What is Family Therapy?
Family therapy functions on the premise that the individual actions of one family member affect not only his or her relationships with other family members, but relationships between those family members and the family unit as well. First, it’s important to understand what family therapy is in the context of addiction treatment. Family therapy is the framing of the family as an integral part of the recovery process. It engages the family as a whole to learn how the addiction of one member has affected both individual members of the family and the family as a whole. It looks at problems in the family and its relationships that have arisen as a result of addiction. Family therapy then seeks to fix these issues by providing an open, non-threatening, and equal forum from which each family member is afforded a voice. Our Baltimore and Harford County family therapy facilities are a place of healing for the family as a whole.
Why Is Family Therapy Important?
Including families in alcohol and substance abuse treatment is important for several reasons. First, families provide a strong support system for the affected member. Often, however this support system needs to be strengthened, having been damaged by the turmoil that the substance addiction can bring on a family. Therefore, family therapy builds the framework from which family can provide a support system not only for the affected member, but for the many relationships within a family (e.g., parent – child, sibling – sibling), and the family as a whole. Engaging in family therapy can help build the morale, willpower, and desire for change of the person suffering from addiction. Another goal of family therapy is prevention of the development of substance abuse issues in other members of the family. Studies have shown that if one member of a family is a substance user, that other members of the family have a higher likelihood of becoming substance users as well. In no relationship is this likelihood higher than in the parent – child relationship. The children of parents who are alcohol or substance users are more likely to become alcohol or substance users themselves. Family therapy is crucial in the effort to prevent children and other family members from developing substance addictions.