Addiction Family Therapy Services

Part of addiction recovery—a significant part—is therapy. Addicts often undergo several forms of therapy to help them understand their addiction and battle it successfully. Most rehabilitation centers encourage or require addicts to engage in one or more of the following therapies:

  • Individual therapy programs
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy programs
  • Group therapy programs
  • Residential addiction treatments
  • Nutrition education
  • Physical therapy programs
  • Experiential therapy programs

These types of therapy are important and productive for addicts in recovery. However, many people overlook the importance of family therapy in addiction treatment. It’s easy to focus all recovery efforts on the addict themselves, but addiction affects everyone in their life. 

Your addiction will impact your parents, partner, friends, siblings, and anyone else close to you. The people in your life who care about you are likely hurt by your addiction. Family therapy presents the opportunity to dissect and address the strain your addiction places on these people and your relationships with them. 

The importance of family therapy in addiction treatment cannot be overstated. Keep reading to learn more about family therapy and how it can benefit you and your loved ones. 

What Are Family Therapy Services for Addiction?

When someone severely struggles with addiction, it extends beyond the self and invades every relationship in their life, especially the ones with their family. 

Toxic families can be a possible cause of addiction, and familial relationships can be extremely strained by one’s addiction. Family therapy services for addiction can have many purposes, whether reconciling relationships or exploring cycles of behavior

Individual therapy focuses on the feelings, behavior, and thoughts of a single person, but family therapy focuses on what is between people. Relationships are complex, and sometimes communication becomes clouded, especially when addiction is present. 

Family therapy services for addiction are therapy sessions that include an addict along with close family members who want to gain clarity in their relationships and repair them if possible. 

Family therapy works in many situations, such as mental health struggles, reconciliation, and grief. But family therapy focused on addiction tends to look for substance abuse cycles within the family and how family members react to addiction. 

Addiction-based family therapy aims to tease out these behaviors to help everyone adjust their reactions to be more productive. The therapist will help everyone understand their unhelpful actions and what positive actions they can take. Counterproductive actions on the family’s part can worsen an addiction, making the addict feel more alone, misunderstood, and judged. 

A large part of addiction-based family therapy is learning what behaviors are helpful. Therapists will educate family members on the best approaches to addiction and what substance abuse is. 

For example, a parent worried about their child’s substance abuse may drive their child further into addiction by acting as the chaser and making the child feel like the runner. While keeping tabs on your child seems like the right thing to do, a therapist can help a parent understand how these actions only worsen the situation. 

It’s easy to place all the blame and responsibility on the addict, but family members and other people close to the addict often play a role in their struggle, sometimes driving them toward the substance rather than away from it. 

Family therapy in these situations can help everyone understand their role in the addiction and what they can do to be better. These sessions can put substance abuse in a new context that communicates all the components contributing to addiction. Rather than viewing the addict as someone with no willpower or a delinquent, a family therapist can clarify the genuine reasons behind the addiction. 

It’s normal for parents and loved ones to feel anger and frustration with an addict they care about. They can’t understand why someone would choose to do this, but those ideas are misguided and oversimplified. A family therapist assists people in realizing the complexity and lack of control an addict experiences. 

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What Are the Benefits of Family Therapy Services?

Facing your family and discussing your addiction can be scary. Some families resist this kind of therapy, as feelings of anger and fear can be hard to express to someone you love and care about deeply. But the benefits of family therapy indicate its importance in addiction treatment. 

Changes in Behavior

The number one benefit of family therapy services is positive changes in behavior. It isn’t just about the addict ceasing substance abuse. It’s about the family coming together to identify toxic cycles that could lead to substance abuse. When you identify these harmful cycles, you can break them through mindful changes in behavior. 

For example, a family member accusing an addict of something, whether they’re right or wrong, can trigger resentment and prevent future communication. Family therapy helps the addict change their behavior, as well as that of the people closest to them. 

It’s difficult not to react with anger, frustration, disappointment, fear, or anxiety when someone you love is struggling with addiction. But highly emotional and accusatory actions are usually counterproductive to recovery. 

Facilitated Communication

All family therapy, not just addiction-related family therapy, focuses on facilitating healthy communication in a safe space. It’s not uncommon for at-home conversations surrounding addiction to lead to yelling, accusing, and assigning blame

These conversations become unproductive quickly, causing more tension in the family. A family therapist must give everyone a place to express their thoughts and feelings without interruption, judgment, or explosive behavior. 

In family therapy sessions, the therapist keeps the tone productive, positive, and balanced, so nothing spirals out of control. Emotions often run high during these sessions, but a therapist can keep everyone in check so productive conversations take place, rather than fights or walkouts. 

Addiction Education

There is a general lack of understanding and education surrounding substance abuse. Many people don’t realize it’s a disease and frequently out of the addict’s control. Family therapy is a wonderful setting for family members and loved ones to learn more about addiction and substance abuse so they can better understand the situation. 

Addiction education will give the family a glimpse into the addict’s experience, as it may differ substantially from what they think. 

Consistent substance abuse dramatically alters one’s brain activity, changing their reward system, causing them to be dependent on the drug and disinterested in anything else. Drug abuse affects brain functions such as learning, judgment, decision-making, memory, behavior, and stress. 

Long-Term Solutions

It’s estimated that 40-60 percent of addicts who go through treatment will relapse. Most addicts will get clean and go through rehab multiple times before becoming permanently sober. No matter how long someone stays clean, relapse is always possible. Tragic occurrences or high stress in a former addict’s life can drive them to use again. 

Once they leave rehab, it’s up to them and the people around them to stay on track. Family therapy at addiction centers can teach the family how to help their loved one stay clean and on the right path. If the people close to the addict understand how to properly support their loved one, they improve the chances of the addict staying sober. 

Recovery is a lifelong battle. An addict’s journey is not over when they check out of rehab, and family therapy can help foster long-term solutions. 

Defining Roles

Another benefit that can come out of addiction-related family therapy is defined familial roles. It’s easy for family members to fall into the role of the bad guy or the chaser, as mentioned above, and the addict to become the rejected runner. 

Family therapy can help everyone define a new role that prevents resentment and assigns accountability to the correct parties. While a parent may feel they have to control their child and stop them from abusing substances, this role can become toxic and unproductive. 

An addict may also take on the role of misunderstood victim, which can hinder their journey toward recovery and rehabilitation. A family therapist helps everyone define new roles that consist of support and honest communication rather than control. 

Effectiveness of Family Therapy in Addiction

While the effectiveness of family therapy in addiction is not guaranteed, the results of studies are promising, especially with younger addicts. A 2010 study found that for young people with extreme drug use, multidimensional family therapy resulted in more successful treatments compared to addicts who only underwent individual counseling for addiction. 

Addiction is a family disease, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, meaning it affects the entire family. Addiction treatments that only focus on the addict neglect to address the stress and grief the addiction imparts on those closest to the individual. Having a family member who’s an addict can lead to physical, emotional, and mental health problems, especially in children. 

Overall, addiction causes a family system to break down, become dysfunctional, and, eventually, fail. Because of the wide-reaching effects of addiction, family members often unknowingly contribute to the problem with destructive and counterproductive behaviors.

A study conducted from 2003 to 2012 determined that all family-based treatment models for addiction are some of the most effective approaches to addiction treatment. It’s an incredibly viable option for both adult and adolescent addicts. 

While all roads to recovery are different and no family unit is the same, an overwhelming amount of evidence from scientific and psychological studies indicates that family therapy improves one’s chances of recovering and avoiding relapse. 

The path to recovery can be scary, and addicts usually feel alone on this journey. Family therapy can help them see the support they have and feel connected to their family again. 

It’s shortsighted to assume someone’s addiction and struggle are confined to them. The family of an addict goes through their own trauma that is often never addressed or discussed openly. Some family members may shelve their emotions to not overwhelm their loved ones, but communication is a key part of recovery. 

It can be close to impossible to have these intense conversations without a professional to mitigate the conversation. Family therapists give family members the knowledge and tools they need to reconcile their own struggles and be there for the addict without accusing or assigning blame. 

Why Do We Use Family Therapy in Addiction Treatment?

At Restorations Health Group, we use family therapy in addiction treatment to increase the chances of a successful recovery and lower the likelihood of a relapse. 

Neglecting to include the family members and loved ones of the addict in the recovery and rehabilitation process is often a mistake. We believe family therapy can be instrumental to recovery, helping everyone in the family learn effective communication.

In the wake of addiction, family members can be hurt, and they deserve a chance to process their grief and frustration in a conducive environment. We also believe that family therapy can help people identify the root or cause of their addiction, which is frequently family history or an  unstable home life. 

Family therapy improves communication and fosters understanding so the family can organize themselves into the most beneficial roles while still holding people accountable for their actions. Loved ones suffer and struggle beside addicts. 

Relationships fracture, resentment builds, and distance grows, resulting in a broken and hurting family. But family therapy can help remedy or prevent these occurrences and rebuild relationships. 

Despite what you may think, addicts do not experience their addiction alone. Restorations Health Group uses family therapy to address all the damage an addiction causes. The best way to facilitate a successful recovery is to acknowledge all the damage it has done, rather than glaze over bystanders who have been hurt. 

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Family therapy also gives the addict and their loved ones a chance to express their appreciation for one another, even during the worst times. Simple things like an apology or a thank you can make a lasting impact on familial relationships. Sessions with a family therapist offer everyone the chance to unburden themselves of emotions, helping everyone prepare for the next step together. 

Get started with family therapy at our Anaheim treatment center so you and your family can travel the road to recovery together. 

Restorations Health Group family therapy can help you and your loved ones reconcile the struggles you’ve faced and find a way to communicate with one another healthily. 

You can call us, fill out a form, or use our live chat feature to learn more or make an appointment. 

More Addiction Therapy Services

Addiction Therapy Services

The caring specialists at Restorations Health Care Group want to help you overcome a drug or alcohol problem. Contact us for help today

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Few evidence-based therapies are more well known than a cognitive behavioral therapy program. It’s a popular choice for people who need to overcome addiction.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Psychiatrists use this counseling method for numerous mental illnesses. Borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and PTSD are a few examples.

Individual Therapy

This addiction therapy gives you the privacy and trust you need to discuss issues leading to your substance abuse and addiction.

Group Therapy

 This type of therapy involves three or more members who discuss addiction and learn about their disease. Learn more by clicking below.

Family Therapy

This is a form of group therapy, usually for families with one or more members who suffer physical, emotional or mental health problems.


Psychotherapy is the treatment of mental health through ways other than taking medications. Learn more by clicking the button below.

Experiential Therapy

One of the best ways to learn about yourself and to stay clean is through the method of an experiential therapy program.