When it comes to handling addiction amongst family and loved ones, one of the best ways to make sure that an afflicted family member doesn’t suffer too much from their addiction and can end up on the road to recovery is to implement family therapy into their treatment.
What Is Family Therapy?
Family therapy is a form of therapy that can be used as part of – or outside of – an individual’s treatment to handle their addiction. When it comes to treating addiction, family therapy tries to offer the patient a few elements that will help them onto the road to recovery:
- Help them deal with underlying issues that might be driving them towards their addiction
- Increase family communication strategies so that every member of the family can learn the best way to handle their issues and communicate in a beneficial manner
Why Is Family Therapy Important?
Whether you’re dealing with an addiction or not, family therapy is essential, and it can be very beneficial for increasing family cohesion and strength. The point of family therapy is to unearth issues that might negatively impact a family, and it is also meant to help families come up with new methods to deal with their issues.
Even if the impetus for family therapy isn’t driven by trying to handle addiction, family therapy can have loads of benefits for the family and its members. Even if you believe that your family is 100% solid, family therapy can help to stabilize even the most stable of family foundations.
What Can You Expect From Family Therapy?
When it comes to family therapy, you might be uncertain about it because you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.
When it comes to family therapy, you can expect a lot of talking – both with a therapist and with your family members. Talking is a proven method for unearthing and solving issues and figuring out the best way to deal with the problems.
You and your family will likely come up with a schedule that works best for your lives, and then you’ll meet together a few times a week to discuss your traumas. Again, a therapist might guide you, or the members of your family might be left to navigate the session on your own while a therapist sits there but doesn’t interject.
Your therapist will want to work in the best method for your family, so they will be as present or distant as your family might require.
Types of Family Therapy
There are several types of family therapy, but the main ones are:
Family Systems Therapy
This is a specific type of therapy that focuses on the strengths of a family. Once these strengths are identified, the family can figure out how to use their strengths to then work on any mental health issues they might need to handle.
Functional Family Therapy
When it comes to therapy that you might be experiencing to help you or a loved one deal with an addiction issue, you will likely experience elements of functional family therapy, if not outright functional family therapy.
Functional family therapy is a type of treatment that tends to work short-term for youths who might feel unstable or unattached to their family. This unattachment might be driving them to take dangerous behavior – such as falling into violent hobbies or even substance abuse.
This specific type of family therapy aims specifically to help teens and their families identify specific problems that they can then try to solve while also building trust between the family members.
Narrative Family Therapy
Although all family therapies include extensive amounts of honesty and talking, this one focuses primarily on those elements. When it comes to narrative family therapy, each family member is meant to discuss their experiences and how those experiences have made them into the people, they are today.
It’s meant to encourage family members to learn more about their family members in the hopes that they can eventually see things from the other family members’ perspectives or even look at situations more objectively. It’s meant to help you and your family learn to relate to others.
As you might be able to gather from the title, psychoeducation is meant to help educate family members and loved ones to learn more about specific types of mental health issues that might be afflicting a family member.
Many people consider mental health a myth, so having a licensed professional there explaining what might be negatively impacting a person can go a long way towards helping people identify and treat specific mental issues.
There are other types of family therapy, but these are some of the most common.
What Are the Goals of Family Therapy?
When it comes to group and family therapy, the general hope is that the entire family will be closer and better at communication at the end of it. But, unfortunately, it can be hard to get your family to get on the same page when it comes to communication.
Most of it stems from a lack of proper communication between the members when it comes to family drama. As a result, people in a family can feel as if they’re unseen or unloved because the other family member doesn’t understand their true feelings.
That can make the family member in question seem unseen, which would open that family member to fall into vices such as drugs to try and feel seen. So that’s a very specific example, but feeling unloved or unseen in a family or amongst one’s loved ones is one of the leading causes of people getting addicted to something.
At the core of family therapy, the goal is to make it so that families can be on the same page and understand one another. The usual goals of family therapy are to increase and improve the members’ communication skills, unearth and solve family problems so that they can’t fester and mentally affect a family member, and generally make a family function better together.
At the end of a successful set of family therapy sessions, the hope is that the family will have better communication methods and stronger core strength and resources to work with to make sure they stay on the “straight and narrow” with their family understanding.
However, for most family therapy sessions to be true successes, it will likely take several sessions before you see a difference amongst your family. Typically, the sort of issues you might tackle during your sessions are:
- Marital problems
- Parent-child conflicts
- Sibling issues and miscommunication
- Family illness (physical or mental)
- Adjustment problems among family members
- Terrible and negative parenting abilities
- Discover new ways to correctly express your emotions in a healthy way
Get Started At North Star Treatment Services
If you’re looking to start Family Therapy for you or your loved ones, you can’t go wrong selecting our services at North Star Treatment. We have an elite team of staff who will specifically work for your benefit in the hopes of helping your loved one and your family remain on the road to recovery.
If you’re interested in giving you and your family the best shot of getting to a new state of being, reach out to us and let us help you change your life.