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Residential Treatment

Learn more about family therapy

Written By Stuart Croft
Reviewed By Tiffany Green
Medically Reviewed By Wajahat Choudhry
Updated November 3, 2023

As we’ve seen time and time again, family therapy often stands out as a pivotal element in the journey of long-term recovery from substance abuse. This therapy not only empowers families to understand how they can help create a supportive and nurturing environment for their loved one suffering from addiction, but equally as important, it facilitates the healing of emotional wounds and damaged relationships caused by addiction. It benefits the patient in rehab as much as it benefits the family or spouse.

As a rehab clinic that places a strong emphasis on holistic treatment, family therapy often plays a huge role in our intensive therapeutic programme, carrying as much weight and importance as other therapies such as CBT, one-on-one therapy, and group therapy. Holistic therapy demands treatment of more than just the body. It means acknowledging all of the aspects that make one whole or complete, including familial bonds, and Gladstones will spare no effort in helping families come out of addiction stronger and closer than ever.

Need help with addiction?

Contact us for an obligation-free discussion on how we could help you or a loved one break free from addiction.

Family therapy at Gladstones

Who can benefit from family therapy?

The benefits of family therapy extends beyond just the individual seeking treatment.

This form of therapy assists patients in understanding the effects of their addiction on their loved ones, as well as the role their relationships play in relation to triggers. Spouses or partners can learn a variety of techniques and methods of supporting their loved ones while children can benefit from reduced anxiety and receive emotional and psychological support. Collectively, families benefit from improved communication, mended relationships, and improved overall well-being.

If you are considering rehab for substance addiction, eating disorders or mental health disorders, Gladstones stands as a rock for both you and your loved ones. 

“Why family therapy... because it deals with family pain”

— Virginia Satir, American author and psychotherapist

What can my family and I expect from family therapy? What happens in a typical session?

Family therapy at Gladstones entails the participation of close family members or spouses who will convene with the patient and their therapists onsite at our residential rehab facility. We provide a safe and comfortable environment that facilitates open sharing and healing. In the event that in-person sessions aren’t possible, online meetings may be arranged; however, we strongly recommend in-person sessions for maximum impact and effect. 

In these sessions, your therapist will guide the conversation along a range of topics aimed at creating an understanding of addiction and restoring familial bonds. 

Some of the common topics covered in family therapy include:

Understanding addiction disorders, treatment, and medication in family therapy helps everyone grasp how addiction affects the patient and their loved ones, laying the groundwork for better support and recovery. This knowledge empowers families to work together in overcoming the challenges of addiction and creating favourable environments for successful long-term recovery. 

  • Education about the specific disorder that the patient is seeking treatment for, e.g., substance abuse, eating disorders, or mental health conditions.
  • Discussions about the impact of the disorder and its impact on the patient and the family or partnership dynamics
  • Identifying the triggers and stressors that contribute to the disorder.
  • Discussing ongoing and long-term recovery and setting realistic expectations.
  • Planning for post-rehab challenges, including relapse prevention strategies.
  • Understanding the role of medication during and after treatment (if applicable).
  • Discussing concerns or questions about medication.

Improved communication skills help family and loved ones express their feelings and concerns in constructive and helpful ways. These often-overlooked skills are critical for communicating in a way that doesn’t cause feelings of shame or blame when it’s not intended, but instead clearly communicating desires in a way that is heard and understood.

  • How to promote and enhance open and honest communication within the family or couple.
  • Developing active listening skills.
  • Learning constructive ways to express emotions and concerns regarding addiction.

Learn practical and applicable skills and techniques that help create the optimum environment for supportive healing, while at the same time learning how to set realistic and reasonable boundaries. These skills promote healthy interactions that benefit the patient and all other members of the family. 

  • How to set supportive roles and understand how to provide productive and proactive support.
  • Learning how to set healthy boundaries to promote recovery and maintain relationships.
  • Discussing issues surrounding codependency and how to overcome them.
  • Support for children facing fear and anxiety about their parent’s disorder.
  • Identifying behavioural changes that would benefit all family members.
  • Developing coping skills to deal with stressors and anxiety in the family in a healthy manner.
  • Learning skills to cope with the disorder and to improve interpersonal skills.

Addiction often causes feelings of hurt, abandonment, and neglect in families and relationships. These sessions work to overcome those negative emotions through forgiveness, renewed commitments, and positivity about the family’s future after addiction is beaten. 

  • Addressing past hurts and working towards forgiveness and reconciliation.
  • Rebuilding trust and working on damaged relationships between the patient and within the family.
  • Discussing post-rehab life and planning for a happy and healthy future.
  • Exploring new hobbies, interests, or activities that all can partake in and that contribute to a fulfilling and balanced life. 
It's only natural that you would have questions about family therapy

Issues about logistics, the number of sessions required, confidentiality, preparation, religious or cultural beliefs, post-rehab support, and costs are all valid concerns.

Feel free to contact Gladstones Clinic for an open discussion about how family therapy can help you and your family towards a brighter future.

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