Family Addiction Therapy Program
At Hope Rehab we suggest to all clients that they involve their families in family addiction therapy, loved ones and anyone who has been directly affected by their addiction or alcoholism. Even though we are located in Thailand it is still possible to have family addiction therapy. We do this in many ways, but one way is very effective the family feedback questionnaire. In addition, family addiction therapy can include Skype calls and emails.
Understanding family history may be helpful with clients experiencing deep shame, confusion, or anxiety as a result of seeing themselves repeat negative behaviours from their in childhood. It may also be useful in family therapy since many individuals are from families where addiction and alcoholism are prevalent. For clients struggling with acceptance and forgiveness family addiction therapy may help in understanding their problems. It may also be useful for clients who have parenting issues in recovery to understand the roots of their children’s behaviours.
It’s important to understand the role of family history in addiction, not to blame or point the finger but for your own recovery and your family’s future.
We ask all appropriate parties to agree to participate in the family treatment program by completing the following questionnaire.
How has Your Family Member’s Addiction Affected You?
Below you will find a series of questions as a guide. What we are specifically interested in is how you felt as results of your family member’s addiction/alcoholism and subsequent behaviours, whether expressed previously or not. Even though some of the questions might bring about uncomfortable feelings, please write them down anyway. The reason we are asking you to do this is that your feedback is valuable and could help them heal.
For example: “When you did that…, I felt like this … “. Be honest and open and avoid trying to think how your response will affect the family member. Your family member needs to know the pain and damage they caused to see the need for change; this is how addiction family therapy works.
How has your family member’s addiction affected you? Give specific examples of events that happened and describe how they made you feel at the time and now. For example, think about instances of:
How has their addiction changed your relationship with your family member?
Family Constellation Groupwork
Discussion on Family Dynamics/Systems and Roles in the Family is also part of family addiction therapy at Hope Rehab. This experience requires the entire group to be open-minded, understanding, and all unrestricted participation from peers and complete silence except when as instructed by the presenting client and/or counsellor/facilitator.
The client asks peers to come up and s/he then assigns the peers a role (client’s mother, father, wife, husband, children, siblings, etc.). The client should use peers that physically resemble the person they represent to strengthen the impact. Client physically positions the “family members” around them taking into account distance, facial expressions, body language, and where they are in relation to one another (maybe the mother would be placed between the client and the father with hands out as if they were protecting the client from the father).
The client then walks the group through the meaning of the poses and explains why s/he positioned everyone that way. What events lead to the family looking like this? How does it feel? While everyone is still posed, what would you like to say to your family members? Approach each one individually and speak to that person. How do they change position and body language with what you have to say to them? Speak from the heart.
Allow time for peer feedback and support after each persons’ turn to present their family dynamic.
NOTE:Hope has a “next of kin” policy for reasons safeguarding in Thailand i.e. all our clients must name someone we are free to share information with at our discretion. As regards progress reports to family we do ask permission on admission to involve relevant family members as this is usually beneficial for our clients. Reports are typically via email or phone unless to a referring doctor. Also in some cases, family are funding the treatment, and we believe it is respectful to update them on their loved ones progress so this is encouraged. Unfortunately involving family can be highly sensitive due to dysfunctional family dynamics, occasionally there is a dispute or conflict with client’s family e.g. divorces.Family Addiction Therapy by Simon Mott