Family Therapy for Drug & Alcohol Addiction

Families can play an important role in the treatment of substance use disorder.1 On this page, we will look at what family therapy is, how it is used in addiction treatment, and what family therapy for addiction entails at Greenhouse Treatment Center in Grand Prairie, Texas.

What Is Family Therapy?

Family therapy for addiction includes several family-based interventions that approach the whole family as a system. Family members are viewed as pieces that all work together, with a change in one piece causing change in all of the other pieces.1

Family addiction therapy recognizes that substance misuse affects more than just the person with the substance use disorder. During therapy, family members work with a licensed family therapist to understand:1

  • How substance use affects them as individuals.
  • How it affects the family as a whole.
  • How they have changed their behaviors in response to the substance use.
  • How to make positive changes both individually and as a family to address substance use.

Participating in therapy as a family allows every member of the family to identify goals as a group and to demonstrate to the individual with the substance use disorder that they are not being blamed for their addiction by their family.1

Unlike individual therapy, family therapy for addiction recovery deals with multiple people at once who have a long history together. While it can be more complex, integrating family therapy into addiction treatment can support recovery for all family members.1

Different Types of Family Therapy

There are many different types of family therapy for drug and alcohol addiction, each with its own techniques and goals. Below are some of the evidence-based family therapy approaches that may be used:1

  • Psychoeducation: Family members learn about addiction, the recovery process, and improved communication and problem-solving skills to positively change the family system.
  • Systemic-motivational therapy: This approach combines systemic family therapy and motivational interviewing to address the relationship between substance misuse and family life. Families gain an understanding of their beliefs on substance misuse and work as a team to develop strategies to support abstinence.
  • Behavioral couples therapy (BCT): BCT is a structured approach that focuses on the partner’s ability to reward abstinence and promote continued recovery for their loved one with substance use disorder. This approach aims to support abstinence and improve relationship functioning by lessening relationship distress, improving patterns of interaction, and building a more cohesive relationship.
  • Behavioral family therapy (BFT): BFT looks at substance use behaviors as learned behaviors that parents, peers, and role models may reinforce. This approach uses contingency management strategies to reward abstinence, reduce reinforcement of substance use, and increase positive behaviors.
  • Functional family therapy: This approach is behaviorally based using the ecological model of risk and protective factors. It works to change the dysfunctional family behaviors and interactions that maintain substance misuse by reinforcing positive problem-solving responses.

Family Therapy for Addiction at Greenhouse

At Greenhouse Treatment Center, we recognize and appreciate the importance of involving family in the addiction treatment process. Family therapy is available for all patients, in all levels of rehab at Greenhouse.

Typically, family therapy sessions occur at least once a week. They may take place more or less often depending on each person’s treatment needs. These sessions can be conducted in-person or virtually and last at least 30 minutes.

During family therapy at Greenhouse, common topics discussed include:

  • Setting boundaries.
  • Identifying enabling behaviors.
  • Learning how to support a loved one.
  • Family resources.
  • Guilt and shame.

We also understand that in certain cases, family therapy may not be what is best for a patient. Some situations where a person may not choose to participate in family therapy include:

  • If someone is in detox or doesn’t feel ready.
  • Family members are not supportive of their recovery.
  • Family relationships lack a healthy dynamic.

Benefits of Family Therapy for Addiction

Family therapy for substance use disorders provides many benefits to both the family and the person with the substance use disorder.1 The benefits of family therapy for addiction include:1

  • Increased treatment engagement and retention.
  • Prevention of substance misuse in other family members.
  • Increased motivation.
  • Better treatment outcomes.
  • Improved family functioning.
  • Reduced risk of relapse.

Is Family Therapy for Addiction Effective?

Yes, family therapy for addiction has been found effective.3 Studies suggest behavioral health treatment for substance use disorders that includes family therapy works better than treatment that does not include family.2

Family therapy for addiction has been found effective in:2,3

  • Helping a person make the decision to enter or stay in treatment.
  • Reducing the rate of dropping out of treatment.
  • Reducing continued substance use.
  • Discouraging relapse.
  • Promoting long-term recovery.

If a co-occurring mental disorder is present, the combination of family therapy and individual therapy has been shown to:2

  • Increase adherence to medication that is prescribed.
  • Reduce the rate of relapse.
  • Reduce the rate of rehospitalization.
  • Reduce psychiatric symptoms.
  • Relieve stress.

Additionally, research has shown that family therapy may improve how couples treat each other, how children behave, family functioning, and how the family connects with others.2,3

Family Therapy & Addiction Treatment in Texas

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, treatment is available. Greenhouse Treatment Center—an alcohol and drug rehab near Dallas—provides several levels of addiction treatment. Our evidence-based therapies include family therapy for addiction recovery.

To learn more about the treatment admissions process, how to use insurance coverage to pay for rehab, and other ways to pay for rehab, call .

You can also instantly . Please reach out for help today. Our compassionate admissions navigators are available 24/7 to support you.

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