Addiction is a family disease. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommends that families are involved in treatment because studies suggest that addiction treatment is more effective when it includes family therapy. Research shows that family support plays an important role in the success of people recovering from addiction and mental health issues, and family participation may increase the chances that a person stays in treatment, improves social and family relationships and helps prevent relapse.
Family members must also heal from the emotional aftermath of drug and alcohol abuse. To help our clients and their loved ones begin to rebuild their lives and relationships, we offer regular family therapy as well as family programs. Our family programs vary by location and range from a weekend to week-long experience. Family members learn how to best support their loved one in recovery while taking care of themselves. Loved ones learn how to recognize signs of relapse, set healthy boundaries and expectations and communicate honestly and effectively. Activities and topics are carefully planned to help families learn more about addiction and mental illness, and connect them with others sharing similar struggles. The experience provides the opportunity for open communication among family members with the guidance of professionals, so that everyone can begin to heal.
Addiction not only negatively impacts individuals, it can tear families apart. The family is a system of interconnected parts, so if one member is struggling with addiction or mental illness, it impacts everyone. Research shows addiction and mental health treatment is more effective when family members are actively engaged in the process.
Family-based approaches address the client’s primary substance abuse or mental health disorder and many other issues. Programs focus on improving family communication and addressing conflicts including co-occurring behavioral or substance use disorders. Extensive research has been conducted on the role of family programs in addiction treatment. While much of this research is specific to adolescents, similar principles apply whether the client is a young adult or an older parent with children who are young adults.
How Family Programs Help
Drug and alcohol abuse can cause the entire family to feel like they are under constant stress. The Ranch Family Program is both educational and therapeutic. Activities and topics are carefully planned to help families learn more about addiction and mental illness, while connecting them with people experiencing similar struggles. Knowing other families are struggling with the same issues can be empowering. In this supportive setting, family members begin to understand how communication patterns and interactions with their loved ones contributed to addiction.
Family members learn how to develop and implement healthy coping strategies, especially when feelings of anxiety and fear arise. Furthermore, family programs help members learn how to effectively support their loved one in recovery while taking care of themselves. Loved ones learn how to recognize signs of relapse, set healthy boundaries and expectations and communicate honestly and effectively.
Benefits of Family Programs
Substance abuse and mental illness can wreak emotional havoc on the family unit, and this endures long after the loved one is in treatment. Family therapy and education are key elements of programming, enabling clients and their loved ones to begin rebuilding their lives and relationships. Under the guidance of compassionate professionals, this safe, supportive setting fosters open communication among family members and facilitates healing.
Family programs help participants move past denial and come to terms with extremely challenging, painful situations. Family members learn how to identify and halt damaging codependent or enabling behaviors. In this safe space, members are able to share secrets and buried emotions. Family programs break the stigma of addiction or mental illness, which clients not only face from peers but also from family members. Benefits include:
- Enables working through the chaos of addiction
- Fosters greater empathy and understanding
- Changes negative interaction patterns
- Improves listening and communication skills
- Enhances problem-solving skills
- Enables setting healthy boundaries
- Improves conflict-resolution abilities
- Rebuilds trusting relationships
- Decreases the risk of relapse