Family Therapy for Addiction

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    addiction family therapy session When someone suffers from addiction, it doesn’t only affect them. It also affects everyone around them, specifically immediate family members such as a spouse or children. Family conflict can be a huge blow to a person’s mental health. This is particularly true when it comes to a mother and her child. Parenting skills are a vital part of family behavior therapy. 

    Adolescent substance abuse is growing and mental health services are available to treat those in need. A parent abusing substances can decrease family engagement — substance abuse treatment introduces opportunities for the whole family to understand substance abuse and mental health disorders.

    Unfortunately, not all women have the proper support system when it comes to dealing with addiction and caring for their children. Whether they’re single mothers or have a spouse who is also an addict, there are many times when the mother doesn’t provide the proper care for their child due to their addiction. Because they’re the primary caregivers to those children, they also can’t go and enter an inpatient rehab program.

    Fortunately, family therapy for addiction is available. Family structures demand nuanced care for substance abuse and mental health concerns. Family communication can inspire greater change than you think.

    The Role of the Family During Addiction Recovery

    family therapy for addiction The role of the entire family during addiction rehab is important. All the family members can be a support system for the addict, but they also need to understand that addiction is a disease. Many times, family members actually enable the addict instead of helping them recover.

    Family roles may change and develop during a period of substance abuse in the family. Family rules may come into question because substance abuse is considered a family disease. Enabling is when family members make it possible for the addict to continue using drugs or alcohol. (It is important to note that this is usually an unintentional behavior.) 

    For example, if an addict is living at home with their parents and they’re not working, the parents may start giving them money so they don’t have to go out and get a job. They may do this because they think it will help the addict, but it actually enables the individual to keep using drugs or alcohol instead of getting treatment. If nothing is done, family members continue to deflect and the entire system suffers.

    It’s important for family members to understand that as a family unit, addiction is a disease that is treatable yet does not have a cure. Family involvement can shape unhealthy family interactions. Just like with any other chronic disease, such as diabetes or heart disease, addicts need to learn how to manage their disease and make lifestyle changes so they can stay in recovery.

    Family therapy is a type of treatment that can help family members understand addiction and its effects on the family. It can also help the family system learn new communication and problem-solving skills. Family therapy is usually done in addition to individual therapy for the addict.

    The Goals of Our California Family Therapy Program

    Some of the goals of family therapy include:

    • Improving family relationships
    • Learning new communication and problem-solving skills
    • Developing a support system for the addict and the family
    • Helping family members understand addiction and its effects on the family


    Family therapy can be done in individual sessions or in group sessions. It is important to find a therapist that you feel comfortable with and that you feel will be helpful to you and your family. Addiction treatment may also include behavioral couples therapy.

    If you are struggling with addiction, family therapy can be a great resource for you and your family. It can help you understand addiction and its effects on the family, learn new communication and problem-solving skills, and develop a support system for the recovering person and the family. If you are interested in family therapy, please contact a reputable treatment center to get started.

    Addressing Codependency in Family Therapy for Addiction

    Codependency can be described as a relationship where one person is dependent on the other for their emotional or financial well-being. In family therapy, we will work to identify codependent patterns in your family dynamics and explore healthy ways to break these patterns. A family system can be affected by physical and emotional problems. Signs of codependency can include:

    • Feeling responsible for other people’s feelings or actions
    • Difficulty communicating assertively
    • Difficulty setting boundaries
    • Trouble saying “no”
    • Putting your own needs last
    • Feeling guilty when you take care of yourself

    How to Explain Addiction Recovery to Children

    When children are involved, family therapy for addiction recovery can help the family heal as a unit. Mental health services are keen to preserve the family system. It can also help the children understand what is going on and how they can help their parents or family members recover. Here are some tips for explaining addiction recovery to children:

    • Be honest with them. Explain what addiction is and how it affects the family.
    • Let them know that it is not their fault and that they cannot “cure” their parents or family members of addiction.
    • Encourage them to express their feelings about what is going on.
    • Teach them how to support their parents or family members in recovery, without enabling the addiction.
    • Make sure they know that recovery is possible and that there is hope for the future of everyone in the family.

    How Addiction Impacts Blended Families

    Blended families can be described as families that are created when two people with children from previous relationships come together. These families can be complex, and they often face unique challenges. One of the challenges that blended families may face is addiction. The whole family can isolate and develop their own coping mechanisms in reaction to substance abuse problems.

    If you are in a blended family and you are struggling with addiction, it is important to seek help. Addiction will impact every member of your family, and family therapy sessions can help you address the issue and begin to heal. Family behavior change is attainable, especially by keeping substance abuse treatment at the forefront.

    In family therapy, you will work with a therapist to explore the ways that addiction has impacted your family. You will also work on developing healthy communication skills and conflict resolution strategies. Family therapy can be an important part of your recovery journey, and it can help you build a strong foundation for a healthy future.

    Our Approach to Family Therapy at New Directions for Women

    Family therapy is a type of counseling that helps family members improve communication and resolve conflict. Family therapy can be helpful for families dealing with a variety of issues, including addiction. Addiction can cause codependent patterns to develop in family dynamics, and family therapy can help break these patterns.

    Family therapy can also help family members learn healthy communication skills and develop a support system for recovery. An adolescent who suffers from substance abuse may benefit the most from family counseling.

    What’s The Role of the Therapist in Family Therapy for Addiction?

    The role of the therapist in family therapy for addiction is to help family members understand the role that they play in the addiction and to help them develop healthy coping skills. The family therapist will also help family members to set boundaries with the person who is struggling with addiction.

    How Does Family Therapy for Addiction Work?

    Family therapy for addiction works by helping family members to understand the role that they play in the addiction and to develop healthy coping skills. The therapist will also help family members to set boundaries with the person who is struggling with addiction. Treatment improvement protocol for drug abuse is key to improving addiction treatment.

    Different Forms of Family Therapy for Addiction

    The different forms of family therapy for addiction include family systems therapy, family behavioral therapy, and family psychoeducation. Family engagement interventions are common to treat a substance use disorder. Treatment centers aim for a family restructuring informed by improving the quality of the relationships. Functional family therapy helps those recovering from substance abuse treatment.

    Family systems therapy is a form of family therapy that looks at the family as a system, and how each member of the family interacts with each other. This family systems approach can help families identify dysfunctional patterns of behavior and find new, more functional ways to interact with each other.
    Family behavioral therapy is a type of family therapy that uses behavior modification techniques to help change addictive behaviors. This type of therapy typically focuses on teaching family members how to provide positive reinforcement for sober behaviors and how to avoid enabling addictive behaviors.
    Family psychoeducation is a type of family therapy that focuses on educating family members about addiction and mental illness. This type of therapy can help family members understand the causes and effects of addiction, and how to effectively find the signs and symptoms of relapse.
    Multidimensional family therapy is a type of family therapy that focuses on addressing the multiple stressors that can contribute to drug abuse. This type of therapy typically includes family members, close friends, and other support people in addition to the person struggling with addiction.

    Cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy is a type of family therapy that focuses on helping family members identify and change the negative thoughts and behaviors that contribute to addiction. This type of therapy typically includes family members, close friends, and other support people in addition to the person struggling with a substance use disorder. (Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is commonly used in addiction treatment.)

    What Should I Expect From Family Therapy for Addiction?

    During family therapy for addiction, you can expect to participate in sessions with your family members and a therapist. The therapist will help you and your family members communicate openly and resolve any conflicts. You will also learn healthy communication skills and strategies for supporting your loved one’s recovery. A mental health services administration is one of the best resources for addiction treatment.

    What Are the Benefits of Family Therapy for Addiction?

    addiction treatment resources for women and families The benefits of family therapy for addiction are many. Family involvement can help you to:

    • Understand the role that family plays in your addiction.
    • Learn how to communicate effectively with your family members.
    • Resolve conflict in a healthy way.
    • Set boundaries with your family members.
    • Heal the damage that has been done by addiction.


    If you are struggling with substance abuse, family therapy helps this part of your recovery. It can help you repair relationships with your family members and build a support system to help you stay sober. Substance abuse may have caused you to isolate yourself from your family. If you are considering family therapy, here are some things to keep in mind:

    • Find a therapist who is experienced in treating addiction and families.
    • Be honest with your family about your addiction and your recovery goals.
    • Make a commitment to attending therapy sessions and doing the work necessary to recover.
    • Be prepared to face difficult emotions and work through conflict with your family.
    • Remember that recovery is a process and it takes time, patience, and effort.


    If you are struggling with addiction, family therapy can be a valuable part of your treatment plan. If you are ready to get help, contact a treatment provider today.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Family Therapy

    There are many ways families can connect during addiction recovery. Some families choose to participate in family therapy, while others may opt for family support groups or individual counseling. Families can also connect with each other through online resources or by participating in community events. Whatever method you choose, the important thing is that you are supportive and understanding of your loved one’s addiction recovery process. A family disease such as substance abuse can often break the strongest of bonds.

    Family therapy for addiction can be offered in a variety of settings, including outpatient treatment centers, residential rehab facilities, and private practices. Some family therapists also offer online services or video conferencing for families who live in different areas.

    If your family isn’t ready or doesn’t want to participate in family therapy, there are still other options available to you to help with substance abuse. You can participate in individual therapy, which can help you learn how to cope with your loved one’s addiction and build a support system of other family members and friends who understand what you’re going through. You can also join a family support group, such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon, which can provide you with emotional support and practical advice for dealing with substance abuse within your family.

    Family therapy for addiction can sometimes be seen as a last resort when all other options have failed. This isn’t always the case, but family therapy can be an effective tool for helping to improve communication and resolve conflict within families dealing with addiction. Family therapy for addiction can also be seen as a way to blame family members for an addict’s substance abuse disorder, which isn’t fair or accurate. Family therapy shouldn’t be used as a way to point fingers, but rather as a way to help everyone involved understand substance abuse and its impact on the family.
    If the unwilling family members don’t take to family therapy for addiction then family members should not force the addict to participate. Family therapy is only effective if everyone involved wants to be a part of it and is willing to work together. If the recovering addict isn’t interested, then family members can look into other options for help, such as individual therapy or support groups.

    Embrace a New Family Structure Through New Directions For Women

    therapy and treatment for women and families The challenges of substance use within the family unit can be taxing and cause doubts to flood in. When a loved one is working through recovery, the family tends to take on roles that don’t encourage a strong support system.

    New Directions For Women, located in California, is here to help and extend warm care to your circumstances. Our family therapy for addiction gives you an opportunity to address the state of your family and set goals for solutions. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, reach out to us today. Allow our California addiction treatment facility to help you.

    Clinically Reviewed By:

    Heather Black-Coyne, LMFT, CADC II, Chief Clinical Officer

    Heather Black-Coyne, LMFT, CADC II, Chief Clinical Officer

    Heather most recently served as the Clinical Director of a gender-specific treatment center in Huntington Beach. She is trained in both Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which serve the needs of our patients, many of whom have experienced both complex trauma and substance use disorder.

    Medically Reviewed By:

    Dr. Alejandro Alva, M.D., Consulting Medical Director

    Dr. Alejandro Alva, M.D., Consulting Medical Director

    Alejandro Alva, MD, has a focus on substance abuse and chemical dependency treatment and general psychiatric disorders. Dr. Alva earned his bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fullerton, and completed medical school at Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine in Mexico. He then returned to California, where he completed his psychiatric residency at the University of California, Irvine.

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