Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Healthier Relationship With The Addict In Your Family

If a member of your family is actively involved in addiction it is still possible to build a healthier relationship with them than you might think. Relationships within the family are often strained by the added pressures created by addiction. We would like to suggest that in spite of these struggles, if you want to arrive at the best possible outcome, it is very important to begin to build healthier relationships with both the addicted family member as well as others in the family unit. Remember now, it is healthier relationships not perfect relationships.

When family members came to the "Family Class" the questions most asked at first was, " What can I do to get my addicted family member to recognize that they need help?" and "How do I get them to seek treatment and then stay clean and sober?"

What they learned was that the answers to these questions are to be found by exploring the beliefs that they, as family members, hold about the nature of addiction, what they believe their roles and responsibilities are, and what they believe they can or cannot control.

In order to make the most of opportunities to improve your relationship with the addict in your family, and open some healthy emotional space for yourself, we recommend that you begin by learning the following four important skills.: Managing Loss of Trust; Giving up control of outcomes for the addict; Delivering clear communication; Finding and using support systems. As you gradually increase your ability to implement these skills, your ability to cope with the added stress addiction brings to your life will also increase.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Creating Boundaries

The first rule for boundaries is that the family members must not set any boundary that they don't fully agree on. Do not act unilaterally. The second rule is that no boundary should be communicated to the addicted family member until it has been discussed with with the family and all are willing to implement it. Work with each other to find a boundary you can agree on. You may have to start small. The third rule for boundaries is they must be designed to increase the well being of the family not to manipulate or punish the addicted family member. It is very important, if not absolutely necessary for the family members, such as the parents of an addict, to get support from some group in which they can discuss their situation and talk over their options.