How Can I Support My Loved One’s Recovery Journey?

How Can I Support My Loved One’s Recovery Journey?

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

The recovery journey is a personal, unique experience for those recovering from addiction. However, loved ones and families are also directly affected by addiction and recovery. It is important for clients to remember that those close to them in their lives can be greatly affected by their addiction and recovery. As for partners or loved ones, it is important for them to offer support and a nonjudgmental environment to help their partner heal. Fortunately, this article offers a variety of ways to support a loved one’s recovery journey.

First Steps Recovery helps clients and their loved ones become a cohesive team working together toward lifelong sobriety. Clients learn new ways to be expressive in order to let their partner or loved one into their inner world. To help loved ones, the facility offers therapies that allow clients’ partners to be directly involved in the recovery journey in an effective and supportive way. Recovery is a process to be embraced by all members of an individual’s life in order for them to successfully reclaim a healthy, happy life.

How Are Loved Ones Important in the Recovery Journey?

The main goal of recovery is for a person to improve their quality of life and live a life of long-term sobriety. To reach this goal, maintaining social interactions outside of treatment is key. Because social connections are so important for a successful recovery, loved ones are a major factor in the recovery journey. 

During recovery, clients continue to build upon newly learned skills and start to feel more comfortable being vulnerable with others. When a loved one stands by a client without judgment, clients feel a sense of hope and motivation. As loved ones create a safe environment, this not only allows clients to heal from their addiction but also helps strengthen the relationship between them.

How Can Loved Ones Be Involved in the Recovery Journey?

For loved ones or partners of those recovering from addiction, it is important to be understanding and nonjudgmental. The loved one must understand many things about recovery. First, they must understand that addiction is a disease rather than a weakness. Moreover, they must understand that each recovery journey is unique and can look different from others in recovery as well as the fact that recovery is lifelong. Additionally, loved ones should know that medication is used as assistance and not as a replacement.

Loved ones can be directly involved in the recovery journey by helping their partner develop their treatment or recovery plan. This is especially useful for clients post-treatment as they begin to lead a self-directed life of sobriety. Partners must learn about their loved ones’ recovery journeys in order to fully support them outside of the facility. Gaining a full understanding allows partners to assist in the recovery journey as much as possible without overwhelming their loved ones.

Those who want to support their partners can attend therapy sessions when available in order to gain a full comprehension of the addiction at hand. They can also attend informational sessions to educate themselves or reach out to other loved ones who have struggled with addiction in order to better grasp the situation. Partners should also be aware of treatment services, recovery options, and support sources and seek out these services for their loved one when needed.

How Does First Steps Recovery Bring Loved Ones Into the Recovery Journey?

First Steps Recovery is a welcoming environment for the client and those who love them and offers multiple ways for partners to be involved in their loved ones’ recovery. The staff encourages clients to deepen their relationships with others, especially friends, family, and partners. First Steps Recovery also offers therapy services based on involving one’s external support system. This includes family therapy, group therapy with loved ones, or couples therapy.

It is important to be self-guided in recovery while also being supported and guided by loved ones. Involving partners directly in the recovery journey through therapy sessions allows for mutual understanding and helps partners tune in to the client’s needs throughout the process.

How Can Clients Open Up to Their Partners During Recovery?

Clients can work on opening up to and being vulnerable with their partner by gaining self-confidence, self-insight, comfort, and trust. Working with therapists and specialists at First Steps Recovery helps clients develop a better understanding of themselves and learn how to express themselves in a healthy manner. Through group therapy, clients strengthen their social skills and behaviors in a social setting. Combining these strengths into one’s personal life can be done in a guided manner with a therapist or in a self-directed approach in one’s own life outside of the facility.

Most importantly, partners should create a safe and nonjudgmental environment. Clients may feel isolated, guilty, or shameful. Therefore, rather than approaching the situation with pre-existing stigmas, partners should be open-minded and supportive. This type of relational environment allows clients to heal. A nonjudgmental environment strengthens social skills, enhances relationships, and creates a safe space in which to be vulnerable. In turn, this produces quicker and more successful progression along the recovery journey.

At First Steps Recovery, we encourage loved ones and partners to be involved in clients’ recovery journeys. It is important to have one’s personal support system directly involved in their recovery. However, it is important for partners to understand that they must create a safe, secure, welcoming, and nonjudgmental environment for the client to prosper in. Vulnerability is not easy, and while specialists at First Steps Recovery work with clients to develop healthy and honest ways of expression, their partners must meet them halfway. Partners are invited to couples therapy sessions if those are part of the client’s treatment plan, and partners should seek out their own educational resources to support their loved ones. Call (844) 489-0836 to learn more.

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