Family Therapy

Drug and alcohol addiction is a complex condition affecting every part of a person’s life. It can take a toll on your emotional, social, and physical health and prevent you from living a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle.

Because the effects of addiction are so wide-ranging, substance abuse treatment must address not just the physical parts of the condition, but the behavioral, emotional, and environmental ones, too. Detoxification is a critical step toward lifelong sobriety, but meaningful, long-lasting recovery from addiction requires comprehensive treatment.

Many treatment programs include family therapy as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Family support can be a critical component of a person’s recovery, and family relationships can contribute to a person’s addiction. Identifying destructive patterns, improving communication, and adopting new routines can help families heal and move forward after addiction.

Family therapy allows families to process emotions and experiences related to the addicted person’s substance abuse and learn new skills. This can create a more healing environment for the addicted person and increase their likelihood of maintaining lifelong sobriety.

Addiction is a whole-person condition that requires comprehensive care. At Flourishing Foundations Recovery, our comprehensive drug and alcohol detox programs are based on evidence-based therapies, including individual, group, and family therapy. Call today to learn more or get started on your recovery journey.

Understanding Addiction as a Family Disease

When one family member lives with substance abuse and addiction, all the family members are affected. Addiction can fundamentally change how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Concerned loved ones may live in a state of constant anxiety, guilt, anger, or experience other intense emotions as they watch the addicted person sink further into substance abuse.

Entire family systems experience elevated stress levels as their relationship with the addicted person changes. They may not know how to support their addicted loved one, grow resentment toward them, or suffer from burnout.

Family Roles in Addiction

Without treatment, stress and uncertainty may cause family members to adopt roles that allow them to keep functioning in their daily lives. These roles can be destructive to their health and well-being, and they create an environment that can help an addiction flourish.

Here are some roles family members may take on when their loved one is addicted.


A spouse or sibling is most likely to take on the role of an enabler. The enabler spends a lot of time and energy covering up for the addicted person’s behaviors and shortcomings. They often exhaust themselves trying to hide their loved one’s addiction.


The hero tries to do everything perfectly to create an illusion that everything is fine. The person taking on the hero role will often have chronic stress and live in a state of constant anxiety.


The scapegoat is a person who takes the blame for problems in the family. This person experiences deep anxiety, anger, guilt, and stress. In some cases, the overwhelming stress will cause the scapegoat to withdraw from the family altogether.


The mascot relies on humor to relieve tension and deflect stress. While the mascot may appear light-hearted and carefree, they are often prone to high stress and anxiety levels.

Addiction changes the way family members interact with each other and can create chaos within the family system. During family therapy sessions, family members will work with a therapist to identify and untangle these destructive roles and behaviors and develop strategies to support the health and well-being of all involved.

Family Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Comprehensive treatment programs include many evidence-based and holistic therapies that help identify and address the underlying physical, behavioral, and emotional roots of a person’s substance abuse. Addiction treatment is progressive and individualized to meet a range of different needs.

For many, addiction treatment starts with a medically supervised detox program. A detox program provides the supervision, treatment, and support people need for a safe, complete detoxification from drugs and alcohol.

After detox, people will participate in a holistic treatment program that includes whole-person care. While each person receives an individualized treatment plan, treatment generally includes:

  •  Individual behavioral counseling
  •  Group therapy
  •  Family therapy
  •  Medications
  •  Mental health treatment
  •  Relapse prevention education
  •  Coping skills
  •  Aftercare planning
  •  Holistic therapies like nutrition support, exercise, mindfulness, and more

Family therapy can be very beneficial to both the addicted person and their entire family system. During family therapy sessions, the therapist will provide guidance and education to all family members. The therapist will help family members process complicated feelings as a group and individually.

Family therapy sessions may be part of a regular weekly treatment schedule and may continue after the person completes a rehab program.

Family therapy is beneficial for all family members who are willing to participate. It is crucial that people feel emotionally ready to begin the family therapy process and may choose not to participate if they do not feel open to the idea.

Start Your Recovery Today

The first step toward recovery is detox, and at Flourishing Foundations Recovery, our team can provide safe, comfortable detox services and aftercare planning. To learn more about our detox programs or to get started with a confidential consultation, please contact us today.

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