Addiction and other behavioral issues with one member of the family can impact the entire household. More and more, treatment centers are integrating families into the process of recovery. Family work can make a significant difference in the recovery process for the person who is struggling. When one member of the family struggles with addiction, mental health, or behavioral concerns, each member can be affected. Parents might become stressed out due to all of the attention they are dedicating to “putting out fires” in response to issues. Siblings and other children within the household might feel neglected when parents are frequently attending to only one member of the home. By participating in family work during one family member’s recovery process, you can find solutions to create a healthy home where the entire family can grow and thrive.
Changes Within the Family
Family work can focus on some underlying issues within the home or strengthen the family system as a whole. Some of the things that might be touched upon during family work or family therapy sessions are:
- Communication Skills:
- Effective communication can make a meaningful difference in your household.
- Your family may experience breakdowns in communication due to the family stress of having a family member dealing with significant struggles.
- Open and honest communication can foster a healing home environment for your afflicted family member upon returning home from treatment.
- Problem-solving Skills:
- Solving problems can be challenging, especially when handling crisis after crisis.
- Sometimes, one family member can appear to always get what they want from the perspective of other family members, which can create resentment.
- By learning how to solve problems effectively, you can teach your family to compromise and respect everyone else’s point-of-view.
- Stress Management:
- When one family member is dealing with problematic issues like addiction or other behavioral concerns, the entire family might become stressed out.
- When living with someone going through significant stress and issues, the entire environment can become disruptive and cause stress for everyone.
- You and your family can learn to manage the stress while your family continues to heal and recover.
Barriers to Family Work
Family members might be reluctant to integrate family work into the recovery process of one family member. One barrier to family work is the false notion that one person within the home is causing all the issues. Families might believe that if the person with the problems gets treatment, then all other matters within the home will go away. However, other issues may have been occurring below the surface, and “fixing” one person may not address all the problems. For example, parents might feel like they are now “caseworkers” rather than having the type of parental relationship they want with their kids. Other times, due to the attention given to one child dealing with problems, siblings might feel neglected. Families can work on these issues while one member is in treatment to build resilience to support the child in treatment.
Another potential barrier to treatment is the fear of being blamed for the issues. Family work is not about assigning blame to one or more family members. The purpose of family work is to create a safe, secure, and healthy environment for everyone, not just the family member who is struggling. Right now, your child is struggling with issues that are not any one person’s fault, not even their own. However, everyone has a responsibility to help that person heal. Family work is about finding solutions and not about blaming or shaming the family. You might feel burnt out or stressed due to things going on within your home. Now is the time for healing to occur for everyone in the house.
The Importance of the Environment
One of the essential aspects of successful outcomes in recovery is a healthy environment. When your child returns home from treatment, their success might be contingent upon the entire family system’s overall health. You might feel like your family is slipping away due to putting out fires or dealing with crises. We all have our breaking points. We might feel that our home and our family lives are not fulfilling our expectations or our dreams. We might feel helpless and hopeless, as we just “get by” and deal with things as they come up. Your family deserves the best, and family work in recovery can help your entire family. By learning skills to create a healthy and happy home, you can get your child back and reclaim your role as a loving parent.
Building a healthy family system can be paramount to the recovery of one family member. Often, the issues of one family member impact the entire unit. By learning communication skills, problem-solving skills, and stress management, you and your family can thrive and grow. Fire Mountain’s Aaron Huey discusses this further with Gordon Woods and Stacie Lucius during the podcast “Family Work in Recovery.” For more tips and advice for you and your family, visit the “Beyond Risk and Back” podcast hosted by Aaron Huey. If your family continues to struggle as you are helping one member through addiction or other issues, family work and residential treatment might be the next right step for you and your family. Fire Mountain Residential Treatment is here for both struggling adolescents and their families. We believe that healing is best accomplished when the entire family is involved. Call us today at (303) 443-3343. We’re here to help your family’s fire burn brightest.