Addiction affects the addict, but also family members of the addict, and many family relationships are the first casualties of alcohol or drug abuse. Some families enable the addiction, some dysfunctional family relationships contribute to the development of the addiction… These dynamics, if left unaddressed, can undermine recovery. Because addiction involves and touches everyone in a family, at Pax House we have family groups that integrate loved ones into the treatment process.
What are Family Groups?
Family groups are specialized group therapy sessions that focus on the family as a whole, rather than just on the condition of the addict. Family groups can focus on educating family members about the addiction and prepare them for dealing with early recovery, or they can focus on providing a space for managing family conflict and issues that have arisen in the treatment process. At Pax House, our family groups provide a mixture of psychoeducation (more info: what is psychoeducation) about the disease and a safe space for emotional expression and healing.
Why is Family Therapy Important?
When one component of the family system is sick, then the whole family is affected. Many family members do not know how to provide help and support for their loved one, which can lead to unmanageable levels of stress at home. Family groups provide understanding and insight into the disease, and impart the skills and techniques family members can use to support an addict through recovery. Difficult issues of co-dependence, abuse, personality conflict can be discussed in the safe and supportive environment of a family group facilitated by our staff. Families can begin to heal the broken relationships that contributed to the development of the addiction in the first place, and work towards developing a healthier home environment for all members.
Family Groups at Pax House
At Pax House, we offer family groups on a weekly basis for the immediate family members of our clients at our facility. Depending on the situation, this might include spouses, parents, siblings, and children. In some circumstances, other family members or loved ones might be involved; however, typically only the immediate family participates.