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Long Term Recovery: Family Therapy

Addiction treatment has multiple levels, and therapy is one of the strongest forms of addiction treatment. It helps prevent relapse and teaches people how to cope with the temptation to relapse. Therapy will also help you focus on recovery during rehabilitation, which makes the rehabilitation and recovery more beneficial.

Fundamentals of Therapy: What is Therapy?

Therapy is a form of collaborative treatment. The collaboration comes from the relationship a person builds with his therapist. The therapist will offer a supportive environment to speak up your problems as he or she will listen through a neutral, non-judgemental, and objective perspective.

The dialogue between you and your therapist will help to identify your current thought patterns and work to adopt new behavior and thought patterns that help you:

  • To avoid self-destructive behavior like drug abuse,
  • To adopt positive perspectives
  • To cope with a bad feeling like the loss of a loved one
  • Learn to handle somatic responses. These are body sensations
  • To solve relationship issues.

By the time you’re done with therapy, you will have new skills to cope with upcoming challenges, and the initial problem that brought you to therapy will have been settled.

What is Family Therapy?

Family Therapy is a form of therapy that helps change and develop positive developments in intimate relationships such as couples and family. Family therapy has various branches such as family and couples therapy, family and marriage therapy, family counseling, and family systems therapy.

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The family has a core role to help in treatments and recovery of any health issues, including drug and alcohol abuse. Family therapy makes the needs of everyone in the family as its core goal. Family therapy will identify interdependent relationships and how they will affect the substance abuse patient and the other family members.

It will help to make these relationships more productive. One of the reasons is that as a patient recovers from substance abuse, the family will help manage the consequences of drug abuse patients. Moreover, the other treatment will be more effective as the family will know how to support each other.

Choosing a Family Therapist

There are more than 85,000 psychologists with a license in the United States. However, you need one that you can quickly be comfortable to open up to. Good chemistry in this collaborative relationship will make it more productive within a shorter time frame.

Getting a good therapist needs you too to have some level of preparation. Thus, you will need to evaluate yourself and therapist candidates in the process of getting the ideal therapist.

a. Self-evaluation Questions

Evaluate the following about yourself as you wait to get a therapist:

  • Do you want therapy all by yourself, with your spouse or children?
  • What goals do you hope to achieve from the psychotherapy?
  • How will you pay for the therapy services? With an employee assistance program or insurance?
  • How much can you afford if you intend to pay from your pocket?
  • What time and days are convenient for you?

b. What to Ask a Therapist

A phone or physical visits are more secure than emails when making initial contact with your therapy. Moreover, talking will be much faster and will provide a better assessment of a person. Ask about the following:

  • Are you taking new patients?
  • Are you licensed to operate in the state of (your current state of residence)?
  • Do you help children, teens, women, men, families or couples? You can go ahead and ask about what category you fall in.
  • What areas are you skilled in?
  • How long have you been practicing psychotherapy?
  • Have you treated people with my symptoms before?
  • Have your treatment approaches been effective in treating conditions like mine?
  • How much do you charge, and what are your fees payment policies?
  • Do you take payments from my insurance?
  • What is your take on things like missed appointments?

Four Types of Family Therapy

Family therapy has multiple models. There are therapy treatment group modes that spin-off from the initial family therapy group of members of the family. For example, they could group children and adults.

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Family therapies mainly occur in the therapist’s place of private practice or clinics. There is also home-based therapy, which helps the family to overcome resistance, shame, and stigma. The main types of family therapy include:

1. Cognitive-behavioral Model

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) treats a wide range of disorders. It earns the name cognitive because the therapy sessions are aimed to help you recognize behaviors and actions that will trigger drug abuse. This will help to strengthen coping skills, improve communication, and develop better problem-solving skills. Family interaction will improve as a result of cognitive behavior therapy.

2. Multidimensional Model

The multidimensional therapy model will assess critical domains in a patient’s life and a family’s life for family therapy. Some of these aspects include behaviors, cognitive processes, and emotions. The multidimensional model considers drug addiction especially in adolescents to be multidimensional. Thus, therapists will use a multidimensional approach to try and solve the problem as thoroughly as possible.

3. Family Disease Model

The family disease therapy model considers substance abuse to be a disease for the whole family. For example, Codependence among the members of the substance abuse patient will make it possible for the patient to indulge in substance abuse. It urges the family to focus on behavior and environmental modifications.

4. Family Systems Model

The family systems therapy model states that families get structured by the interactions that surround drug abuse. A good example is when a man can only reveal his feelings when under the influence of substances. Everyone’s behavior in a family system will impact another’s. A family systems therapy in such a case will work to change family behaviors and communication patterns that result in drug and substance abuse.

Planning Family Therapy Sessions

Did you know that 50% of children who visit pediatricians have developmental problems that are also in their families? Doctors will use psychological screeners and symptoms checklists to determine if a family needs therapy.

However, family therapy is prescribed if family issues contribute to cases of children and adolescents with a psychological disorder. Your family therapist could be a clinical psychologist, a psychiatrist, or a professional who is certified to deal with couples, marriage and family therapy.

Family therapy sessions involve both group and individual interviews with the members of the substance abuse patient. The therapists will assess the family structure, types of emotional and the levels at which they are expressed, communication styles, roles of the members of the family, emotional triangles, dominance and submission patterns, and more.

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A therapist will also request you to prepare a genogram to prepare for the start of sessions. A genogram is a diagrammatic expression of significant events and people in family history. It will highlight events like personality traits and medical history. It will quickly help the therapist to understand the current situation better.

Effective Treatment Using Family Therapy addiction treatment 

Research on the effectiveness of family therapy is limited but positive. It is costly and hard to research the family. However, the available results show that treatment will be more effective if family therapy is included than when it has been omitted. Family Therapy will improve how the family functions, engagement, the rate at which the patient engages in substance abuse and will help to discourage relapse. Individual therapy and medication are other forms of effective treatments using family therapy addiction treatment.

Addiction Treatment at Ebb Tide Treatment Centers

An addiction treatment center in one of the ideal places to seek help in acquiring treatment and recovery.  The patient and family will benefit from the following ways:

  • It provides a safe environmental space free of drugs. Eliminating access to drugs is the first step in any addiction treatment.
  • Individual therapy. The patient will have a story to tell, and the treatment is different in most cases due to varying levels of intoxication.
  • Group and Family therapy. Group therapy involves working with peers dealing with similar issues. Family therapy helps your family to cope with the substance abuse issue and help to support each other.
  • Cognitive treatment and medication. Some substance abuse cases need medication which Ebb Tide Treatment Centers provide. Cognitive therapy helps a patient identify and overcome factors that trigger substance abuse.
  • Follow up. Ebb Tide Treatment Centers provides follow up engagement, therapy, and treatment to prevent relapse.


Addiction is considered to be a disease as the patient usually has no control over the urge to abuse substances. The family offers great support in treating any condition. Thus Family has shown to provide a positive impact on substance abuse treatment.

Family therapy will conduct individual interviews and group therapy to help identify how a particular family works, the roles of the members, and major events in their history. Therapists will use this information to understand everyone’s perspective and help them develop positive changes in how they communicate, among other behaviors.

A therapist should be neutral, non-judgemental, and objective. A family should assess themselves and various therapists before starting family therapy. For the personal evaluation, they should analyze their readiness both, mentally and financially. It would be best if you evaluate a therapist based on their experience, legal permit to practice, availability to accommodate you in their schedule, fees charged and payment methods.

There are four approaches to family therapy. They are the Cognitive-behavioral model, a Multidimensional model, the Family disease model, and the Family systems model. Family therapy can take place at home, in clinics, or on-premises of treatment centers like Ebb Tide Treatment Centers.

Ebb Tide Treatment Centers provides a safe environment to recover, individual therapy, family therapy, medication, cognitive treatment, and follow-up measures to prevent relapse.

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