Alcohol and drug addiction affect the entire family. Treatment providers can no longer focus exclusively on the addicted individual – it is essential that the family is treated together.
The Importance of Family Treatment
At Bradford Recovery Center, we embrace the clinical philosophy that family involvement with the chemically dependent – whether or not they have a co-occurring diagnosis – is without parallel in securing positive outcomes for patients and the people who love them.
We provide workshops, process groups, and family systems therapy. The program includes group work with the family system as well as individual sessions with our family therapist and residential counselors.
To facilitate and enhance the healing process, we involve family members and loved ones in the treatment of our patients. Family involvement is both an effective and integral part of our program, as well as in the whole of the recovery process. We employ a multi-disciplinary, multi-focus approach to family healing.
First, instead of being in an addiction treatment facility where the families feel they have nothing more than “visitation rights,” we involve the families by getting their interpretation of their loved one’s history. Second, families are involved in weekly therapy sessions with their loved ones and a primary counselor. And, ultimately, families are invited and encouraged to attend our family program lectures and workshops. Our desire is to help families understand and become supportive instruments in their loved one’s recovery. Although initially families may attend in the interest of their loved ones, our experience shows that they discover and cultivate hope for themselves.
When a loved one comes to BRC for treatment, family members are called within the first 24 hours to assure them that their loved one has arrived safely, and are given a current report on their condition (with prior consents in place). Typically, families will receive a call from their loved one’s primary counselor within the first 72 hours of transitioning into our residential program, so they can introduce themselves and hopefully get a history about the family’s perception of the patient’s needs, strengths, beliefs, goals and objectives. At Bradford Recovery Center, the first 72 hours of each patient’s care is dedicated to assessments and treatment evaluations. Family members are then, with their loved one’s permission, brought into the treatment process either through phone sessions or through weekly face-to-face sessions.
Features of Our Family Services Program
The lectures and workshops offered during our family program are intended to provide those involved with knowledge on the disease of addiction and the stages of recovery. Family members are usually unaware of what alcoholism and drug addiction truly are, and moreover what they do to the brain and to the affected individual’s behaviors. Each aspect of the family program at Bradford Recovery Center consists of different educational concepts to help the family better understand how to appropriately help their loved one, to avoid enabling, and to assist in the healing process.
Multi-systemic family group and individual sessions with clients and their families are scheduled by the BRC family therapist. Our caring and compassionate therapists work with family members on being honest, open, and willing with each other, and establishing lines of communication. This is very difficult for many of us, but it is a powerful and necessary element of healing and recovery.
One thing that separates the Bradford Recovery experience from others is our use of experiential therapies. During the family program, time is set aside for the family to take part in different experiential challenges and activities. While most programs concentrate on talk therapies, we augment a strong cognitive behavioral program with the hands-on functions of our experiential program. The experiential component is always changing to provide those involved with new challenges for team building and relationship exercises. Many of the activities teach us lessons beyond addiction issues.
Core Focus Components:
- Disease concept
- Family system therapy
- 12-step program
- Continuing care
Healing the Whole Family
Family members gain many of the same benefits from treatment as the patient. Families share with us how they feel empowered by the experience, and feel better prepared to occupy a supportive role in their loved one’s recovery. We also hear from the community, our patients, and other providers about the families who don’t participate, and that they continue to struggle to understand, struggle to know how to help, and struggle to find hope. We encourage families to attend the many support groups available such as Al-Anon/Alateen, which provide a 12-step approach to living life for the family after our program ends. We have referrals to therapists and other programs that provide specific therapy for the family, including groups in your area for those who suffer with severe co-dependency. We understand that it can feel like your wellbeing is dependent on the wellbeing of your loved one, and so it is important to gain an understanding of how you and your loved one can be successful together.