4 Benefits of Family Addiction Therapy

family smiling together after therapy session

Addiction is a progressive disease, known to affect every area of an individual’s life. Unfortunately, the negative effects of addiction often begin to affect an individual’s family. Because of this, attending family addiction therapy during substance abuse treatment is vital for one’s success. In other words, family involvement is important in addiction recovery.

Family psychotherapy is a form of group therapy intended to help individuals and their families recover from a specific issue. Additionally, there are many different forms of family psychotherapy. Some examples include marital therapy, couples therapy, systems therapy, family addiction therapy, and many more.

Family addiction therapy is extremely beneficial for individuals recovering from addiction and their loved ones. In fact, family therapy is often instrumental in achieving long-term recovery for many addicts. This is because it provides treatment for the entire family, teaches family members about the disease of addiction, rebuilds family relationships, as well as providing a source of support for the individual recovering from addiction. Continue reading to learn more about the 4 benefits of family addiction therapy.

Family Addiction Therapy Explained

Family addiction therapy is a form of group psychotherapy that focuses on rebuilding broken family structures or relationships. It is common for an individual’s addiction to produce adverse effects for each family member. As a result, addicts may have issues with their family structures and systems, as well as strained relationships with loved ones. Ultimately, the goal of family addiction therapy is to strengthen relationships in the family system. Additionally, individuals will realign power structures, learn how to communicate effectively, and address any additional problems among the family. In order to accomplish these goals, therapists will begin to understand the family unit as individuals and as a group.

Using this type of approach, family addiction therapists will rely upon the following assumptions about the family system:

  • The different members of a family system represent separate individuals who exist independently and also exist as part of the family unit.
  • The family itself is a separate and identifiable entity.
  • Issues occurring to a single person in the family unit affect them and can also influence the entire family. Also, issues affecting the family will often affect each family member differently.
  • Some issues affect the family system and its members in a negative fashion and may lead to disequilibrium in the family or the development of dysfunctional relationships in the family.

Oftentimes, families who require family addiction therapy suffer from some or all of the following issues:

  • Members of the family isolate themselves from the family unit
  • Individuals in the family begin to distrust one another
  • Certain members of the family are dishonest with other family members
  • Family members keep secrets from each other
  • Other members of the family forming alliances with one another against other family members
  • Some family members try to take control of the entire situation

When an individual’s addiction begins to affect the family in some of the previously mentioned ways, other issues may arise. This often includes the development of stress, anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues in the members of the family. Unfortunately, this can exacerbate an individual’s addiction or even cause the development of addiction in others. Due to this, individuals suffering from family issues as a result of substance abuse should attend family addiction therapy.

The 4 Benefits of Family Addiction Therapy

1. Receiving Education on Addiction

Oftentimes, family members suffer from their loved one’s addiction as a result of being uneducated about the disease. Fortunately, family addiction therapy begins by teaching the family about the disease of addiction. As a result, family members are better able to understand and relate to their loved one’s struggle with addiction.

2. Rebuilding Relationships Among Families

Addiction often has a severe impact on the afflicted individual’s family members and friends. Because of this, many relationships are impacted before addiction treatment begins. Attending family addiction therapy allows individuals and their family members to express their feelings, address past conflict, and work towards healthier interactions in the future.

3. Putting an End to Enabling

When a loved one is going through something difficult, it is normal to want to help them in every way possible. Although this comes from a good place, your help may not be what they need. In fact, family members often enable their loved one’s addiction by attempting to help them. For example, family members may give addicts money or help them get out of legal trouble. In doing so, the addict does not learn that their addiction has consequences. Luckily, family addiction therapy helps families support their loved ones while putting a stop to enabling behaviors.

4. Having a Source of Support

Throughout addiction recovery, individuals require a large amount of support. When individuals attend family addiction therapy, they begin to build a source of support among their family system. Additionally, family members learn the most effective ways to offer positive support and encouragement throughout their loved one’s addiction recovery.

Family Therapy at PAX Memphis

Because early recovery is often exceptionally difficult, family involvement is important for one’s success. When individuals attend family addiction therapy they receive education on addiction, learn how to rebuild broken relationships, end enabling behaviors, and gain a new source of support.

“At PAX Memphis, we teach both addicts and their families how to establish a mutually beneficial relationship. Patients and family members are taught in family sessions how to break the cycle of “the addict takes and the “family gives” and instead fosters a relationship where both the family unit and the addicted/recovering member give and receive from each other. This is achieved by our therapists helping the family to identify unhealthy behavioral patterns and engaging in reality testing to help the members identify how the current family interplay is creating negative feelings, fostering resentment and not conducive to recovery”

If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, contact us today. One of our addiction treatment specialists will consult with you about your options for family addiction therapy.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.