A lot of families are sending their young adults to luxury-based treatment centers that aren’t necessarily therapeutic. This doesn’t mean they need to be in a punitive environment. They just need to be in an environment where they engage in life and start adopting responsibility in certain respects.
Families often equate more money with better treatment but that’s not true. More money means maybe more amenities but young adults who are financially dependent on their families need to learn how to function in reality and manage stressors.
Healing as a Family System
Having gone through his own journey of addiction and recovery, Chris Howard, the founder of Ethos Recovery and Lifestyle Interventions, recognizes the family’s role in helping someone who is struggling with addiction. This involves questioning their maladaptive belief systems, their coping strategies, and why they (and even their families) are afraid of being honest.
There are a lot of broad generalizations about families being enabling but some people just aren’t willing to change. The family system is fundamentally important. While there are families that are enabling, there are also families that hold boundaries.
The hardest thing to watch is people who are personality disordered and their families just can’t let go. They put themselves through so much pain and suffering as a result of their love for this person who either can’t or will not change.
In the realm of family dynamics, one size doesn’t fit all.
Therefore, it’s important to understand the family system so we can help the individual and so they can help themselves.
Finding Balance Between Accountability and Empathy
We’re now seeing a pendulum shift in treatment and recovery from being a heavily social model – that is lacking in accountability – to one that’s very clinical and lacking in empathy.
These two have to meet somewhere in the middle. We must hold people accountable while also having love and compassion for them as they walk through their recovery journey.
There has to be a balance between both in order to create a potent formula for healing, personal growth, and being your best self.
If you want to learn more about how families of people with addictions can heal as a unit, check out Episode 163: Healing as a Family with Chris Howard.