Addiction, or substance use disorder (SUD), is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic, relapsing brain disorder. It is characterized by the American Society of Addiction Medicine as the “inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships and a dysfunctional emotional response.” According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), addiction “is a family disease that stresses the family to the breaking point, impacts the stability of the home, the family’s unity, mental health, physical health, finances, and overall family dynamics.” When one member of a family system is suffering, it affects and permeates through the entire system, which is why family counseling often plays an integral role in addiction recovery.
What Is Family Counseling?
Family counseling (also referred to as family therapy, family systems therapy, marriage and family therapy, couple and family therapy) is defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) as “a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the improvement of interfamilial relationships and behavioral patterns of the family unit as a whole, as well as among individual members and groupings, or subsystems, within the family.” It is deeply rooted in family systems theory which is based on the notion that families are “continuous entities with rules, beliefs, and values that shape each member over time.” The assumption of family therapy is that issues cannot be successfully addressed or resolved without an understanding of the family dynamics.
Family Counseling & Addiction Recovery
Family counseling can illuminate and correct dysfunctional family patterns and work to disintegrate unhealthy family dynamics. It can teach a family unit helpful tools and strategies for navigating family conflict, improving communication methods, and helps to create an environment that reinforces the recovery process and encourages healthy lifestyle choices. Rather than treating each family member individually, family counseling relies on family systems theory to treat a family unit by addressing and shifting the way the entire family system functions, which can both promote family healing and provide ongoing support for individuals in recovery.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.