Addiction is likely to have a substantial impact on the relationships between an addict and their loved ones. Partners and family members may have endured long periods of volatile, unpredictable and worrying behavior. They may also have experienced their loved one being hospitalized, stealing from them or using emotionally abusive tactics to project their pain and to continue abusing substances.
In certain circumstances, it is important to use Family and Couples Therapy to help the addict recognize the damage their addiction has caused, not only to themselves but to their loved ones, and to reconcile their guilt and make amends. All these elements are crucial to recovery, and Brazos Recovery Services aims to facilitate this through our highly effective Family and Couples Therapy.
What Is Family and Couples Therapy?
This kind of therapy focuses specifically on healing broken or strained relationships resulting from addiction. We will assign you and your loved one with a highly skilled and experienced therapist to help uncover and address the aspects of your relationship that require healing, following the adverse effects of addiction.
Family and Couples Therapy is not an opportunity to gang up on, or highlight one parties perceived flaws, but to encourage both sides to engage in active listening and constructive feedback. The therapist will seek to ascertain what could have exacerbated or attributed to the addiction and the deeper issues beneath it, without portioning blame or guilt, and this therapy is a safe and open space to reflect on how both parties can improve their relationship through improved communication.
What Happens in This Kind of Therapy?
In both Family and Couples Therapy, the therapist will encourage each person to give voice to their thoughts and feelings to help the other to understand their perspective and their experience, so they can begin to understand their feelings and actions. This therapy has a high rate of evidence-based success.
There are many myths and stereotypical beliefs around addiction that a family member or partner might believe and respond to accordingly, which can be hugely damaging. Family and Couples Therapy can provide an opportunity for each person to understand the problems that the other is facing, both individually, and in their relationship.
It is possible that prior to seeking treatment, both parties behaved or said things that were based on anger, frustration, hopelessness and anxiety, but were misinterpreted as spite, disgust, apathy and obsessiveness. It has been proven that for recovery to be sustained, the addict must have secure, safe, social connections within their community. So, seeking forgiveness and forgiving themselves can be a hugely effective practice and can be made possible through Family and Couples Therapy.
Is Family and Couples Therapy Right for Me?
If you or a loved one have been suffering from addiction or its effects, and have noticed a breakdown in communication or your relationship, therapy could be a fundamental part of the healing process for both of you.
Family and Couples Therapy form the basis for Residential Treatment Programs for addiction but can also be utilized in a less intensive style as part of an Intensive Out-patient Program, depending on your circumstances and needs.
Following assessment, a plan will be devised on how best to approach the uncovered issues. Therapists at Brazos Recovery Services commonly deliver either Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Our therapists will choose an approach which best suits the mental health needs, the severity of addiction and any other co-occurring disorders that are present.
It’s not always suitable for a partner or family to join therapy sessions. If there is a history of violence or coercive controlling abuse, it can increase risks of future mistreatment as a result of what is shared in these sessions. Each person in the room must want to be there and be willing to take part. If any member is fearful of repercussions or is trying to use the session for coercive reasons, individual therapy is likely to be more beneficial for all parties.
We understand that addiction affects each person differently. Family and relationship dynamics are often complex and can be challenging to navigate without professional assistance. Emotions are likely to run high, and past resentments and painful memories can often cloud judgement, empathy and the ability to listen. Our therapists strive to overcome these barriers and facilitate the healing process.
What Can I Expect From Family and Couples Therapy?
While couples therapy only requires the partner to be present, family therapy can include several close family members. This kind of treatment can begin immediately or following a medically assisted detoxification, depending on the circumstances.
Matters are handled carefully and sensitively; our therapists have their own experience of going through treatment and will make it their top priority to establish an atmosphere of trust and empathy.
Therapy is typically scheduled for 12 sessions but can be extended for as long as the family or couple deem it necessary. It could be the first time some issues are voiced, so it is wise to work at the pace that suits each couple or family, rather than a fixed amount of time, as it may be shocking and upsetting for loved ones to discover there are underlying conditions alongside the addiction.
Similarly, it may be the first time the addict truly understands the extent of the impact of their addiction. Families and partners may have needed to keep their emotions hidden or masked from their loved one for fear that it would make the situation worse. Family and Couples Therapy seeks to ensure that each person can express themselves healthily and productively, allowing those involved to learn more about themselves and their loved ones.
Find Out More
To learn more about what Family and Couples Therapy can offer you and your family or partner, or to find out more about any of our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.