This article was written and published by RCA.
Is your loved one in recovery from substance use disorder? Healing your family in the process means mending the bonds, embracing each other’s flaws, and growing stronger in the shared journey of recovery. Here are six tips to help you as a family begin healing together:
Deal with blame and guilt
Oftentimes family members blame themselves for the situation and may be crippled by guilt. Therapy, counseling, and support groups for families can help you deal with these emotions and allow you to move forward and make peace with the past.
Avoid continuing unhealthy patterns
Families may fall into unhealthy relational patterns created by or perpetuated by the situation. This can include unintentionally enabling the addiction. Creating a healthy environment for recovering loved ones helps heal the family, too.
Be open to community
Many families can feel lost and alone in this process. Finding family support groups that bring together people who are dealing with similar issues allows family members to hear other people’s stories and learn from other’s experiences. Recovery Centers of America offers support groups, webinars, and events to support families through this process.
Stay educated about addiction
Stay informed about addiction and recovery, as the process of managing the disease is ongoing. Staying educated can help families understand the challenges that may arise during different stages of recovery, equip them to provide ongoing support, and help them to know what to expect in order to manage their own healing in the process.
Encourage open communication
Allow open and honest communication within the family. Create a safe space for everyone to express their feelings, concerns, and experiences without judgment. Communication helps build trust and fosters a supportive environment for everyone to heal.
Have healthy family activities
Host positive and enjoyable activities as a family that are not centered around alcohol. These activities can help create positive experiences, rebuild connections, and provide opportunities for bonding.