Family Therapy in Addiction and Mental Health Treatment


Manage episode 278236706 series 2460299
By AllCEUs Counseling CEUs and Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Host: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes

Cheap CEUs are available for this presentation at

What is a Family
~ Families are uniquely defined by each individual
~ Not always blood related
~ The significant others (SOs) the Identified Patient (IP) considers important in their lives.
~ Families are systems characterized by self-regulation & Homeostasis
~ Each members has a function in maintaining the balance
~ Enabler, scapegoat, hero, lost child, mascot
~ When a person or the situation changes, everyone else has to adapt to maintain “status quo”

Family Risk Factors & Interventions
~ Disrupted attachment
~ Emotional or physical enmeshment or disengagement creating a lack of safety
~ Mental illness or addiction in caregivers
~ Lack of effective caregiver interpersonal skills including boundaries (CRAVES)

Family Risk Factors & Interventions
~ Disrupted attachment
~ Lack of effective skills to nurture a high-needs child  environment of invalidation
~ What causes high-needs
~ Genetic predisposition to emotional dysregulation
~ Fetal exposure to
~ Substances
~ High levels of cortisol
~ Grief or anger at the child
~ Birth defects / disabilities
~ Unplanned pregnancies  interpersonal and tangible losses
~ Long NICU stays
~ Family violence
~ Low parental supervision

Consequences of Addiction & Mental Health Issues on the Family
~ Lack of trust
~ Anger
~ Frustration and feelings of helplessness as they watch the IP suffer
~ Resentment at the IP for their behaviors and “refusal” to change
~ Guilt
~ Feeling responsible for the IPs condition
~ Abandonment
~ Embarrassment

Consequences of Addiction & Mental Health Issues on the Family
~ Anxiety that the IP will experience harm
~ Pessimism & cognitive distortions
~ Isolation
~ Social withdrawal or “lack of time” for outside activities
~ Withdrawal from the IP
~ Family conflict over how to deal with the IP

Where to start…
~ Examine behaviors in terms of communication
~ Recognize that resistance means the IP
~ May not have the skills and ability to make the change
~ May feel overwhelmed by the prospect of change
~ May have tried before and failed and believe the situation to be hopeless
Counselor Tasks
~ Engage family members, including reluctant ones
~ Structure a conference such that all members have a chance to express themselves
~ Systematically assess the family’s level of functioning
~ Support individual members while avoiding coalitions
~ Help the family see problem behaviors as a form of communication and an adaptation to stay safe
~ Reframe the family’s definition of its problem in a way that makes problem solving more achievable
~ Help family members explore new forms of collaborative efforts to cope with problems (How can I help you? / You can help me by…)
~ Help family members generate alternative, mutually acceptable ways to cope with difficulties
~ Help the family balance coping efforts while calibrating roles (enabler to supporter)

~ Family approaches recognize the reciprocal impact of every individual and every relationship on the functioning of the whole system
~ Family systems resist change in favor of homeostasis
~ It is important to assess
~ The health and wellbeing of all members of the family
~ The PACER needs of each individual and their readiness for change for every treatment goal.
~ Develop a unified vision of what health and happiness look like and each person’s tasks in helping the family move toward that goal.

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