Seeking recovery from drugs and alcohol can be daunting. We’re scared to commit to something that promises great change, even if that change is positive. It is fear of the unknown.
Throughout recovery we draw strength from our therapist, friends, and family. Feeling secure in our relationships can help us truly embrace recovery. After inpatient treatment is complete, we turn to our loved ones for emotional support. Emotional therapy is a treatment method put in place to help those in recovery reconnect with their families, friends, and significant others.
Why Addiction Affects Relationships
Addiction takes a heavy toll on the relationships in our lives. We lose the trust of our loved ones, we ignore them, we cannot be emotionally available. Lines of communication are torn asunder as we prioritize our addiction over our family and friends. We tell them we are sorry, that it will never happen again – and we often sincerely mean it – yet we continue to repeat the same destructive behavior time and again. We have lost control. Issues of trust and communication require emotionally focused therapy, wherein we can identify the negative issues associated with addiction and those surrounding our relationships.
Emotional Therapy Supports Recovery
Emotional treatment therapies can be done within a single family unit, with friends, or significant others as couples therapy. Couples therapy yields significant success because of the emphasis on connections within the relationship and the development of comfortable, safe, communication. Couples and families benefit greatly from this type of therapy. Therapists at The Villa Treatment Center will focus on identifying negative patterns in these relationships and how they can be addressed in a healthy, blame-free manner. Chances of lasting recovery are greatly improved when the individual feels supported and comfortable in their relationship dynamics at home and in their immediate circle of support.
Discovering Negative Relationship Points
As we explore your current relationships and how each family member or significant other is affected by addiction, we can learn to identify any negative patterns in the relationship. Healthy home relationships support recovery. We cannot always look to the past, but we need to explore the present moment and all current issues. During treatment, our therapists will start by inviting a dialogue about everything that has happened during the week and then they will ask you to discuss the problems. While you and your family member–or partner–are discussing the past issues, the therapist will pause the conversation and make observations about the communication patterns they see. They will then ask you to step out of the moment and discover these issues yourself.
During these sessions of discovery, we use our attachment to addiction as a guide to redirect this need to our family and close relationships. All vulnerabilities are brought to light in therapy, from all sides, so that we can understand where these vulnerabilities come from. The fact that we can learn to become honest and unveil the things that are uncomfortable a big step in therapy; exposing vulnerabilities exhibits the comfort and care we have for one another. We learn to adjust our emotions and redirect anger and frustrations to the positives in the relationship while dealing with the reasons we have these negative feelings. We learn to focus on the positive experiences in our relationships and to magnify them.
Relationships and Bonding
The catalyst for change is awareness of where we are in the present moment. We can learn to be active in discerning where things went wrong in our relationships with a therapist as our guide. The point of emotional therapy is to move beyond the actual emotions and find the words to express the substance of what we truly want and need. Each person must establish their voice, address their concerns, and deliver positives to the conversation to move things forward in a safe and nurturing space provided by The Villa Treatment Center.
We work to instill comfort and restore lost intimacy because, without it, we lack a crucial base of support. Emotionally bonding to those we love is the driving force that fuels our recovery, making each step easier. When we feel insecure in our relationships, these feelings can change the way we respond to recovery. We end up focusing on these issues instead of the healing process. Authenticity, honesty, and a sincere desire to change the negative dynamics in our familial relationships into positives, are the key factors in restoring the family.
Learning to Communicate
Finding the core of our relationship issues in family and romantic bonds is the starting point for emotional therapy sessions. Exploring the situations of past and present communication in these meetings will help us to interpret emotions and communication methods between family members.
Think about these questions as you experience your loved one’s responses during therapy:
- Am I angry with them?
- Are they angry with me?
- How do I feel about the words they’re expressing?
- Do we have the same fights over and over?
- Why do I feel this way about this particular situation?
- Am I being authentic, and saying what I mean?
- Could I communicate these feelings differently?
- Am I listening to them?
We should understand through these interactions that we cannot expect people to know what we are trying to say. Being clear in your communication is important, it is a mistake to assume the other knows how we feel without our need to express it. They are not mind readers, and neither are you.
Therapist Intervention and Progress
During the last step of your treatment, your therapist will intervene to discuss your progress in these sessions. As couples and family members see their advancement in emotional therapy, they feel more confident that they can rise above and fix these problems themselves. We dive deeper into these issues over time, through each session. Progress will happen gradually, but you will notice the awareness in both parties as you continue to work on your communication.
Treatment requires eight to ten sessions on average. Depending on the depth of the issues within the family and intimate relationships, your therapist might recommend more sessions.
If you feel that your relationships have suffered because of the lack of communication, call The Villa Treatment Center today and schedule your intake session. Let’s create a strong base of support together.