RECOVERY HAPPENS WITH THE HELP OF OTHERS, MOST IMPORTANTLY THE FAMILY;
Our Family Programme offers family therapy, education on dependency and ongoing support throughout the First Year of Recovery and beyond. Through lectures, group discussion, individual counselling, meetings with the guest as a family, and ongoing support, families learn about their relationship with the guest, the nature of the dependency, and how to change unhealthy or painful lifestyles into positive, productive relationships. Research and experience tell us that family involvement is essential to and enhances recovery not only for their dependent person but also for the entire family.
The Family Programme is an integrated two-day programme offered once each month. The schedule for our Family Programme includes psycho-educational talks by staff and former guests about the nature of dependency, group therapy, educational materials, completion of the Family Involvement Form, family conferences with and without the guest attending, and a group milieu of family members. Often, one of the most healing aspects of any family programme is the interaction with other families. The feelings of isolation and uniqueness (“No one has gone through what we've gone through”) is inherent in the illness of addiction. Listening and talking with other families, the family’s isolation is broken and there is a sense that we are all in this together.
When families arrive there is often a backlog of feelings resulting from years of the impact of the dependency: anger, resentment, shame, guilt, fear, perhaps even hatred. Guilt is “I did a bad thing.” Shame is “I am a bad person.” After years of dependency, most individuals and families have come to believe that the behaviours are “their fault” and they are “bad people.”
These feelings run deeply and are not easily overcome.We believe an essential aspect of dependency for the client and the family is shame. And shame is fuelled by three things: silence, secrecy and judgement. So, for the first day of the family programme, we will address these feelings.
A primary principle of our programme is solution versus problem-oriented. Although we believe it might provide some sense of relief to have a catharsis of all the wrongs done during the dependent cycle, we’d rather focus on the solutions to the issues; what will the family do to improve their life together and to have a happy, healthy family.