Addiction is a family disease, and that’s why Villa Oasis San Diego offers family counseling. It’s very common for those battling addiction to have family-specific issues that need to be addressed. Those who have a loved one with an addiction might struggle with resentment, poor communication, codependency, and unstable family structure. Family counseling can improve the family dynamics, leaving them stronger than ever.
How Addiction Affects the Family
They call it the family disease because the effects of addiction don’t just stop at the person struggling with addiction. Loved ones are personally affected at multiple levels. For example, parents might neglect or abuse their children while under the influence. Partners might also have their own addiction or pick up the slack while the other struggles with substance use. Parents of a child with addiction might carry fear, resentment, or guilt towards their child that they need to release.
The person with an addiction might also resent their family depending on how they handled the situation. A tough-love approach might hurt a person with an addiction. They might also be upset if their loved ones enabled their behavior or contributed to their need to escape through substances.
Why You Should Consider Family Counseling
Offers a Safe Space to Air Out Grievances
Addiction can cause many negative feelings among family members that, if not addressed, will only get worse. Family members might avoid talking about these issues openly either because they don’t want to deal with the conflict or know that it will only result in a fight. Partners might be afraid of bringing up issues out of fear of sabotaging the relationship. Children might be afraid to express their feelings out of fear of punishment. Instead of waiting for a blow-up or the relationship to grow cold and distant, these issues can be laid out, addressed, and mediated by a relationship therapist.
Provides Information About Addiction and How to Prevent It
Addiction can be hereditary. Those with addiction in the family might not know that it’s possible for them to develop one as well. Children of a parent with addiction might learn toxic coping mechanisms from their parents that involve substance use or turn to substances due to trauma from having a parent with an addiction. Children who have parents with addiction need to know about the risks early on to decrease their chances of dealing with it themselves.
Education about addiction can also help the family better understand what their loved one is going through. Knowing how addiction works scientifically can help remove any resentment or frustration about their loved one’s addiction and recovery process.
Educates About Boundaries and Healthy Relationships
Enabling tends to be a significant part of addiction. Parents might enable their children in a way that contributes to their addiction. Partners might not set boundaries that keep themselves and honors their rights and identity separate from the relationship. Children might not know how to enforce their boundaries, and their parents might not learn how to respect them.
Boundary coaching can help those in the family feel confident about enforcing and maintaining their boundaries while also respecting the boundaries of their family members. Boundaries can strengthen relationships as well as build the self-esteem of everyone involved.
Allows the Family to Be a Part of the Recovery Process
Another cause of family stress is feeling helpless in the situation. Family members might not know how they can help their loved ones when going through addiction. Family counseling allows them to be an active part of their loved ones’ recovery process. Family dynamics can enormously impact a person’s addiction recovery as family-specific problems contribute to the addiction cycle. Stress in a family at home might lead to relapse down the road. Loved ones can improve the chances of a successful recovery by solving the problems in the family instead of avoiding them altogether.
The Family Can Create a Plan of Action
After the healing has begun and the issues have been discussed, the family can look to the future. Together, the family can set goals for the future based on what all parties desire. They can finally become a team. A family plan of action might include ways they can help with their loved one’s addiction or ways they can work together to support each other’s goals. If there is a dream that the family shares, they can actively consider and plan the steps to get them there. These goals can even be based on improving their relationships and healing the damage that has taken place. This strategy can help the family heal and grow closer together.
Family counseling is a fantastic tool for those who have a family member facing addiction. Addiction is a family disease. It affects the family in significant ways causing trauma, resentment, enabling, and codependent behavior. Family counseling is highly recommended and a meaningful opportunity to participate in your loved one’s recovery. Family counseling can help you and your loved ones feel like they have control over their family structure and their ability to work as a functioning team. Family counseling also provides children of parents with addiction the skills they need to have healthy relationships in the future.
If you are interested in family counseling, Villa Oasis San Diego offers this form of counseling in California to all alumni. There are plenty of ways the family can get involved in their loved one’s recovery. For more information on family counseling, call us today at (323) 739-8673.