Why is it important to include family in your recovery?
At Sanford House, we believe family involvement is one of the most important components for a healthy, long term recovery.
Family members can be powerful allies in the recovery process. And while a person is in treatment, it is the perfect time to involve family members. During the course of their loved one’s care, family members may begin to recognize their own non-productive behaviors. These behaviors might have developed while trying to cope with addiction in the family. Perhaps family members have spent so much time putting the addict in the family first, they have forgotten how to prioritize themselves.
It’s a Family Disease…
Quite simply, addiction is a family disease. And it will continue to impact the whole family. It is often the case, that as family members try to help their loved one control their substance use, they lose control over their own behavior. And their lives become unmanageable. For many family members, accepting their loved one’s changing behavior in early recovery is difficult. These family members are at a loss as to where their responsibilities lie. What is their new role? Often, as contrary as it may seem, they don’t feel needed anymore.
Many family members are not practicing self-compassion. Nor have they for a long time. And they may have developed negative physical, psychological and social symptoms. This is a result of trying to adapt to the stressful living conditions that take place when a loved one is actively using.
Sanford House has developed its family program to work with all members of the family – during treatment and beyond. The family program is designed to educate family members about the disease of addiction. And to help them define their new roles as they move forward. Also, the program gives family members the tools they need, to handle the inevitable bumps on the road to recovery.
Sanford House Family Program is not:
- An Al-anon meeting
- Or a family therapy session together with the individual in treatment (those are scheduled with the resident’s individual therapist)
Sanford House Family Program is:
- An educational program to help family members understand the disease of addiction
- Also an aid to understanding substance use and co-occurring mental health issues
- And a discussion about each family member’s role in the recovery/aftercare treatment plan
- The development of effective and healthy communication skills and boundary setting
- And assistance in providing effective resources through books, articles and community support groups