn how we can help the entire family emerge from recovery as a stronger and more connected team.