Addiction affects not only the addicts but also those around them, particularly their families. As their loved one’s addiction to drugs or alcohol progressively worsens, families can experience fear, anxiety, anger, guilt, and even abuse. At Lakeview, we know that families need help to get through this time.
Why Participate in Family Therapy?
Families sometimes view addiction as a condition limited to the addict. They reason that addicts are the ones who use the drugs or alcohol, so they are the ones who need treatment. Research has shown, however, that family therapy as a part of a recovery program is one of the most effective approaches for treating addiction in both both adults and adolescents.
Family therapy addresses two aspects of addiction. The first focuses on the personal issues family members have encountered because of the addiction. They may have experienced abuse—physical and emotional—and have feelings of guilt, shame, and anger. Family therapy gives them the opportunity to work through these issues and begin their own healing process.
The second facet of addiction addressed by family therapy focuses on dysfunctional relationships within the family structure that can enable the addiction to continue. Families may provide a safety net or financial support that allows the addict to continue using. They may ignore the problem or keep it a secret to avoid public embarrassment and the stigma of addiction. These types of behaviors are known as codependency. Overcoming codependency can contribute to the success of the addict in recovery.
The family program includes:
- answers and education for the family about the disease of addiction
- weekly family contact with the patient’s therapist
- a family relapse prevention plan to end enabling behaviors
- support for family members who have been directly affected by their loved one’s addiction
- a signed contract between the patient and the family, reinforcing their commitment to recovery
- development of an aftercare plan for the patient and family
- approved therapeutic visitations in a safe and supportive environment
- aftercare support for families after treatment
Family Therapy at Lakeview
Alumni Family Program
Our Alumni Family Program provides additional support and guidance to families of recovering Lakeview Health patients after they leave treatment, so they can continue to heal and support their loved ones’ recovery.
The Alumni Family Program includes:
- guidance and support from the Alumni Department
- educational information on addiction and recovery
- introduction to family 12-Step programs including Al-Anon
- opportunities to connect with other alumni families
- ongoing emails about recovery news, addiction research, alumni events, and success stories
Families can participate in the alumni program regardless of whether or not their loved ones complete the full treatment at Lakeview Health.