How Can Family Group Therapy Support My Addiction Recovery?

How Can Family Group Therapy Support My Addiction Recovery?

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

While it is common for clients to self-isolate or feel like they need to be alone in order to heal, self-isolation can hinder one’s progress in recovery. The recovery journey is most effective when the client is surrounded by a support system. When clients involve others in the recovery process, they feel supported, nurture relationships, and make progress in the recovery process. One service that can help clients enlist more support is family group therapy. Involving family in the recovery process creates a welcoming, nonjudgmental, and supportive environment that facilitates healing.

At First Steps Recovery, family group therapy is offered for clients who feel comfortable involving their families in the recovery process.

What Is Family Group Therapy?

Family group therapy allows clients and their families to come together in order to aid the family dynamic. For those in addiction recovery, family therapy helps all members of the family express their feelings and thoughts. All family members are affected by addiction. When one member has an addiction, family dynamics can become unhealthy because of the behavioral changes occurring in the household. Family therapy helps the group come together, express themselves, and create positive changes in the family dynamic.

Creating a shared sense of understanding is crucial for those in recovery. Family group therapy allows clients to understand how they are impacting their families and how the family is impacting them. Family therapy then allows the group to move forward, heal their relationships with one another, and work to create a better dynamic that supports all members.

This family group therapy model can be used when substance use disorder (SUD), alcohol use disorder (AUD), or mental health disorders are present in one or more members of the family.

How Does First Steps Recovery Encourage Connections During Therapy?

First Steps Recovery believes that a community-based recovery model is effective and supportive of the healing journey. The team offers family group therapy for all clients and encourages clients to develop safe, healthy, and secure bonds with those close to them. This group of close connections can include family, friends, and other loved ones in the client’s life.

How Can Clients Start to Open Up to Their Families?

It is important for clients to feel safe in their environment in order to be vulnerable with others. Having a calm and nonjudgmental environment helps clients open up to others. This environment develops as a result of the participants fostering a deeper understanding of self and creating a safe space within the therapy session.

Developing a deeper understanding of oneself comes from addressing the possible emotional and mental health complications that are paired with the addiction at hand. Clients often experience difficult feelings or a co-existing mental health disorder alongside their addiction. Healing the emotional and mental aspects of addiction is equally important in the recovery journey. Because of this, family members should work to help their loved one heal emotionally and mentally during sobriety.

In the family group therapy session, clients build this understanding as a foundation. This in turn helps clients feel comfortable opening up further. The session is also guided by a therapist who enhances the client’s comfort levels as well. It is important for clients to feel safe and not judged in the session to promote the most effective healing possible.

Creating a Safe Space for Healing With Family Group Therapy

A safe space for healing comes from communication. Healthy communication on both ends is crucial for a successful therapy session. Family members are welcomed and encouraged to share how they are affected by the addiction, and the client is encouraged to share their experiences with addiction. Without judgment, clients and their families are able to build upon this conversation in a productive manner.

Short-Term and Long-Term Benefits of Family Group Therapy

Family group therapy has short-term and long-term benefits. Short-term benefits include the creation of a supportive community that helps clients persist on their treatment journey. This is helpful because some clients may feel inclined to stop doing treatments early if they are unsupported. As for long-term benefits, clients are likely to have reduced relapse and rehospitalization rates, reduced psychiatric symptoms, and reduced stress.

The family dynamic is also likely to change in a positive way. Family members may experience less stress and fewer burdens because of the therapy sessions. The therapy sessions can also reduce the risk for all members of developing SUD or AUD and improve how family members treat one another.

The main goals of family group therapy are to provide support for all participants and strengthen the emotional health of the family dynamic. Family group therapy can build reconciliation, forgiveness, strength, understanding, hope, support, peace, agreement, and resolution within the family. Just as every client is unique, every family is unique. At First Steps Recovery, we work to provide the best, unique care for each client and family in our care.

At First Steps Recovery, we believe that families being involved in the addiction recovery journey is key to successful, long-term sobriety. Everyone is welcome to involve their families in the journey through family group therapy sessions. In doing so, a therapist guides the session to promote a common ground of understanding and communication in a nonjudgmental, safe environment. It is important for clients to feel safe and secure to open up to their family, which begins with developing a deeper understanding and acceptance of self. In a welcoming environment, clients can become more comfortable being vulnerable about their addiction experiences, emotional well-being, and mental well-being to promote whole-person healing. To learn more about family group therapy, please call (844) 489-0836.

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