The importance of family involvement in treatment

Those who experience a therapeutic family component to their care have a 65 per cent higher probability of getting, and more importantly, staying well.

Recovering from something like anxiety, depression, trauma
or addiction is no easy feat, and it requires an entire family to ensure long term well-being. 

In this article, we explain why family involvement during residential care is one of the greatest strengths to a person’s recovery process.

The importance of family during treatment

Authentic connection is one of the cornerstones of emotional and mental wellness.

Close friends and family members are there for us in our darkest hours; they put up with our shortcomings, and most importantly, they accept us for who we are and love us unconditionally. 

Unfortunately, mental health carries a stigma and involving loved ones, can be tricky.

Often family members are ‘too close’ to a loved one who is suffering, and it can be easy for feelings of hurt, anger and resentment to replace healthy feelings of love, compassion and concern for others. 

This leaves little room for collaborative healing and problem solving, and instead creates tension, tension that leads to the formation of unhealthy alliances which drive family members further and further apart.

During the family programme, cooperative family members quickly become one of the greatest strengths for an individual during their recovery journey. When someone in treatment learns how to lean on family members – and family members learn how they can help – the recovery process is often accelerated and
lasts an entire lifetime.

How can family members help during treatment?

Happiness in recovery

There are many things that family members can learn during the rehab process.

For example, family members can begin to understand and interpret how to implement healthy behaviours and discourage unhealthy behaviours that may have enabled an addiction.

They can gain insight and a new perspective over a person’s condition; relearn a sense of empathy, which helps reduce feelings of resentment and builds compassion and support.

Family members can understand the negative habits that contributed to an addiction and begin to help their loved one avoid those pitfalls moving forward.

Ultimately, family members can acquire the tools needed to help rather than hinder someone’s recovery journey.

There’s another benefit to family involvement during treatment, too.

All too often, those leaving treatment return home to an environment that isn’t conducive to a healthy long-term recovery, and family members can still hold feelings of resentment against someone even after they’ve returned home. 

By going through this process together, then, families can begin to work on their relationships with one another.

This provides a safe and supportive environment to continue the journey of recovery long after residential care.

The barriers to family involvement during treatment

relationships and addiction hiking

For many, it can be difficult to understand why family members must also go through a therapeutic process.

Family members are often exhausted and resistant to the idea of working with their loved one through a residential treatment program.

After all, it can be easy to blame and pass the buck of responsibility onto the person in distress – it’s their problem, and they must solve it.

This train of thinking can be detrimental to everyone. For the suffering individual, it can cause feelings of neglect and demonstrates a lack of support, which in turn can cause painful feelings to arise, feelings that
may lead to relapse. For family members who might be paying for rehab, it reduces the chance of long- term success. 

There’s no arguing that effective family work during a residential treatment program makes the time and money spent on treatment worthwhile. 

A sense of normalcy for everyone

An individual’s state of distress affects all of those around them, their loved ones and everyone else that they are in contact with creating a negative environment for everyone.

importance of recovery

Family involvement in treatment, then, not only addresses primary concerns but it also helps to mend the relationships that mean the most to everyone.

Bringing families closer together and creating a supportive environment that not only ensures the long-term well-being of someone in recovery but also helps to create a happy, healthy and well-balanced family dynamic that lasts an entire lifetime.

To find out more about how families can get involved in the recovery journey, contact a professional at Camino Recovery today.

Don Lavender

Don specialized in addiction studies, earning an MDiv and a master's in Management, Administration, and Counseling. As a priest, he supported Step 5s in local treatment centers for nearly 40 years, excelling in "family systems work" in the addiction field.

Additionally, Don pioneered equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) in the US and UK during the 1990s. He authored "Equine Utilized Psychotherapy: Dance with those that run with laughter" and gained media recognition, including appearances on 'the Trisha Show' and features in The Daily Telegraph.

In the early 2000s, Don and his wife, Meena, founded Camino Recovery in Spain, providing tailored addiction treatment programs aimed at fostering happier lives.

More from Don Lavender

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