Addiction is a chronic disease that can profoundly detract from an individual’s mental and physical health. Addiction impacts careers, finances, and can drastically alter relationships with family members and friends. Many of today’s high-quality addiction treatment centers and rehabs understand the value of positive family support in the recovery process. By offering family counseling services, these rehabs can help family members understand the disease their loved one is suffering from and how to provide the right types of support for recovery. While many rehab therapies and treatments are designed exclusively for the individual sufferer, family counseling services are designed for the sufferer and their family members.

Substance Addiction and the Family

It’s not uncommon for addiction to be dubbed a “family disease” because it profoundly affects families. In the context of the family, the reality of addiction manifests itself in unsavory behaviors. When in the throes of addiction, an individual might borrow money and not return it. They might lie and say that the money is needed for their car, school, or anything other than what it’s really for: drugs, for instance. When drinking heavily or abusing drugs, a person might lash out verbally or even physically at another family member. They might fail to show up for important events or disappear from the family altogether for long periods of time. This leads to immense family suffering.

What Is Family Counseling Services?

Treatment centers recognize that individuals are often part of a larger whole–their families. Families need help coping with their own suffering. Some people need to cope with the anger they have for a loved one. Others need help managing the intense worry they feel for a son, daughter, or parent who is addicted to alcohol or drugs. Family counseling therapists often initiate therapy with a strong educational component. Many families are unaware that addiction is a disease, that it can lead to changes in the brain, and that it is a chronic condition that requires long-term management and major lifestyle changes. After learning about addiction, family members can engage with the counselor individually, in groups, and with their loved one who is recovering from addiction to learn ways to cope with their emotions, the recovery process, and the potential for relapse.

Family Counseling Services for Real-World Help

When a loved one is suffering with addiction or seems on the verge of relapse, many families simply don’t know what to do. Moreover, they might do the wrong thing like excuse symptoms of relapse. They might host a party with alcohol. They might not know where to turn if a loved one begins to abuse drugs or alcohol again. Family counseling services can provide families with a network of resources. From aftercare programming to interventionists, these resources give families a place to turn for real-world help.

Families can provide immense support for a loved one during their recovery journey, but many family members need support too. Family counseling services treats the family unit to promote healing and understanding. If your family needs help coping with your addiction or you are a family member who wants to benefit from counseling, contact your addiction treatment center to learn more.