Whose Program is it Anyway?
WE see it all the time. Very often the addict shows up for his or hers 28 day treatment program not sure if they are ready for treatment. Not sure if they are committed to the process of moving toward recovery. the client is quiet and often withdrawn. Getting them to open up is often a challenge. Many still have the affects of the drug of choice still in their system and affecting their behavior. Sooner or later every addict who successfully completes a treatment program does open up however, and recovery becomes a real possibility.
The family however, is ready to go. They are ready to talk. They are anxious to tell their story; to vent to whoever will listen. They don’t need any prodding or encouragement. Their therapy often begins with the first informational phone call.
Family members are desperate for therapy. Many of them may not even know it. They are just desperate to tell their story to someone. This cathartic behavior is often the most therapeutic process they have participated in for the past several years. for some that is all they need. They need to know that they are not alone. That there are other families out there who been in the same shoes and now it is time for some validation for what they are feeling and dealing with.
For many families it is far more than that they need. Remember that the genes don’t fall far from the tree. Simply stated, many bipolar addicts are not the index case of bipolar disorder or some other psychiatric illness in the family. Many family members NEED therapy in order for their addict family member to get better. Family pathology and family dynamics must be addressed and every decent treatment program must have a family therapy as part of it’s core curriculum.
So as a family member don’t be afraid to jump into the treatment process with both feet. Family therapy is an important facet to an addicts recovery–and to your own.