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Healing the Family

Someone fighting addiction also faces difficult relationships.  The disease affects everyone around the individual. Loved ones have to cope with living and loving the person with an addiction.  Some family members may take years to forgive the individual. Other loved ones will stick out the journey, by the person’s side. However the family works itself out only can sustain a healthy balance after the individual with an addiction gets help.  Family therapy during treatment is a good way to open the doors of communication. Family members can express their emotions in a safe environment. The individual in treatment can have support from professionals to learn new ways of listening and understanding the families needs.  

The family dynamic describes how each person interacts with one another.  Every individual has a different point of view and opinion. When the family first comes to a session, the therapist can evaluate the unit and understand each person.  A professional will aid the family through the healing process. Sometimes there are enablers in the family, or scapegoats. The person in treatment will have to learn how to identify the loved ones by understanding personal emotions.  

The individual will find their feelings are also extreme.  Guilt, regret, shame, discomfort, depression, anxiety, etc. will have control of the person’s mind for a time.  Trying to explain the emotions to someone while trying to listen and understand is a lot to take in at once. One on one therapy for each member of the family will provide the unit self-understanding.  Bringing self-awareness to the table will support the others with communication skills. The unit can begin apologizing, and the family can continue through the healing process.

Some loved ones will have a more difficult time getting over the hardships of addiction.  The person facing recovery may have pushed someone away, or the family member could have had to walk away.  Al-anon, or family 12 step programs, can support those who have disconnected from the family. The wounds can heal with time, or the person in recovery might have radical acceptance.  Accepting a situation which is out of personal control will allow the individual to let go and move forward. A coping skill for the emotions associated with broken relationships would be to write a letter to the person.  The stamp never has to end up on the envelope, though. The letter can be discarded, saved, or shared. The author would have to decide which action will help them release the feelings.

Everyone is affected by addiction.  The family and friends want to help, although don’t always know how.  Support from professionals at Resilient House can provide the best options for a successful healing process.  Call 833-change1 (833-242-6431) and begin reconnecting with loved ones.