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How Can Family Therapy Help?

People sitting together and thinking about how family therapy can help them

Family therapy programs can address a wide range of circumstances, including substance use disorders (SUD), trauma, and mental health conditions. Research has shown that family therapy is an integral component of comprehensive treatment. But how can family therapy help? Also known as family counseling, it focuses on improving the functioning of the family as a whole. Through a family therapy program, patients and family members can access the care, support, and tools they need to heal and repair relationships damaged by SUD and untreated mental health conditions.

At Ashwood Recovery, we value family and recognize family members’ critical role in the recovery process. Our Family Night allows families to explore the ways each family member is impacted by SUD and mental health conditions and the roles they play in the cycle of family dysfunction in a safe and supportive environment. Contact us online or call 888.341.3607 to learn the benefits of family therapy and how family counseling can help you and your loved ones.

Understanding How Family Therapy Works

Family is one of the most vital and influential forces in our development and lives. Family relationships are the first ones we form and are often the strongest. Still, the impacts of addiction and mental health disorders can cause disruptions in even the closest of families.

The main goal of a family therapy program is to help families manage the issues that impact the functioning of both individuals and the family unit. Critical aspects of family therapy include:

  • A systems perspective – Each family is a complex system with a unique structure and set of interrelated parts. Changes in one part of the system impact the entire network.
  • A holistic approach – Family therapy considers the family as a whole, emphasizing each member’s contributions to the identified challenges.
  • Communication patterns – Dysfunctional communication, such as blaming, victimization, avoidance, defensiveness, or poor listening skills, is viewed as a source of conflict and targeted for improvement.
  • Problem-solving – Family therapy helps identify the root causes of conflict and helps members develop effective problem-solving and coping strategies.
  • Family roles – All family members play specific, often unconscious, roles. Family therapy helps identify these and the part they play in family conflict.

Family therapists rely on various evidence-based techniques and approaches to help families identify maladaptive behaviors, develop healthier ways of interacting, adapt to new circumstances, and foster a more supportive, harmonious family environment.

Benefits of Family Therapy

According to the family systems model, a family is an interconnected unit where each member affects the family’s overall functioning. Therefore, just as the symptoms of mental health and substance use disorders impact all family members, family dynamics influence the symptoms, creating a cycle of dysfunction within the family.

When a family member struggles with SUD or mental health, others in the family take on specific roles to cope with the chaos. Over time, these roles become ingrained and influence the individual’s behavior and family interactions. One of the most significant benefits of family therapy is identifying these roles and helping families understand their impacts.

Other crucial benefits of family therapy include:

  • Education about addiction and mental health disorders and their impacts on family functioning
  • Guidance on how to provide healthy support for the family member in treatment
  • Providing a safe, supportive, nonjudgmental space for family members to explore their feelings
  • Developing and maintaining healthy boundaries
  • Building empathy and understanding
  • Improving coping skills and problem-solving strategies
  • Rebuilding trust
  • Learning to share thoughts and feelings in healthy ways
  • Improving communication
  • Providing aftercare planning that supports each family member

Family therapy helps family members see that they are not alone and that their feelings matter. At Ashwood Recovery, our family therapy program helps heal damaged relationships and promotes improved well-being. The term “family” is not specific to blood relatives but includes anyone who plays a significant role in a patient’s life.

Engage in Family Counseling at Ashwood Recovery

The family therapy program at Ashwood Recovery helps identify and build upon the strengths of individual family members and the family unit. Contact our team online or call 888.341.3607 to discover the many benefits of family counseling.