There are many different methods used in addiction treatment and all of them can play a role in helping an addict reach a full recovery. Certain aspects of treating addiction can focus on the individual and their isolated behavior but a systemic approach takes into account the context of a person’s addiction. An addict does not exist in isolation but deals with family, social circles and work situations that can all be addressed in the course of their treatment.
The systemic approach focuses not only on the addict themselves, but the social situation of their family, friends, relationships and work life. There can be a number of different issues that an addict faces in each of these facets of their life before they can successfully become sober. Counseling and therapy that works systemically can be an effective option for people in recovery.
Systemic Family Therapy
A person’s family life is a major factor in their development and stability as an adult. A strained relationship with the family can have a negative impact on an individual’s life and make it more difficult for them to recover from addiction. A therapist might meet with members of the addict’s family or include them in a group therapy session to get a better understanding of the family dynamic.
Family life provides a bigger picture as to why a person became addicted and how their addiction has affected those closest to them. Resolving any problems within the family through work in therapy can help make things easier on the addict once they return from their stay in rehab. Having the family there to support them and be involved in the process of recovery can also make the transition to sobriety much easier for people with addictions.
While the family that raised and grew up with an addict is a crucial component in their life, their spouse or significant other is a relationship that could require special attention. When a person has an addiction, their connection with their wife or husband could break down and often lead to divorce. Substance abuse can be an element that contributes to couples splitting up, even after an addict receives treatment. Couples counseling can be another aspect of the systemic approach that addresses the addict’s social situation.
If they are married or living with a significant other, they will need that person’s support as they become sober. Any problems between them must be resolved as well as possible since any significant stress could endanger a recovering person’s sobriety. The spouse also needs to be supportive in the sense that they can also quit or moderate their drinking or drug use to accommodate the addict.
A Difficult Situation
It could be a difficult situation if an addict returns home to a spouse that continues to abuse drugs or alcohol. Couples counseling can give the addict’s therapist an idea of what their home life is like and what potential problems might come up after they leave rehab. They can then provide the skills that will help the relationship run smoothly.
Although it is important for an addict to focus on their own individual issues and their personal triggers that contribute to substance abuse, their environment also plays a big role in their ability to stay sober. The systemic approach to addiction treatment gives a person suffering from addiction a chance to improve their relationships and create a better situation that will make it easier to recover.
Therapists using a systemic method will incorporate all the aspects of a person’s life that can affect their addiction. Family and couples counseling can be a crucial tool in addiction treatment that will make it possible for the recovering addict to avoid relapse after they leave their rehab facility.