Successful Addiction Treatment is a Family Affair

Friday, July 16, 2010 Women Health News
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CHICAGO, July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Active family engagement and commitment is one of the most underappreciated aspects of recovery

from substance abuse and chemical dependency, according to clinical staff at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, a leading eating disorder and addiction treatment center. From supporting their loved one in staying committed to treatment,
to addressing rifts among other family members and building an atmosphere of healing that continues once their loved one returns home from an inpatient or residential treatment center, the family is an integral part to ensure lifelong recovery for those suffering from addictions.  

"Having a family member involved in the recovery process can often mean the difference between temporary and life-changing treatment," said Catherine Weigel Foy, LCSW, LMFT, family therapist at Timberline Knolls. "Family members are able to learn about and support a resident's treatment goals, and patients learn about and support their families' goals, forming a shared mission." 

Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center begins family treatment and therapy by phone almost immediately. This occurs in a variety of settings, including individual psychotherapy sessions, group therapy sessions for residents, and multi-family group sessions via conference call. Across each of these venues, family therapists work to increase awareness of ways that family dynamics may influence a woman's behavior in ways loved ones don't appreciate, and to enhance the woman's confidence to voice her feelings about how the family affects her.

  • Individual Family Therapy sessions are often conducted separately with the resident and with members of her family in order to allow all parties to speak openly and honestly. They provide perspective on the key family issues to address during residential treatment.
  • Multi-Family Group is an educational forum for adult family members of all Timberline Knolls residents. Conducted by leading family therapy experts, it meets three times per month in order to increase family awareness of about how family dynamics can impact their loved one's illness and develop strategies for managing it. Given that most Timberline Knolls residents come from outside the Chicago area, this forum is conducted via conference call.
  • Family Dynamics Group, for residents only, provides a similar in-person forum for residents to explore the 'inner workings' of their families. Residents hear the experiences of their peers and learn that they are not alone in their struggles. This group can often spur insight and breakthrough for addressing their family dilemmas.

Some rehab centers and treatment programs address family issues primarily in a single, on-campus family week. Timberline Knolls staff believes that this short-changes the process that the family must go through while their loved one is in treatment. Over the course of several weeks, the examination of family roles and the process of clarifying boundaries and improving communication skills shows residents how to enhance their freedom and find joy within the family even during times of dysfunction or turmoil.

"As families are a part of their loved ones struggle with addiction, illness and problematic behaviors, they also need to engage in their own recovery and healing process," says Weigel Foy. "Research indicates a higher probability of their loved ones recovery when family members are a part of the process."

At Timberline Knolls, no patient is isolated in the recovery process. By integrating loved ones into focused family treatment sessions, patients and their families are able to increase communication and work together towards understanding and tolerance of each other's perspective, a major step towards an individual's acceptance of herself and a vital component to the healing process.

About Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center

Timberline Knolls is a leading private residential treatment center for eating disorders and substance abuse, with or without trauma, a dual diagnosis or cooccurring disorder. Expert treatment staff offers a nurturing environment of recovery for women and girls (ages 12 and older) on a wooded 43-acre campus in suburban Chicago. Women and families seeking Christian treatment have the option of working with a dedicated Christian therapist. For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call us at 877.257.9611.

SOURCE Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center

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