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Family Therapy in Idaho: Helping Addiction in a Family

Many people will attest to how much an addiction can cause problems in a family unit. A person in the family involved with drug or alcohol abuse can affect each member of the family in a different way. Family therapy in Idaho aims to look at these situations and help a family to build a stronger bond. Family therapy programs in Idaho can not only help the addict to address the issues that they have with substance abuse but help with psychological and behavioral problems related to the substance abuse.

 

An addiction’s effect on the family unit

Since each person in a family can affect one another, when something happens to one person, everyone in the family can be hurt or affected by it. If a parent abuses alcohol, they may become violent and aggressive towards their children and partner. They may do and say things that they would not normally do or say. Addiction can cause many problems in a person’s life including in their finances, relationships and to their health. A parent losing their job due to their addiction can cause stress for their family as financial worries encroach. An adolescent who has become addicted to drugs or alcohol can make parents feel helpless and guilty as they feel that it is their fault that their child has turned to drugs and alcohol. Strong relationships between partners can be strained due to an addiction because of the lying, aggression and general disinterest that the addict shows. Each person in the family is uniquely affected by substance abuse of a loved one.

 

Why should the whole family receive treatment?

The problems that substance abuse causes within a family unit can severely affect adolescents. Children may be going through crucial stages in their development and the improper behavior that an addict imposes on those around them can negatively affect the child’s development. This situation can be treated during family therapy to ensure that no lasting complications remain. Partners can go into therapy together to help each understand the other’s plight and struggles in the situation. The aim of the therapy is to help families work through interpersonal problems and strengthen the bonds between each person in the family.

Furthermore, the treatment can help to deal with the various roles that are taken on by members in the family in an addiction situation. They are as follows:

 

The Hero

This is the person in the family that tries to look past the problems as if they do not exists and make everyone in the family “look good”. They present everything in a positive way so that they can draw away from the addiction. The underlying feelings that the hero feels are guilt, fear and shame.

 

The Mascot

The mascot can be seen the same as a jester. They often use humor as a way to defuse the situations that the family finds themselves in. However, the humor is normally negative and harmful to someone. Their underlying emotions are that of shame, embarrassment and anger.

 

The Lost Child

This is a person who avoids all conflict and problems. They rarely mention the substance abuse or recovery. They make efforts to avoid conversations about family roles and are usually reserved and quiet. They feelings are that of loneliness, anger, neglect and guilt.

 

The Scapegoat

The scapegoat will often try to draw the attention away from the addict and the situation through rebellious acts. They try to hide the real problem by being involved in rebellious behavior. The feelings that they feel are emptiness, shame and guilt.