Working With Families: Why Is it Important to Include Families in Recovery?


Including families in recovery is essential for a client’s success in continued sobriety and in leading a healthy life. Recovery is hard enough for those who struggle with substance abuse. It doesn’t need to be an isolated process. While support group involvement, in general, will be helpful to those suffering from substance use disorders, involving family members will increase the odds of recovery success for your client.

Why does it make such a difference?

 5 Reasons Family Involvement Betters Recovery Odds for Your Client

When a family is involved and supportive of members who are suffering, there is greater hope and motivation for success. Many who are attending treatment for their substance abuse have already talked with their families about the consequences of refusing help. They fear for their family ties, and they fear losing connections. Prove to clients that their dedication to treatment will only strengthen their connections to their loved ones through family involvement.

Involving families betters the odds because:

 #1 They Have Resources to Deal With Crisis Moments, Relapses, and Continued Recovery Beyond the Client’s Stay In a Facility 

Families don’t often understand that relapses are a part of recovery. Not knowing essential elements of the recovery process and how to deal with them could result in anxiety for the family and shame and discouragement for the family member in recovery. Keep them educated, so there’s no illusion about what the process will look like, and they are prepared to help get their loved ones back on track for years to come. 

#2 They Can Deal With Caregiver Burnout and Have More Energy and Resolve to Continue Helping Their Family Member

Not only do caregivers face more significant mental and physical health burdens, but they are more likely to take up drinking to cope with the immense stress of caring for their loved ones. Carers need help and resources to deal with this real and heavy burden, or they are at risk of severe consequences. Their suffering is a testament to their tremendous need for support.

#3 Family Counseling Allows Each Member to See the Struggles and Consequences of Addiction and Creates a Compassionate and Forgiving Space They Can Bring Into Their Homes

Effective counseling that involves more than one party always increases understanding and trust. More than one person suffers when substance abuse is tearing through a loved one, and family counseling allows those sufferings to be shared, dealt with, and healed. Old wounds shouldn’t prevent progress in recovery and family health. Family counseling will strengthen each member’s resolve to the continued success of their loved one’s recovery. 

#4 Family Members Need to Understand the Process and Meet Families With Similar Struggles to Cope With Their Anxieties About Treatment Success

Part of the reason group counseling for those who struggle with substance abuse is so effective is they can see that recovery is possible. It’s no different for families. They need hope, motivation, and community support just as much as clients in treatment do. Hope is an essential resource to keep going, and families are indispensable for long-term change in your clients’ lives. 

#5 Clients Feel a Community of Unconditional Love That Will Encourage Them to Finish Treatment and Stay in Recovery

While it is the hope that clients make connections inside the facility that will aid them in sobriety long after discharge, the safeguard against failing relationships instills the same sense of community in connections that have always existed. Give families the power of offering hope, accountability, and empathy that will maintain and motivate recovery. 

How to Include Families in the Treatment Process

Family counseling is not the only way to involve families. They are sufferers in the process of recovery, but they are also tools and resources. Families help each other and your client in the long term. 

Involve families by:

  • Giving them direct, concrete methods for dealing with a family member in crisis. This will lessen their anxiety and increase their effectiveness as resources for your client.
  • Showing them compassion for the burdens they carry that will legitimize the struggle they often bear in silence. Feeling appreciated, seen, and understood may very well be all they need to continue caring for their loved ones.
  • Lightening the burden of care through counseling. This will give them carer longevity and decrease their odds for substance abuse and health problems.
  • Teaching them the warning signs of burnout and mental health crises as a means of burnout prevention.
  • Giving them connections to other families who have experienced what they have. Even family members need accountability for their actions towards their loved ones, but they could always use hope, support, and motivation as well.

Families are invaluable resources in substance abuse recovery for your clients. They should be involved, not only because they need the benefits of counseling and resources to deal with the burden of care, but they are more helpful to each other and your client when they are educated about addiction and recovery. Involving family members could mean teaching them directly how to deal with substance abuse and how to avoid it in themselves. It also means teaching them how to take care of themselves so they can better care for others. Involving them means giving them hope through connections to other families and each other. They need to see success and have their hope renewed to continue their support. For inpatient and outpatient care, Casa Recovery’s family involvement in the treatment process is a testament to the dynamic, multi-dimensional care we provide. Collaborate with us today by calling (888) 928-2272.

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