When we suggest family therapy, we try our best to educate our patients and their loved ones on the idea that addiction is a disease that affects the entire family. Everyone connected to someone suffering from addiction has an experience they want to discuss and learn to understand. For our patients, your families love you and want you to get better, but they don’t know how to help.
Without fail, every family member that calls our intake team at Cypress Lakes Lodge believes they hold much more power than they truly have. It’s not an easy thing to stand by and watch someone destroy their lives because we cannot understand their thought process. Addiction doesn’t behave rationally, it’s only job is to get the drug it craves and slowly destroy its host. Those addicted often describe their addiction as an automatic set of behaviors that take control of their minds and bodies. Before they realize how bad things have become, they’re at their worst.
On the outside, when we are sober, it’s easy to see how destructive this behavior is. Our job as clinicians at Cypress is to remind family members that we cannot control what our loved ones do, but we can help them by supporting their recovery. Dealing with addiction hurts everyone involved, but it’s how we deal with it that changes everything. We may think that we’re helping the addict by coddling them and unintentionally enabling them, but we’re not offering them a clear path to see their problems.
For families it’s a groundbreaking idea that sets full family recovery in motion:
- You are not responsible for their actions. You are not the cause of their addiction.
- You cannot cure them.
- You cannot stop them from behaving this way.
Learning to Allow Growth and Change
At the start of treatment, detox and beginning sets of therapies are difficult for most people that enter into a recovery program. Detox may be uncomfortable, and withdrawal can take its toll on anyone going through it. Family members want to be supportive, but they may not understand that their loved one must go through these growing pains in recovery before change can take place. Our recovery program is medically staffed to make sure every patient is safe throughout these processes and as comfortable as possible. The truth is, it’s going to be uncomfortable to change, but we have to let them go through the changes. Families must learn patience and how to give their loved ones space during this critical time.
Family Counseling, Visitations and Education
At the beginning of treatment, we limit family visitation since we want our patients to go successfully through detox and any preliminary counseling so that recovery planning can begin. These preliminary requirements can take about a week or so, but during this time family members will have counseling sessions with our therapists so they may understand the recovery process and voice any personal concerns they want to address in therapy with their loved one. We offer families group therapy sessions as a safe space to speak freely with other families about their addiction fight and coping mechanisms they use.
Before sessions with our patients and their families, we discuss the need for nurturing of each family member and how they can get what they need from these sessions. We don’t want to blame and argue, but we do want to talk about tensions and the ways we can eliminate these issues. Once we understand how deep emotional stresses run in the family, we can create a family treatment plan so that we can repair these relationships. Visitations and family dinners are weekly from this point on and nursed so that we incorporate coping mechanisms and life skills at this time.
Cypress Lakes Lodge Goals in Family Therapy:
- Establish an understanding that we must be supportive of family members, but we cannot control addiction.
- Educate family about mental health conditions and addiction.
- Assist families to find their network of support so that they may be healthy, happy and well.
- Provide life skills allowing them to cope with addiction and how to recognize relapse.
- Assist families in establishing a healthy lifestyle that’s conducive to recovery as a unit.
Families Need Support Too
Families and patients learn about addiction and mental health conditions so they can understand and step away from feeling angry and betrayed to being supportive. Families are directed to find support groups and a network of sources to help them through recovery. Family members often forget that they too need support since they all have emotional troubles to share and work through. When someone we love has an addiction, we focus on their health and safety so much that we forget about what we need to be well.
We teach our patients and their family members how to work together in recovery so that everyone can maintain a clear mind and happy heart. Recovery is possible when we work together to offer support and love. Call Cypress Lakes Lodge today and find out more about our family therapy program today at (409) 331-2204.