A Better Today

Family Therapy

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Family Therapy

At  A Better Today Recovery Services, we understand that addiction affects the entire family, not just the person that is struggling with a drug & alcohol addiction. A negative change in one member of the family impacts the whole family and affects each person differently. Children of a loved one struggling with substance abuse can harbor different feelings than the spouse. Their addiction can inflict stress to a breaking point. Addiction has the potential to test family bonds causing the whole family to experience situations where they themselves are forced to compromises their morals and make bad decisions out of love.

Sometimes the family must witness the struggling addict manipulate, steal, and commit crimes to hide their growing addiction. Family therapy focuses on educating the whole family, young and old, about addiction being a disease and how to handle the negative repercussions of drug abuse. Special fellowship groups like Nar-Anon and Al-Anon can offer support and healing.

A Better Today Recovery Services has adopted the three C’s involved in family therapy that help create a deeper understanding of your loved one’s addiction. The three C’s are:

1. You did not Cause the addiction.

2. You cannot Control the addiction

3. You cannot Cure the addiction.

Family Therapy During Treatment Can Ensure Long-Term Success

ABTRS understands that having a strong support system within the family makes long-term sobriety success more possible. When an entire family is dedicated to one person’s recovery plan, the person recovering can feel the support. We encourage family involvement in the recovery process. It is beneficial to have the support of their families while seeking treatment; the hope and care you feel for your addicted loved one plays a big part in their recovery.

Two branches of services that help families of recovering people: family-involved therapy and family therapy. Family-involved therapy focuses on educating family members about addiction. This type of therapy helps family members understand what types of patterns, behaviors, and psychological factors contribute to a substance use disorder. Additionally, family-involved therapy helps people understand how enabling others’ substance use can contribute to their disorders.

Family-involved therapy differs from family therapy because the latter allows family members to process their loved one’s substance use disorder in a safe place. Most therapists use the family systems model, which sees substance abuse as a symptom of family dysfunction. Although this doesn’t mean therapists blame the substance use disorder on other family members, it does mean that therapists focus on finding the root of the issue. Therapists can also help perform family interventions, which help a loved one decide to enroll in an addiction treatment program.

Why is it Important to Rebuild Strong Family Bonds During Drug & Alcohol Treatment?

Therapy sessions led by a master’s level therapist is often a central focus of helping a patient during their treatment. The therapist will work as a mediator to encourage families to discuss pressing issues in a safe environment. Issues that substance abuse has caused the family can be addressed with the intentions of moving past them for a healthier relationship.

The loved one may feel overwhelmed with guilt and shame about their destructive behavior in active addiction. Communicating with their loved ones may provide a sense of closure that could encourage a positive drive to be the person they want to be when they were not influenced by drugs.

While it is important to be a supportive presence for the person suffering from a substance use disorder, it is also important for the family members to have a safe place to express and process their emotions. Family therapy can give family members a place to have difficult conversations about the trauma they have experienced as a result of their loved one’s substance use disorder.

Having their family show support during the healing process is an important part to the process of recovery. This makes the first steps on the journey through recovery less stressful; causing them to absorb relapse prevention and coping mechanism training with a positive attitude. Getting involved in your family’s treatment plan in an important milestone in long term sobriety.

Treatment Techniques that Suit your Needs

5 Family Therapy Techniques


Structural Therapy

Salvador Minuchin developed the foundation of a family therapy technique called Structural family therapy. This technique focuses on the interaction of each family member. Observing how they interact, behave, communicate with each other gives insight on how the family dynamic operates. The family therapist can then help the family grow and develop the family as a unit and help them identify and outgrow other negative growth patterns.

Strategic Therapy

Strategic therapy has five parts to strategic therapy including a brief social stage, the problem stage, interactional stage, the goal-setting stage and the task-setting stage. This family therapy technique focuses on creating change in behaviors more than changing the understanding of each family member. Identifying the dysfunctional behaviors in a family dynamic to then introduce a new more positive behavior is the ultimate goal of the technique.

Systemic Therapy

Systemic Therapy is based on Murray Bowen’s research and has become a foundation of family therapy or family systems therapy. There are eight interlocking concepts to the Bowenian technique that all lead to a goal of creating an understanding of the emotional well-being as a family unit. Being a foundation of many therapy techniques, many therapists have adapted Bowen’s model away from linear causality.

Narrative Therapy

Many of these family therapies focus on the family as a unit. Narrative therapy is different. Narrative therapy encourages the person to embrace the person’s individuality and to utilize their skills to address the problem by creating personal stories that help them identify who they are and empower them to navigate their lives. The ultimate goal of narrative therapy is to aid the person in finding clarity and support.

Transgenerational Therapy

Transgenerational therapy focuses on examining the interactions between each family member across multiple generations. By observing and analyzing family interactions the core issues within the family dynamic can be resolved. This technique does not explore the causation of the conflict by shine light on the conflict and discuss is across generations.

Transgenerational therapy is often paired with another one of Murray Bowen’s models of family therapy. In regard to substance abuse, looking at how a younger sibling views drug and alcohol abuse could influence the struggling addicts decisions when they are sober and in recovery. This family therapy technique has the potential to influence the patterns of substance abuse in a family as each family member goes through each stage of life.

How Does Education Help with Drug & Alcohol Treatment for my Loved One?

A Better Today Recovery Services knows it is very common for addicts to hurt the ones who love them the most. That is why we feel so passionately about the quality of service good treatment centers provide each patient. Family therapy allows open discussions about their pain in a non-threatening environment. Constructive, healthy communication during and after treatment is important to ensure healthy boundaries are established and there is a level of respected shared between each family member.

Educating both the family and patient is important in maintaining long term recovery. That is why family-involved therapy is such an important step of the process. Through family-involved therapy, people can finally understand their loved ones’ addictive behaviors.

Some common topics covered in family-involved therapy include the following: the addicted brain, relapse prevention, boundary setting, and enabling patterns. Each of these topics can help family members understand their loved one’s addiction. Also, this education can give people the tools they need to help them navigate their relationship with their loved ones.

Call us today to find out more about how family therapy and family-involved therapy can help you.

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Reliable Sources About Treatment Modalities Matters

A Better Today Recovery Services firmly believes that substance abuse treatment needs to be both individualized and proven to be effective. The influence of addiction varies from person to person making the need for various methodology and effectiveness important for a long-lasting recovery. Good treatment centers have adopted various treatment methods that are proven to be effective by the scientific and psychological community.

If you are going to trust us with to help you or your loved one find treatment, we want to be entirely transparent about the sources we utilize. We take pride in offering up to date and relevant information that are factual and backed by years of research. Learn more about good treatment methods listed below.

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2004. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 39.) Chapter 1 Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64269/

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Brief Interventions and Brief Therapies for Substance Abuse. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 34. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 12- 3952. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1999.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy: Quick Guide for Clinicians Based on TIP 39.” October 2015.

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