Family Therapy for Addiction: What It Means & Why It Matters

family addiction therapy in connecticut

We know that drug addiction is a devastating disease. However, what we often forget is that its effects are not solely limited to the person using. The addicted person is not the only one who is damaged by the substance abuse. Drug addiction, rather, affects all who are touched by it – particularly family members. If you are a parent whose child is struggling with substance abuse, you likely know these effects firsthand. Your son or daughter’s drug problem is not just disappointing— it’s heartbreaking. It’s terrifying, confusing, stressful, complex. It’s taken a great toll on you emotionally, physically, mentally.

Oftentimes, parents put so much focus on getting their son or daughter healthy that they forget about helping themselves. And with that said, their suffering often gets left unaddressed. As a parent, it is important to know that you too deserve to find wellness. In order to regain stability in your and your family’s lives, it is important that you address any underlying, negative emotions and trauma with a therapist specializing in addiction treatment. This is where family therapy for addiction can help.

Right now, you may be thinking, “It’s not me that needs help right now, it’s my son that needs the attention.” You may be thinking that you’d rather have your daughter’s drug problem or mental health disorder addressed first. Of course, your son or daughter’s recovery is your top priority. At Turnbridge, however, we believe that the family should be an integral part of the recovery process.

Family therapy not only provides support for parents and family members, it also boosts their loved one’s chances at recovery. This is because it works to enhance family dynamics and relationships. More than likely, you lost a bit of trust in your son or daughter when he or she was using drugs. He or she may have broken promises, lied to you, or manipulated you in some way. He or she may have developed harsh and angry conduct, or simply grew distant from the rest of your family. These are all common behaviors associated with addiction, and they can all disrupt family relationships. Family therapy for addiction works to rebuild them.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Family therapy can be important, especially for adolescents. Involvement of a family member or significant other in an individual’s treatment program can strengthen and extend treatment benefits.” Studies support this, indicating that family involvement often brings better engagement, higher rates of success, and increased participation in an extended care or sober living program. Especially as a teen or young adult, the person in recovery can also benefit from:

  • Positive reinforcement and support from family members
  • Extra help when working through any challenges in the recovery process
  • Increased understanding of self through restored family relations
  • A sense of shared responsibility, as the focus of therapy is not exclusively on the addict’s faults (this can, in turn, lead to more confidence and optimism in the recovery process)

Family therapy for addiction comes in many forms – group counseling, individual counseling, educational programs, workshops, and more. Usually, it involves integrating family members into the recovery process. With family therapists, parents can expect to address topics such as communication in the family, parenting skills and enablement, family conflict and abuse, unemployment, trauma, depression and other negative mental states. Family therapists in addiction treatment can also help families develop support networks for their loved one in recovery, and teach parents how to stop enabling their child.

At Turnbridge, we have active family therapy programs in both our young men’s and women’s rehab. We host workshops, parent and sibling support groups, family counseling, meetings, as well as educational programs for families of young drug addicts. Our Family Education Weekend, for example, is designed to help parents through their own healing process as well as educate them about the disease of addiction. We also help them develop strategies for identifying and addressing addictive behavior, and further show them how to play an active, healthy role in their child’s recovery process.

Turnbridge also hosts family support groups, allowing family members of recovering addicts to come together to share their experiences, learn from one another, to give and to find hope, and to heal. We have groups specifically for parents and for siblings of those in recovery. Our Parent Support Groups are ongoing, completely free, and open to any parent who is concerned about their child’s substance abuse. If you are in the Westport or West Hartford, Connecticut areas, we encourage you to join us.

In addition to our structured family recovery programs, Turnbridge clients are always encouraged to maintain an open channel of communication with their families. We typically suggest having phone calls with their family members at least once per week. Here, family is a focus.

If you have been negatively impacted by your son or daughter’s drug addiction; if you want to learn how to respond appropriately to his or her drug use; if your son or daughter has not found success in other treatment programs and you want to try a more integrated approach – know that Turnbridge is here for you. We are a young adult drug treatment facility helping young men, young women, and their families overcome drug addiction. At Turnbridge, we believe family support is the cornerstone of a successful recovery.

Call 877-581-1793 to learn more about our family therapy programs for addiction.