Building relationships during addiction treatment is part of the addiction recovery plan. Some people may need to repair relationships with important people in their lives, while others may need to leave some relationships behind and forge new ones.
Unhealthy relationships can pose a significant risk to your recovery process, so it’s important to address relationship assessment and building tips during your counseling sessions.1 Healthy relationships can provide you with support as you build your new sober life and work to meet your goal of long-term recovery. By building relationships during addiction treatment, you can also build a strong framework for your recovery.
Avoid the One-Person Model
Although you may rely heavily on a spouse or close family member during your initial stages of recovery from addiction, it’s ideal to branch out as you create your new social circle. You’re likely to meet new people during your group counseling sessions or other group therapies, and these new relationships can have a positive effect on your well-being.
If you are single, it’s best to avoid forming new romantic relationships in the early months of your recovery. This period can be emotionally volatile. If your new relationship doesn’t work out, it could derail your recovery. New romantic relationships also require focus and attention, but you need to focus on your recovery.
With tips for building relationships during addiction treatment, you can use your counseling sessions to discuss the issues associated with only looking to one person to have your emotional needs met.
During your recovery process, you’ll need to stay committed to your own personal needs. If relationships in your life begin to cause you chaos or lead you to experience negative emotions, it’s not healthful. These types of relationships could trigger relapse.
Talk to your counselor about the people in your life. Although you may need to cut some out completely—for instance, if they abuse drugs or alcohol—you may simply need to set some boundaries for others. Your counselor can help you decide what boundaries are ideal for you by providing further tips for building relationships during addiction treatment.
While you may be involved in counseling for a long period of time, consider attending family therapy with your loved ones.2 Family therapy has a strong education component designed with tips for building relationships during addiction treatment. It can teach both you and your relatives about the disease of addiction and how best to treat it and support a loved one’s recovery journey. Therapists don’t just treat the addiction sufferer; they also provide support to family members who have struggled with their own emotions as a result of their loved one’s addiction. Family therapy can help families rebuild trust and repair damage that occurred in association with their loved one’s addiction.
Healthy relationships are a cornerstone of life. High-quality addiction treatment programs will emphasize the importance of building healthy relationships that support recovery. It’s important to be open and honest about family issues when you talk to your therapists so you can develop strategies for coping with difficult family issues and people. You’ll also learn how to recognize negative relationships that can affect your recovery.
With tips for building relationships during addiction treatment, you can enhance the early recovery period with skills that will serve you for the rest of your life. Focus on keeping your relationships healthy during addiction treatment and long after.