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Our commitment to family involvement stems from our high standards for what constitutes “clinical excellence.” What follows is an introduction to how we emphasize family involvement during a client’s course of treatment.
A “Family Disease” Approach
On the basis of a large body of research, Beach House takes the view that addiction is a family disease. In families affected by addiction, it’s often the case that family members will unknowingly take on new roles as a way to compensate for their loved one’s drug or alcohol problem. “Codependency” is a term that is often assigned to these various patterns of behavior by which family members may begin relating to the addict as a means of coping. The end result is that, gradually and over time, addiction can disrupt the entire family system and introduce lasting harmful effects.
A “family disease” approach recognizes, then, that in order for treatment gains to stick, family involvement is key. Research has shown, for instance, that family support can: improve the effectiveness of treatment, decrease problems associated with addiction, boost motivation for and retention in treatment, and lower risks of relapse (Cole, 2015).
Our Family Program Supervised by a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Our family program is another extension of our strong commitment to family involvement. This intensive workshop experience is geared primarily for family members, and is supervised by a licensed family therapist. Over the course of three days, participants can:
- Learn more about the disease of addiction and how it impacts family roles and dynamics
- Become better acquainted with their loved one’s treatment goals and how they can support their loved one in early recovery
- Together with their loved one, participate in group and individual therapies with a licensed family therapist and/or the client’s primary therapist, with a view to working through presenting issues and initiating positive core change in family relationships
- Get engaged with family support groups and resources available to them
12-Step Groups for Family Members
Regular 12-step group participation is associated with better recovery outcomes for clients in drug and alcohol treatment. Research has revealed some of the reasons why, in terms of the various mechanisms that support positive core change for members of these groups. These therapeutic factors include: the groups’ common emotional bond; the structure and sense of goal directedness in these groups; clear, common behavioral norms for how to work towards abstinence; a social outlet for engaging in non-substance-related activities; and the development of greater self-efficacy and better coping skills (Donovan, Ingalsbe, Benbow, and Daley, 2013). We therefore encourage both clients and their families to join a 12-step group and participate regularly.
12-step recovery groups available to family members include:
- Al-Anon.org (for family members of alcoholics)
- Nar-anon (for family members of addicts)
- Coda.org (for individuals with codependency issues)
- Adultchildren.org (for adult children of alcoholics and addicts)