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Family Therapy

There are many ways to treat drug addiction, with common treatment modalities including family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and contingency management. Family therapy is a branch of psychotherapy that is used to treat a range of substance use and mental health disorders, including drug and alcohol addiction. Family therapy programs are often initiated during rehabilitation, with individual programs also available from independent operators on an aftercare basis. If you know anyone who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it’s important to contact a recognized treatment center in Vermont as soon as you can.

What is Family Therapy?

Also known as family counseling, family systems therapy, and couple and family, family therapy is a popular form of psychotherapy used to treat alcohol and drug addiction. Unlike other psychotherapeutic approaches that attempt to analyze individual people, family therapy looks at family dynamics and interpersonal relationships. There are two main types of family therapy, with some programs working through family issues with the addict and others working with entire family groups in an attempt to change problematic behavior patterns. Family therapy borrows ideas and methods from a number of other psychotherapy models, including strategic therapy, systematic therapy, narrative therapy and many others. A typical family program includes anywhere from five to 20 treatment sessions, with therapists using this time to analyze family dynamics and implement appropriate solutions.

Common Family Roles

Family members often fulfill particular roles based around the addict. While they are often trying to help the addict by giving them emotional and financial support, these codependent relationships can have a negative impact and slow down the recovery process. By recognizing these archetypal roles, family therapists can help family members to understand the importance of their actions. According to Family Systems Therapy, common roles include the caretaker, the scapegoat, the lost child, the clown or mascot, the star hero, the mastermind, and the protected one. While not all of these roles need to be realized at any one time, family therapy programs can help people to understand the importance of their own decisions on wider family dynamics.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehab

Family therapy programs can be applied during residential or outpatient rehab, with different systems applied accordingly. Residential rehab, also known as inpatient treatment or residential hospitalization, involves an intensive live-in arrangement. Outpatient rehab, also known as day treatment or partial hospitalization, involves periodic treatment sessions while the patient lives at their regular home address. While inpatient treatment is the most comprehensive option, outpatient programs are generally more affordable and flexible. Outpatient rehab offers another advantage, with recovering addicts able to carry out their regular home and work commitments while they receive therapy. Individual family therapy programs can be applied during residential or outpatient treatment, with family programs also available on an aftercare basis. While some treatment programs implement family therapy exclusively, the vast majority of rehab centers administer it in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational support programs.

Aftercare Support

While detox helps people stop using drugs and rehab addresses the emotional and social precursors of drug addiction, additional measures are also needed to promote long-term recovery. Common aftercare programs include 12-step support groups, SMART Recovery, sober living environments, and halfway houses. Family therapy systems can also be applied on an aftercare basis, both through commercial drug treatment centers and non-profit organizations.

Don’t let addiction take over your life. Reach out to a specialist today to learn how you can take your life back.