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Family Therapy Types Commonly Found in Inpatient Drug Rehab

When you have a substance addiction, it can seem as if you’re all alone. But in ways large and small, one person’s addiction affects family members too – and understanding those dynamics can be an important part of the recovery process. Because family, in whatever way an individual defines it, plays such as powerful role in overcoming addiction, most inpatient rehab programs provide family therapy types designed to create a healthy framework for recovering from addiction.

How Does Family Therapy Help Recovery?

Family plays an important role in both addiction and recovery, but these relationships can be complicated. Even the definition of family itself isn’t always straightforward. Family can consist of people who are related by blood, or by choice. But all these different family structures are impacted when a family member becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, so helping that person recover benefits the whole family – but it also can change family dynamics in ways that can be disturbing.

Family therapy is one of many kinds of therapeutic models used in impatient rehab programs, and although family support is a powerful tool for recovery, this kind of therapy may not be right for everyone. When family therapy is an option, the approach chosen depends on individual circumstances and goals determined by the therapist and the addicted person. These might include:

  • Improving parenting skills and parent-child relationships.
  • Creating healthy communication.
  • Changing patterns of codependence and enabling.
  • Preventing substance abuse in other family members.
  • Educating family members about substance abuse.
  • Helping family members cope with their own feelings.

These goals can be addressed by one, or a combination, of five family therapy types commonly found in inpatient rehab programs for drug and alcohol addiction.

Family Systems Therapy

Family Therapy Types

Family members can learn healthy communication skills in therapy.

Family systems therapy takes the perspective that the entire family unit of an addicted person tends to organize itself around that person’s substance abuse, so that the attitudes and behaviors of various family members change in response to the addiction. This could include situations such as a spouse taking on extra jobs because an addicted spouse isn’t working, or a grandparent having to care for the children of a mother with an addiction.

The goal of family systems therapy is to help the family discover new patterns and approaches to dealing with a family member’s addiction – as well as with new challenges posed by their recovery from addiction.

Multidimensional Family Therapy

Multidimensional, or multisystemic, family therapy recognizes that the problems stemming from substance abuse can be complex, so this form of family therapy draws from a variety of approaches to help families deal with all aspects of addiction. This kind of therapy might incorporate aspects of behavior modification, talk therapy, and other modalities to help both the addicted person and the family develop healthier coping strategies.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a mainstay of individual counseling in rehab, and it can be used to help families heal, too. This kind of therapy arises from the premise that family interactions can reinforce the unhealthy and maladaptive behaviors caused by addiction, so focusing on recognizing and changing thought patterns and behaviors can lead to healthier outcomes for both the addicted person and family members. This could include learning the difference between supporting a family member and enabling their addiction, or how to cope with feelings of anger and abandonment.

By working with family members as well as the addicted person, CBT aims to change the way families interact to promote an environment that supports recovery.

How Can My Family Help Me Make It Through Inpatient Rehab?

Brief Strategic Family Therapy

Brief strategic family therapy is a highly targeted form of therapy based on the premise that the family, or dynamics within the family, could be triggering a family member’s addiction. This kind of therapy focuses on changing the patterns within the family that relate to a person’s substance abuse, and reducing the likelihood that other family members might also develop addictions triggered by these patterns.

Solution- Focused Therapy

Many models of family therapy focus on how the family situation contributed to a member’s substance abuse problem, but solution focused therapy looks instead toward discovering solutions that the family already has or can create.

This kind of therapy is oriented toward rewarding positives, not focusing on negatives. This could include encouraging an addicted person to focus on times when substance abuse is not happening, or helping family members  develop a plan to respond positively during those times.

In all its forms, family therapy as a part of inpatient drug rehab can support an addicted person’s recovery and long-term abstinence from substance abuse. More than that, it can open doors for family members – and the family itself – to recover from the effects of a loved one’s substance abuse.

Are you or a family member struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol? We’re here to help. Contact us at 800-430-1407Who Answers? for the answers you want today.

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