The main goal of family systems therapy is to help families identify problems, dysfunctions, and imbalances within relationships. This can help the individuals assess their own well-being and address their role in the family unit.
At Villa Oasis San Diego, we prefer the whole family to take part in a resident’s recovery. This means that our resident’s families are invited to the Villa so the whole household can begin to heal.
Family Systems Therapy at Villa Oasis San Diego

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    What is family systems therapy?

    When a person comes to the Villa for substance abuse, there are often more issues than appear on the surface. In a number of cases, the concept of family has been tossed aside in favor of addiction.
    For these people, the concept of family may seem unattainable. Family systems therapy aims to reintroduce them to the people that genuinely care about them. Often, the family will be supportive if the individual shows a willingness to heal.
    Family is often the first group affected by addiction. They are the ones who attempt to step in before situations get out of control. Unfortunately, when this does not work, they may cut ties with the individual. While this may seem cruel to outsiders, it often comes at a point where the individual has become untrustworthy or dangerous to themselves and their family.
    Once treatment has begun, family systems therapy can be the conduit for healing severed relationships. Each individual must recognize their own importance. This includes the person struggling with substance abuse. Recognition can be the first step towards moving forward as a well-defined unit.

    Family systems therapy at Villa Oasis

    The family systems therapy process involves many stages. Our treatment programs might adapt certain parts to fit the needs of a resident. However, there are three main cornerstones to the system.

    #1. Family projection process

    It can be hard to realize how much influence parents have over their children. The significance of this influence can resound throughout a child’s life. That is why this is a critical piece of family systems therapy.
    When a parent has issues such as anxiety, it is often easy to pass these concerns on to their children. Should they focus this anxiety and worry on the child, that child will often become anxious themselves. The parents must understand that the emotions they show and place upon a child will often become part of that child’s identity. As the child goes through life, this can emerge as continued dependence on the parents.
    The main takeaway from the family projection process is that when a child starts to behave in this reactionary way, it is up to the parents to focus on their own issues. This introspection can have a marked effect on how the child sees the world and on how they behave.
    Married couple being counseled in family systems therapy

    #2. Emotional cutoff

    This is the process of emotional distancing. When family members become too overwhelming, some people choose not to engage but to disengage. By doing this, they believe they are getting rid of any problems associated with these relationships.
    However, this is far from the truth. Instead, these issues fester and become attached to the individuals regardless of how much distance they put between themselves. When these issues go unresolved, people on both sides will dwell on them and look for answers.
    Some people who engage in emotional cutoffs will find new friends and loved ones to fill the void left by others. They will see this as a healthy change and a fresh start to their lives. However, these new people are left to carry the weight of the individual’s previous relationships. In many cases, issues will reemerge and cause strife within new relationships as well.
    When it comes to people with substance abuse problems, either side may have attempted emotional cutoffs. A person struggling with substance abuse may try to cut off others because they see their family as not understanding or unable to be there when they need them the most. Families may attempt an emotional cutoff because they believe it is the only way to show the struggling individual that they have done wrong.

    Regardless of the reason, when family systems therapy is implemented, these individuals will confront their issues together. They will be shown that the path to healing involves being emotionally present for one another and that unresolved distance only makes things worse.

    #3. Family emotional system

    This is a deep dive into the family dynamic. Essentially, every person in a family contributes something to the whole. For families facing substance abuse, these effects can have very specific consequences.

    There are many parts to a family’s emotional system. These can evolve from conflicts between different family members, conflicts between parents, and even problematic behaviors in one or more family members.

    For families dealing with substance abuse, we can see how one person’s issues are not as personal as they may seem. These people have the ability to disrupt the emotional well-being of the family system.

    The effect of family systems therapy

    When families are shown how they affect each other, blame often becomes a thing of the past. Each person realizes that they carry their own weight and that their decisions impact everyone else. This can be a humbling and emotionally resonant moment.
    Family systems therapy aims to bring education to families fragmented by addiction. When they are allowed to confront problems together, it can lead to deeper bonds and lower rates of relapse.

    Find family systems therapy at Villa Oasis San Diego

    Here at the Villa, we are happy to offer our version of family systems therapy to residents that need it. Reconnecting and reconciling with family is one of the top concerns for those going through substance abuse treatment.

    At Villa Oasis San Diego, we encourage family visits and therapy. Our trained medical staff is ready to facilitate these meetings and help everyone understand how important family can be to the healing process.

    Villa Oasis gazebo with 4 chairs and a table underneath. There is a small bridge to cross over.

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