Every family can experience problems, difficulties, and struggles. Family counseling can be beneficial if a loved one has a substance use disorder (SUD) or there are financial problems, communication issues, or hostility and aggressive behaviors to overcome. Let’s consider what to expect with family counseling and how your family can benefit.
What Is Family Counseling?
Family counseling is a form of psychotherapy that helps families address issues affecting the family, such as SUD and mental health disorders. The objective of family counseling is to help address the problems in a safe and supportive environment while helping the family resolve conflicts and repair damaged relationships.
How Does SUD Affect Families?
Alcohol and drug use disorders do not just affect the individual. Rather, addiction affects the entire family by straining interpersonal relationships between family members. In addition, the effects of substance use can create various situations that cause individual family members to feel uncomfortable and even scared in their household.
For example, in 2019, there were 38.9 percent of cases where children were removed from the home due to parental substance use, as reported by the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare.
How Is Family Counseling Used to Treat Addiction?
Family counseling is integral to any alcohol or drug detox and addiction treatment program. The objective of family counseling is to help family members better understand the disease of addiction and how it affects their loved one.
Furthermore, family counseling allows family members to share their own personal experiences of how the individual’s SUD has impacted them. A therapist helps guide each therapy session to help participants avoid placing blame on one another while teaching the family how to express themselves to make others aware of their feelings and the impact addiction has had on them.
Family members may also have the opportunity to join in group counseling with family peer support groups. These groups can provide valuable education, information, resources, and support for families who have loved ones recovering from SUDs.
How to Prepare for Family Counseling
Depending on the extent of damage addiction has caused to a family, different approaches can be used to help the family start healing. It is best to prepare for family counseling with an open mind. Understandably, family members may seem hesitant and have concerns about being able to trust their loved one again.
As you prepare for your initial family counseling session, it can be beneficial to write down various topics you want to discuss. It is also helpful to write down any questions you have about family counseling and the processes that will be used. Additionally, write down what you want to tell your loved one, as it can be challenging to remember everything you want to say.
What to Expect with Family Counseling
Initially, the therapist may want to meet with each family member individually. This allows them the opportunity to speak to you one-on-one and learn more about your family dynamics, issues that arose due to the person’s addiction, and how it impacted you emotionally and physically.
The purpose of individual sessions is to help you and your family members better prepare for when the entire family meets together. For instance, if you were to meet together without having prepared, the meeting can feel uncomfortable and awkward.
As the family meets, each session is used to better help everyone understand any issues and concerns while guiding the family on developing solutions. It is essential to remember that when there are numerous issues and concerns to resolve, each session may only focus on one issue and concern at a time.
As you progress through counseling, family members will learn how to identify their weaknesses and strengths. Part of addiction recovery is learning how to use the family’s strengths to their advantage. Family members will also learn different skills and techniques they can use to help address weaknesses.
What to Expect Between Family Counseling Sessions
You will learn different types of skills and techniques during family counseling sessions. You will also be expected to practice between sessions. Practice allows you and your family to identify where they are issues with applying the skills and techniques to various situations. As such, the therapist can continue to work with individual family members. The therapist can also suggest other skills and techniques that may work better for your family.
Benefits of Family Counseling for Addiction
As you and your family progress through family counseling sessions, you will start to notice the benefits it provides. These benefits include the following:
- Helps your loved one maintain their sobriety after returning home.
- Allows for the family to rebuild trust in the family member in recovery.
- Assists each family member in setting and establishing healthy boundaries.
- Prevent family members from enabling addictive behaviors.
- Assists in encouraging age-appropriate roles for children.
- Helps improve communication between everyone in the family.
- Promotes positive sharing of feelings and emotions when issues arise.
Family Counseling for Addiction at Our Pompano Beach, FL Detox Center
Repairing damaged relationships with your family is possible. When you are struggling with addiction or other issues, Retreat of Broward in Pompano Beach, FL can help. For further information about our family counseling services or to schedule an initial session, contact us today.