The Importance of Family Programs in Addiction or Mental Health Recovery
Updated: Jul 25
Addiction and mental health disorders can have a profound effect not only on the person suffering from the disease but also on their loved ones. When someone is facing addiction or a mental health disorder, the whole family is affected.
Family support is essential for those struggling with addiction or mental health issues. Research shows the family-centred care model has higher recovery success rates. When families are involved in treatment, clients are more likely to stay sober after leaving treatment. In addition, with the support of their families, they are more likely to develop positive coping skills and healthy relationships.
Family programs offer an opportunity for loved ones to learn about the disease, how to best support their struggling family member, and how to take care of themselves during this difficult time. As the individuals closest to the person struggling, family members can play an essential role in their loved one's recovery.
What Are Family Programs?
Family programs are specialized treatment programs that focus on educating and supporting families of those struggling with addiction or mental health disorders. Many addiction treatment facilities offer family programs as part of their recovery process.
There are several different types of family programs. The most common approach is to involve family members in the person's individual therapy. Some programs also offer group therapy for families. The best family programs provide a combination of individual and group sessions facilitated by registered psychotherapists with counselling, reunification, and psychoeducational support.
How Family Programs Help in Addiction Treatment
There are many benefits of participating in a family program during addiction or mental health recovery. Perhaps most importantly, these programs provide education and support that can help reduce feelings of isolation and helplessness. In addition, family programs can provide families with the tools they need to communicate better with and support their loved ones during treatment and recovery.
1. Family programs help improve communication and foster positive relationships.
One of the most important aspects of any family program is teaching families how to communicate effectively with their loved ones in treatment. This includes learning to listen without judgment, offer support without enabling, deal with difficult emotions, and set boundaries while still showing love and compassion.
2. Family programs provide education on addiction and the recovery process.
Another vital role of family programs is education. Often, families enter treatment without knowing anything about addiction or recovery. Family programs can help families understand the illness their loved one is struggling with. Addiction or mental health disorders can be difficult to understand for many people. Family members may not know how to best support their loved ones or may inadvertently do things that make the situation worse. Through education and guidance from professionals, families can learn how to better understand and support their loved ones during treatment and beyond.
3. Family programs promote healing for the family.
Addiction takes a toll on everyone in the family. Family programs offer an opportunity to heal old wounds and establish new boundaries. For many families struggling with addiction or mental health disorders, there may be years' worth of hurt feelings and resentment that need to be addressed.
4. Family programs promote healing for you.
Family programs can help you with your self-care, boundaries, and healing by providing you with the tools and resources necessary to make positive changes in your own life.
You may feel lost, confused, and helpless if you have a loved one struggling with addiction or a mental health disorder. You are not alone; millions of North Americans have a loved one battling these diseases. While it may seem daunting at first, getting involved in your loved one's treatment process can make a world of difference—not only for them, but for you as well.