Family Therapy San Diego
When it comes to addiction, the individual seeking treatment typically is not the only person affected by his or her drug or alcohol use or other addictive behaviors. There’s often a spouse, parents, siblings and/or children involved who feel the pain of the addiction just as much as the patient. We understand addiction from both sides of the coin, having helped hundreds of patients and their families recover from the destruction of addiction. We utilize a patient-centered approach that includes counseling with family members, both during and post-treatment, to ensure a safe, supportive environment throughout the recovery process.
Family therapy combines a number of therapeutic approaches and has two main goals. The first is to use the family’s strengths to support the individual’s life in abstinence. The second is to relieve the impact the individual’s addictive behavior has had on the family.
Family therapy treats the family as a unit and the individual as a component of that system. The sessions can be done with the whole family present or subsets of it, or they can be done with separate individuals. The point of interest of family therapy in the alcohol and drug rehabilitation process is the complex relationships between the members.
There are various models of family that inform the approaches applied in therapy. The cognitive-behavioral approach looks at how the family interactions and relationships contribute to the patient’s maladaptive behaviors. By targeting those interactions that trigger the abuse and changing them, the therapy should improve the communication patterns and problem-solving skills in the family. This would in turn strengthen the outcomes of the patient’s individual counseling and the general rehabilitation process.
Family therapy assists the family in making changes within the relationships, the members and the overall environment to aid the process of their coping with the substance abuse. It also guides the other members in defining their own goals, because “better functioning” is not a clear enough goal. With family therapy during the rehabilitation and aftercare, members are better able to understand the changes. And, finally, because everything is “out in the open” the user doesn’t feel the rest of the family are ganging up on them.
This form of therapy can also address other goals which are dependent on who is using alcohol or drugs – a child or an adult. In any case, the fact remains that the whole family needs to change not just the patient.
However, the crowning goal of family therapy is prevention of relapse and prevention in general – preventing the alcohol or substance abuse problem from affecting the next generation. Science has proved that a parent who is a user is a major risk factor for children to develop the same patterns either in early youth or in adulthood. If a child is the patient, family therapy will work on preventing the siblings from following in their footsteps. In the case of children patients, family therapy has also proven effective in forestalling future problems related to substance abuse – inability to hold a job, developing other forms of dependency, continuing the same substance abuse or committing crime.
Family Therapy Program