Understanding Some Attributes of Family-Based Therapy

If you have a teen who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, then it may be time to start thinking about taking your child to a teen substance abuse treatment program. This program may involve a complete recovery program where behavioral approaches are taken to treat the disease as well as medication and family-based therapy. Family-based therapy involves the teen as well as their siblings, parents, and other family members. It is specifically designed to help younger individuals deal with the emotional issues that may have led to their dependence on drugs and alcohol. Keep reading to understand a few things that may be involved with the family-based therapy.

Strategic Family Therapy

Sometimes families do not communicate or engage with one another properly. This can lead to extremely unhealthy relationships all around, and it can also be one of many things that can be blamed for the substance abuse issue. For example, if anger and frustration are suppressed, then this can lead to emotional turmoil and the possibility of your loved one turning to drugs as a way to escape. 

If communication is stifled in your family or if calm conversations are rare and heated arguments are common, then this may be something that needs to be addressed. A counselor will do this during strategic family therapy. Generally, the counselor will speak with each family member individually. The family member will also be observed while they interact the addicted teen as well as other family members. Unhealthy communication tactics will be noted and addressed. The counselor will then give family members tips to communicate more effectively with each other.

Parental Evaluation

If violence or behavioral problems have long been an issue, then you may have some problems as a caregiver that need to be addressed. Specifically, your attitude toward your child's behavior may be explored to figure out if it has contributed to the addiction problems. For example, your own lax attitudes in dealing with discussions about drugs and alcohol may have caused your teen to look at these things favorably. Also, If you have allowed your teen to break rules without setting punishments and following through with them, then this may have allowed your teen to act out more aggressively.

Punishments may also not have been strict enough or in line with the actions of your child. These are a few things that a counselor may address when your parenting style and your own behaviors are assessed. The counselor will work with you on setting boundaries more effectively. 

For more information on what to expect from family counseling when your teen has a problem with substance abuse, talk to a center like Lifeline.