Resources & Education

May 23rd, 2015

Why is family counseling helpful?

When one person has an addiction, the whole family suffers. Relationships become tested and strained. Some family members believe that it may be best to sever ties and allow their loved one to hit “rock bottom”. Others step in and protect their loved one from the consequences of their actions. These conflicts create additional friction within a family.

Family members may question whether the addiction is their fault and what they can do to help. Family members often feel hurt, anger, and frustration. As part of the recovery process, family counseling helps to address and resolve these issues.

Family treatment is an integral and valuable part of an addicts overall treatment. Families can become hesitant to participate in treatment because they feel they will be blamed. While treatment may identify family traits or behaviors that helped facilitate the addiction, the goal is not to take responsibility away from the addict himself.

Family counseling allows the family to learn about the disease, as sometimes the family feels blind-sided. To make it manageable there needs to be education and time to discuss what is going on. Family counseling can be a combination of family education groups, parent support groups, one-on-one sessions with counselors, and family counseling sessions. Additionally, families can seek counseling even if their loved one who has the addiction chooses not to.

To learn more about services available to family members in Western New York, you can call Horizon Health Services at (716) 831-1800. They offer many different forms of support for families dealing with substance abuse. 

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