Many families assume that once their addicted loved one has begun treatment, the rest of the family is just along for the ride, but this shows a major misunderstanding of treatment and recovery.
During treatment the client experiences tremendous growth. They learn to face feelings, use a new language to express them self, and find healthy ways to cope with changes and challenges. But while the client changes, the family may stay stuck in its old roles, following outdated rules. This maintains the painful system of suffering in silence, which allows addiction to thrive.
To get better, everyone needs to be involved in changing the rules of the game, so addiction isn’t dictating the rules any more. To help facilitate this growth–for everyone–the Center for Recovering Families’ treatment team invites the family into the recovery process. Along with their loved one, family members develop new skills for focusing on growth, discussing differences, and coping in healthy ways. When a family does this, research shows greatly increased success for long-lasting recovery.
Oddly enough, a lot of the healing takes place when family members are not in the same therapy sessions as their loved one in treatment. Starting in separate groups allows everyone to speak freely without worrying about following the old rules and roles of engagement. At the same time, families have the chance to connect with other families who are experiencing similar feelings and processes. This provides a safe place to learn empowering recovery language, establish goals for the future, and overcome the pain of the past.