Family therapy and addiction

Family therapy and addiction

Substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health issues affect every member of a family unit. Clients in treatment have better outcomes if family members educate themselves about mental health and participate in treatment.

According to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, "Unlike the West, in India, family is the key resource in the care of patients with mental illness." In addition, "Psychologically, family members feel an intense emotional interdependence with each other and there is strong interpersonal empathy, closeness, loyalty, and interdependency." Samarpan educates families about how mental health issues may manifest and effective ways to support loved ones in treatment.

The Importance of Family Engagement in Treatment

Treatment is a complicated process that requires significant changes to how clients think and behave. Family engagement increases the effectiveness of psychotherapy and other mental health treatments by providing the following:

  • Emotional and social support
  • Motivation for positive changes
  • Stability and accountability

According to the previously mentioned research published by the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, "In India, there has been a long tradition of involving families in the treatment of mentally ill relatives." The benefits of family involvement include less severe symptoms, faster recovery time in some cases, and a decreased risk of relapse. Families that engage in treatment are better equipped to support their loved one and better understand potential challenges they may face.

Creating Healthier Dynamics

In some cases, unhealthy dynamics within families can cause chronic stress that contributes to the development of substance use or mental health disorders. Introducing healthier family dynamics is essential to the treatment and recovery process. Samarpan educates families about how their beliefs or behaviors can adversely affect their loved one. The care team may suggest that certain family members participate in individual or family therapy to help them identify and adjust maladaptive behaviors.

Treatment can help families grow closer by doing the following:

  • Providing insight into how specific relationship dynamics can cause emotional distress
  • Offering effective and practical solutions
  • Educating on mental health or substance misuse
  • Setting realistic goals for treatment and recovery
  • Ensuring everyone has access to mental health resources
  • Providing solutions for potential issues that might affect recovery during continuing care
  • Ensuring family and clients have a safe space to voice concerns and needs

Most clients benefit from having weekly facilitated sessions with family members. According to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), "While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for helping a family member who is drinking too much, using drugs, or dealing with a mental illness, research shows that family support can play a major role in helping a loved one with mental and substance use disorders." In addition, SUD and mental health issues affect everyone, and involving families in treatment can help them all heal together.

Family Services at Samarpan

Samarpan offers multiple services and treatment options that allow families to play a vital role in the recovery process. Every client is unique, and some may not have a strong family support system. Our clinical team collaborates with each client to determine if they would benefit from our family support services.

According to Martin Peters, the Director of Residential Services at Samarpan, “Addiction is a game that all the family gets to play, it's imperative that as a treatment program, we also offer the family the opportunity to be part of the healing process, not just for the client who is in treatment, but also for the family who will have endured a lot through their loved ones addiction. All clients have facilitated family sessions throughout their treatment episode, and we also run specific family groups in person and online on a weekly basis.”

In addition to providing services for families during treatment, we continue supporting people who complete our programs. The alumni services and continuing care planning we offer ensure clients and their families continue to receive support during long-term recovery.

Weekly Education Sessions

Samarpan facilitates weekly online and in-person family sessions to help loved ones and their family members learn and grow. The Deputy Director of Residential Services at Samarpan, Obi Unaka, stated, “Educating the family enables them to be better equipped at responding to the challenges posed by the clients substance use and associated behaviours - the family education sessions are important in helping them become aware of the nature of addiction and its various presentations.”

Family Therapy

Clients and their families are encouraged to participate in family therapy sessions during treatment. In some cases, families benefit from attending family therapy after the client completes their program.

A therapist can resolve conflicts and help family members identify areas within their relationships that can change to increase the client's quality of life. The primary benefits of family therapy include the following:

  • Improved communication
  • A neutral, safe space for voicing concerns
  • An outside perspective that can provide critical insights
  • Improved and strengthened relationships

Not all families require therapy. Clients can work with their clinical team to determine if family therapy would help them build healthier relationships.

Additional Support During Continuing Care

Continuing care is a period of transition between structured care and ongoing recovery that usually involves the following:

  • Attending community-based peer-led support groups
  • Continuing individual psychotherapy
  • Prescription medication when appropriate to manage any lingering symptoms or side effects
  • Alternative holistic therapies that encourage mindfulness and relaxation

Continuing care looks different for everyone. Some people may only require a few weeks of outpatient therapy, while others might need more comprehensive support for longer. Family involvement plays a vital role in continuing care. For most clients, their families remain a critical part of their support system, and they will need to feel comfortable relying on family during difficult moments in recovery.

Families that have been educated about what to expect from treatment and recovery can provide better support for loved ones struggling with SUD and mental health issues. Family education often happens during treatment. Samarpan facilitates weekly in-person and online family sessions to ensure they remain a central part of the recovery process. We also provide other family services and continue supporting alumni and their families after they complete the program. In some cases, families benefit from attending family therapy during treatment and continuing care to address any trauma or underlying issues that may have affected their relationships. To learn more about our services, call us today at +91 81809 19090.

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