Addiction is a disease that harms the entire family.
Just as people in recovery from addiction must undergo a thorough healing process, those who love them need to take the time to address their own pain and resentment. Twin Lakes Recovery Center understands that the families of those who struggle with substance abuse are just as affected by addiction, which is why the family system is incorporated into our comprehensive care whenever possible.
In fact, our therapy draws from a proven practice called the Family Systemic Intervention Model. In this model of intervention, those involved are encouraged to think of therapy and recovery as a group process, rather than something that the addicted person must undergo in complete isolation. The systemic model is built on the values of support, encouragement and, above all, healthy communication.
Though it is similar to the traditional intervention model, family systemic intervention is different in the following important ways:
- A traditional intervention is organized by family members without the knowledge of the loved one who is struggling with substance abuse. This can sometimes inflame existing tensions in the family unit, leaving the addicted person feeling out-numbered or targeted. In contrast, in a systemic intervention the loved one is part of the conversation from the beginning. Families are encouraged to include their loved one in all discussions about recovery.
- A traditional intervention is designed to be a single, drastic event that focuses on family members explaining how their loved one’s behavior has affected them. A systemic intervention is a two-way, continuous conversation. The loved one is invited to express his or her perspective, and families can have multiple discussions that lead to a group decision to enter therapy. This not only alleviates the pressure to stage a successful intervention in one try, it also creates a recovery process that is collaborative, in which all family members take a sustained and active role.
- Most importantly, after a systemic intervention, life does not go on as usual for either the addicted person or family members. The intervention concludes when all parties make a group decision to commit to therapy. The person who is struggling with substance abuse typically enters a residential recovery program, while family members commit to being an active part of that process.
Research suggests that the systemic intervention model is very effective. The founders of systemic intervention estimate that more than 90 percent of people with addiction enter and complete a rehabilitation program after a family-based intervention. A study in the Journal of Adolescent Research found significant effects on addiction recovery for teenagers who completed the systemic process, and another study conducted by the National Institute of Health (2000) showed that family interventions can reduce the incidence of separation and divorce.
The systemic model is one of many proven techniques that contribute to our recovery program at Twin Lakes.
We encourage families to learn more about systemic intervention and how the principles of collaboration can influence recovery—before, during, and after the rehabilitation process. In addition to incorporating family and relationships into our comprehensive treatment, Twin Lakes offers a specialized service called the Family Recovery Program. This two-day program gives families the opportunity to spend a sustained period of time at our residential facility.
Being a family member of someone who is seeking treatment for substance abuse comes with many emotions, from isolation when a loved one is in residential treatment to frustration that recovery is not occurring more quickly. The family systemic model helps the family members confront these difficult emotions, allowing them to actually participate in the recovery process rather than just supporting it.
For more information, visit:
Family Recovery Program http://twinlakesrecoverycenter.com/family-recovery-program/
Association of Intervention Specialists http://www.associationofinterventionspecialists.org/what-is-the-family-systemic-model/