Family Dynamics

Family at parkOne of the most important things to remember about addiction is that it’s not an isolated incident. Addiction has an enormous impact on family members and the patterns we set together. Conversely, often addiction calls for the need to re-examine family dynamics, communication and conflict style. Through finding and establishing new patterns, we can better support the recovery of a loved one.

Connection Supports Sober Living

The single biggest reason that we incorporate family dynamics and family therapy into our addiction recovery program is that we know that our patients will need a support system after they leave recovery. Family is the best resource for people struggling to establish a sober lifestyle. Love and support counter the isolation and shame that tend to send people into relapse. Encouragement and practical support can help patients overcome hurdles that inevitably crop up post-addiction-recovery, from finding a new place to navigating new relationships.
Although we often want to heal connections that may have been strained or damaged during addiction, it’s a hard hurdle to overcome. Sometimes we’re simply not equipped with the techniques and communication skills to get past it. Our family dynamics focus can help repair these vital relationships in order to better support recovery.

Troubleshooting Family Patterns

Even when we mean well, there are some family patterns that can fuel addiction. This doesn’t mean that there were mistakes, or that there was faulty parenting. It simply means that special challenges need special care.
Authoritarian style families with minimal communication can foster the secrecy and alienation that addiction thrives on. Misdirected help, defensiveness, and troublesome patterns that we’ve learned from parents before us can all contribute to crippling a parents’ ability to help a child overcome addiction. Troubleshooting through professional counseling can help us see our unhelpful patterns and find new solutions. Often, problems stem from assumptions that we make about each other or ourselves. Although it’s no one’s fault, we can feel pressure to act in a certain way because of subconscious or misinterpreted signals from our loved ones.

Therapy Benefits More than the Patient

Whether or not our past patterns are constructive, examination of family patterns and dynamics can only help us.
Although family members of patients may never have struggled with addiction, we all have personal struggles. Taking a closer look at family dynamics can help us to understand ourselves and our loved ones better, and further empower us to help those we love.