For the family
Mental Health and Substance Abuse affects a family on every level: emotional, psychological, financial, and social. The amount of stress, shame, embarrassment, concern, and anger that families feel can sometimes feel unbearable and hopeless. Thankfully, it doesn't have to stay that way! We understand these feelings and can support you through the process of getting your loved one help.
Every family is unique, but all families share a bond that can be used to support one another during trying times. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for helping a family member who is drinking too much, using drugs, or dealing with a mental illness, research shows that family support can play a major role in helping a loved one with mental and substance use disorders.
When a family member is experiencing a mental or substance use disorder, it can affect more than just the person in need of recovery. Evidence has shown that some people have a genetic predisposition for developing mental and substance use disorders, and may be at greater risk based on environmental factors such as having grown up in a home affected by a family member’s mental health or history of substance use. However, addiction and mental health are complex disorders with a broad range of factors. Often families get blamed for these disorders when it was entirely outside of their control. Because of the strain that these disorders can have on family units, families should be open to the options of support groups or family therapy and counseling, which can improve treatment effectiveness by supporting the whole family.
It is also important to remember that the unique challenges that come from helping a loved one with a mental or substance use disorder can be taxing, so caregivers should take steps to prioritize their own health as well.
Family members may be more likely to notice when their loved ones are experiencing changes in mood or behavior. Being able to offer support, family members can connect those in need with treatment, resources, and services to begin and stay on their recovery journey.
While individual therapy focuses on the thoughts, behaviors and emotions of one person, family therapy focuses on the relationships, and aims to understand and validate the experiences of all family members. The goal of family therapy is to bring clarity to all relationships, and to foster repair and closeness if family members choose. Family therapists believe that problems exist between people, not within people. Loved ones are a wonderful asset during the treatment process, and research has shown that positive family support will increase success rates exponentially! You are an asset, whether your loved one is able to acknowledge that (or not) at this time. We will be here to help you with this repair process every step of the way. You don't have to do this alone.