Family Therapy in Boston, Massachusetts

Recovery and support for people with substance use or mental health disorders needs to go beyond the individual. Research has shown that including families into this recovery process can increase chances of success during treatment.

But many times families do not know how to support their loved ones. When families are left out of the equation, dysfunction may continue to exist. Teaching families how to solve conflicts and how to positively communicate within their family unit can be a powerful part of recovery.

To understand how the recovery process works and how to best help their loved ones, families may need their own counseling.

At East Coast Recovery Center, we provide family therapy and resources to teach families how to be there for their loved ones, how to communicate effectively, and how to build boundaries to work toward healing themselves and each other.

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What is Family Therapy?

Family therapy is used to help families with mental health and functioning issues. Family therapy can assist family members in developing stronger relationships, communicating better, and managing family conflicts. Family therapy is used to help families create a more favorable environment, address family issues, and understand the specific concerns that families face.

Family therapy can employ techniques and exercises from cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy, or other types of individual therapy. The techniques employed will vary according to the specific difficulties the client or clients have.

Family Therapy for a Substance Use Disorder

Benefits of recovery and family therapy

Addiction can significantly affect every family member’s functioning, health, and well-being—both for those with a substance use disorder and for those without. Family issues can influence addiction as much as a supportive family environment can help those in recovery.

Family therapy can have a variety of applications in addiction treatment. Generally, the entire family meets with a therapist, but in atypical cases, each person might meet separately or part of the family might meet. Each session lasts about an hour and varies on the family’s unique needs. For example, an entire session may be dedicated to discussing each person’s issues and concerns, while another meeting may focus on communicating effectively and listening more attentively to avoid misunderstandings.

Family therapy can employ techniques and exercises from cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy, or other types of individual therapy. The techniques employed will vary according to the specific difficulties the client or clients have.

How Does Family Therapy Work?

Your family therapist will speak with everyone to find out how each person views the difficulties, when they started, and how the family has dealt with them up to now. The next phase will be to create a treatment plan. The objective is to improve family disagreements rather than to assign fault. Family therapy cannot always eradicate problems; it can, however, assist family members in working together in healthier ways to handle them. The number of times you meet with a family therapist and the number of sessions you need will depend on the issues you deal with in therapy.

Why is Family Therapy Important?

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, addiction is a family disease. Addiction affects the entire family system and the individuals that compose it. Family members are under a lot of stress as a result of addiction, which disrupts routines and causes uncomfortable or even frightening experiences. Family members tend to develop unhealthy coping strategies in order to maintain balance in their home. As a result, the family becomes an unhealthy and dysfunctional system, often unwittingly contributing to addiction.

How Much Does Family Therapy Cost?

Many people view therapy as too expensive to seek treatment for mental or behavioral health issues. Although the Affordable Care Act and other reforms were meant to improve access to mental and behavioral health services, cost remains a barrier for many. Therapy is frequently available at no charge or for a reduced price, especially if people live in large metropolitan areas or near universities where teaching occurs.

If family therapy is offered through an addiction treatment program, the therapy sessions will be covered under the umbrella cost of the program. 

What are the Benefits of Family Therapy?

Family therapy can play an important part in substance abuse treatment. In fact, family therapy is a beneficial component of behavioral health treatment, and when combined with individual therapy, can reduce relapse rates, improve medication adherence, reduce mental health symptoms, and alleviate stress. Some of the many benefits include: 

Improve Communication

When drug abuse is occurring in the home, communication often becomes negative and unproductive. During therapy, family members will learn how to communicate with each other in an effective and positive manner.

Set Boundaries

When addicts return home after rehab, they need structure and boundaries. Having too much free time may lead to boredom and a higher chance of relapse. Families in therapy learn how to set proper boundaries and enforce them.

Address Codependency

When an addict’s family member neglects their own needs in favor of obsessing about the addict, codependency occurs. This leads to even more problems. In family therapy, codependent behaviors are addressed and alternative methods are determined. 

Stop Enabling Behavior

Family members either out of compassion or fear remove the consequences of drug and alcohol use from the addict. This makes it simple for the addict to continue using substances without repercussions. Enabling is damaging to the family and is addressed during therapy.

Family therapy is a confidential time to address mental illness, stress, and trauma within the family. By bringing these issues to light, families can move beyond their pasts and become stronger.

Benefits of family therapy

What are the Goals of Family Therapy?

Family therapy sessions will have unique family therapy goals. By establishing family therapy goals, you and your family members may gain several skills that may help to improve a variety of problems. The objective of family therapy is to work together as a unit to identify and address issues in order to achieve healthy resolutions, rather than pointing fingers and assigning blame. Other goals may include: 

  • Improving communication

  • Rebuilding trust

  • Enhancing self-esteem

  • Addressing relationship issues

  • Improving coping skills

  • Creating a functional home environment

  • improving the family’s behavioral thinking processes

  • Resolving past trauma

Family Therapy in Boston at East Coast Recovery

Every person’s path to recovery and life is unique, just as substance abuse treatment strategies must be. We at East Coast Recovery Center want to help those struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol succeed. Family therapy and other programs and services are available. Please contact us for more information. We look forward to hearing from you.

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