Addiction is a family disease. When one person in a family has an addiction to substances, the whole family feels its effects. This ripple effect can cause miscommunication, trauma, and strained relationships. In order to avoid this, it’s important to find a family therapy program. LA Detox provides family therapy in Los Angeles, California, to help clients and their loved ones stay together throughout recovery.

What is Family Therapy?

happy family after going through family therapy in Los Angeles

Family therapists believe that problems exist between people not within them. As a result, family therapy in Los Angeles is a type of psychological counseling that helps family members. It improves their communication and helps resolve conflicts. Family therapy is often short-term. Additionally, it may include all family members or just those who are willing or able to take part.

First, family therapy examines the relationships among family members. Second, it aims to understand the experiences of all the family members. Last, it brings transparency to all the relationships in the family. In turn, this helps repair and restore closeness for those who embrace it.

A family therapist examines how substance use became ingrained in the cycle of interaction within the family. The therapist can help establish new skills and coach the family members in practicing them.

The four most important parts of family therapy are:

  1. Family Engagement—Enhancing family members’ involvement. Family engagement interventions usually occur during the first phase of treatment.
  2. Relational Reframing—This consists of interventions designed to move away from individual ways of defining a problem. Instead, family uses solutions for understanding relationships.
  3. Family Behavior Change—The goal here is to shift the behavior of the family members by teaching new skills. As well, it encourages individual changes in behavior.
  4. Family Restructuring—This changes the way the family system is governed. In short, it provides a shift in basic beliefs and family rules.

Why Use Family Therapy in Addiction Treatment?

Treatment programs for those who have a substance use disorder (SUD) have better results if the individual’s family or close friends get involved in the therapy process. The family should educate themselves about SUDs and the effect they have on the family. As a result of this, they learn not to enable the loved one’s addiction.

According to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), “Family therapy can help families become aware of their own needs and aid in the goal of keeping substance abuse from moving from one generation to another.”

Family therapy in addiction treatment helps a person improve distressed relationships. This includes partners, parents, children, and other family members. Additionally, it can include close friends.

Using family therapy in addiction treatment can provide several benefits. Opening up certain conversations can result in resolving issues. The subjects can include:

  • Marital problems, including separations
  • Issues between parents and children
  • Conflict with close friends
  • Financial problems
  • Mental health conditions
  • Lowering the risk of passing addiction on to the next generation
  • Learning to resolve past problems and troubleshoot potential future ones
  • How to express emotions
  • Defining family roles and rules

Benefits of Family Therapy in Los Angeles, CA

couple holds hands during family therapy in Los AngelesLA Detox offers many programs to address addiction to drugs and alcohol. We provide family therapy Los Angeles because of how many benefits it provides. First, a person’s family acts as their touchstone in life. When a person leaves treatment, their family life proves important. They often rely on family and friends to make their sobriety easier to accomplish.

On the one hand, no one can force a person not to drink or use drugs. On the other hand, the family can provide a stable source of positivity. Additionally, they can lovingly hold their loved ones accountable for staying sober. Without this support system, a person is more likely to relapse.

When families try to resolve their own conflicts, they often fail. They prove too close to the subject. Another benefit of using family therapy relates to how the therapist can remain neutral. They help mediate conversations and ensure they stay productive. They help everyone to feel safe when sharing their thoughts and feelings. Therefore, loved ones can work through problems and communication barriers together without worrying about hurting each other’s feelings.

Another benefit is that a therapist can identify unhealthy relationships within a family. This includes codependent relationships. Consequently, family members learn to recognize unhealthy behaviors, Then, they develop new ones that promote family unity and recovery.

The Effects of Addiction on the Family

It’s a common misconception that addiction only affects the person using drugs or alcohol. In reality, addiction affects everyone close to that individual. These effects can also change, depending on who in the family has the addiction.

SAMHSA’s Treatment Improvement Protocol #39 recognizes how substance abuse may affect these family structures:

  • A patient who lives alone or with a partner—Both partners need help. If one is substance dependent and the other is not, there is the issue of codependency.
  • Patients who live with a spouse or partner and minor children—A parent’s SUD often has a damaging effect on children. The spouse is likely to assume all the parenting duties to protect the children from the parent abusing substances. Naturally, it is worse if both parents have a SUD.
  • A patient who is part of a blended family—Substance abuse can impact a step-family’s stability and integration.
  • An older patient with grown children—Supplemental family resources may be necessary to treat an older adult’s SUD. There also may be issues of elder abuse.
  • An adolescent substance abuser living with their family of origin—The sibling who is using substances may monopolize the parents’ attention. As a consequence, the needs and concerns of the non-using siblings go ignored. If there is a parent who also abuses substances, it can cause a combination of dangerous physical and emotional problems.

Without family therapy in Los Angeles, families often never repair the damage done by addiction. Each family member counts. Thus, they operate as a system. By that, we mean they experience highs and lows together. When one person in the family succeeds, the whole family benefits. Likewise, when one person in the family suffers, the entire system suffers.

Family Approach to Adolescent Addiction Treatment

adolescent struggling with addiction needs family therapy in Los AngelesApproaches to adolescent addiction treatment often focus on the need to include the family. This includes parents, siblings, and sometimes peers. Including the family proves particularly important if the adolescent lives with one or both parents. First, family therapy deals with the addiction itself. Second, it addresses other issues such as family conflict and communication. As well, any mental health conditions come into focus.

Research has shown that family-based treatment is highly effective. Family therapy is typically offered in an outpatient setting. However, it also proves successful in residential and intensive outpatient treatment.

There are several types of family-based therapy shown to be useful in adolescent addiction treatment. These include:

  • Brief Strategic Family Therapy—A family systems approach. One member’s problems are seen to come from unhealthy family interactions.
  • Family Behavior Therapy—This has shown positive results for adults and adolescents. This combines behavioral contracting, in which an agreement is reached between counselor and client regarding the client’s behavior. Additionally, it uses contingency management, which gives rewards earned for positive behavior. This addresses substance use and other behavioral issues. The adolescent and the parent take part in treatment planning.
  • Functional Family Therapy—Combines the family system approach with behavioral methods to improve communication, conflict resolution, and parenting skills.
  • Multi-dimensional Family Therapy—This is an inclusive family and community-based treatment for adolescents with a SUD. As well, it helps others at high risk for behavior problems, conduct disorder, and delinquency.

Begin Family Therapy in Los Angeles, CA

Has drug and alcohol addiction impacted your family? Additionally, do you need help for everyone, not just the person with the addiction? If so, LA Detox can help. We provide family therapy in Los Angeles that helps heal everyone in the family tree. Our programs include residential and outpatient options. In addition, we provide online treatment and aftercare. Contact us now and let today be the day your family reunites.