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The role of family therapy during recovery for alcoholism

Substance abuse is so destructive and pervasive that the whole family has to bear the brunt if immediate steps are not taken. Addiction to substances like alcohol can deprive one from the love of close family members. Hence, involving the family is a major part of any de-addiction treatment for alcoholism. Treatment without involving the family may limit its effectiveness mainly because of two reasons. First, by ignoring the devastating impact of substance use disorders leaving family members untreated and second, by not recognizing the family’s potential as a support system.

Studies have proved that children in a disturbed family atmosphere due to the negative effects of substance abuse, struggle with emotional, behavioral, or substance use problems. They become victims of loss of love, conflict, violence, abuse, emotional chaos, role reversal, and fear. These situations damage their overall growth. Alcohol consumption has given rise to behavioral problems where patients have to pay a heavy price through deteriorated physical, mental health, family relations, social relations, and work-related problems. An Indian scientific study of 2016 revealed that 27 to 37 percent of married women have gone through domestic abuse due to alcohol consumption. Also, it creates financial constraints in several households with the daily spending on alcohol purchases.

Alcohol abuse destroys relationships. It implies alcohol-addicted people hamper the family budget, cause fights, ignore children, and the most destructive one— impair the health and happiness of their loved ones. Rehab centers that deploy family therapy for alcoholism play an important role in combating the issue. The therapy works not just for the victim who is struggling, but for the entire family.

How does family therapy for alcoholism work?

Individual therapy works on balancing the thoughts, behaviors, and emotions of one person. But, family therapy focuses on neutralizing the relationships that are deeply affected due to alcohol abuse by validating the experiences of family members. The therapists in the family programs believe that problems lie in the interpersonal relationships  and not within individuals.

Family therapy explores how alcohol use is disturbing the interaction and integrity of the family. Also, additional education about substance use is imparted in these programs. The family members are guided to reduce their unhelpful behaviors and increase their effective behaviors. It motivates the patient to recover fast and increases engagement.

Research also proves that family therapy is very helpful in bringing positive life changes in a patient’s life and improving the relations that were somewhere lost with the constant use of addictive substances. Family therapy models consist of four main components:

  • Family Engagement: It enhances the involvement among family members. This therapy focuses on young adults struggling with alcohol addiction. It teaches them how they can improve relations with their parents. Family engagement usually takes place in the initial phase of treatment and is revisited when required.
  • Relationships  reframing: This is the second element that consists of interventions that are designed to move away from the individual. It defines the problems, generates solutions, and understands those close relationships. Instead, it reframes the relationships by removing psychologically-based descriptions and attributions for family behaviors. This motivates people to discontinue the use of alcohol and concentrate on recovery.
  • Family’s behavioral change: The third core element consists of family behavior change that aims to alter the behavior of family members. The new skills are positively reinforced to both, the individuals and family members. This encourages behavioral changes that lead to improved family relationships.
  • Family restructuring: This element of family therapy changes the way the family system is governed by shifting underlying beliefs, premises, and family rules. It’s important to encourage the close family members to understand the dynamics and how they affect relationships if not handled properly.

It mainly applies to the parents as young people get affected the most if their parents don’t understand their choices. As a result, they look for damaging alternatives to handle their miseries. This technique corrects the problematic behavior of families developing attachment and emotional bonding among them.

Seek immediate help to recover from alcoholism

Positive relations are important to stop your loved ones from coming under the influence of addictive substances and altering their behavior. Athena understands the importance of family therapy for alcoholism in giving back the love and care of beloved relationships. If you are ready to take the next step forward and want more information about our drug addiction treatment, please feel free to call us on our 24/7 helpline number  9289086193 or text our team online at your convenience.