Addiction: A Family Disease

Addiction affects people living with it in many ways. It can change the way they think, feel, and behave. Substance abuse can also strain family relationships.
When one member of a family lives with substance abuse, other family members may develop unhealthy roles to cope. They may enable the addicted person, feel isolated, or face pressure to make up for their loved one’s shortcomings.

All members of a family need to learn about addiction and develop strategies to manage challenges. Family therapy can help people recover from addiction together.

Exploring Different Types of Family Therapy

Individuals and families have different needs as they work through challenges. There are several types of family therapies involving various techniques.

Marriage and Family Therapy

Marriage and family therapy is a type of talk therapy that helps people explore destructive behaviors. It focuses on how harmful behaviors affect each family member. Practitioners may use cognitive behavioral therapies and other techniques to help families address their challenges and find practical solutions.

Functional Family Therapy (FFT)

Mental health practitioners may use functional family therapy (FFT) in short-term settings, including addiction rehab programs. FFT helps teens and families repair trust and develop respect for one another. Young people and their families learn to work together to find solutions to their problems.

Structural Family Therapy

Structural family therapy examines a family’s structure. The goal of structural family therapy is to improve interactions between family members.

Members of a family learn how to communicate with each other. Better family functioning can lead to less stress and a healthier family environment.

Family Systems Therapy

Family systems therapy focuses on recognizing and using strengths in relationships between family members. Family members develop trust and respect.

They come to rely on the strength of their relationships to overcome challenges. These challenges may include mental health conditions and substance abuse.

Narrative Family Therapy

During narrative family therapy, a therapist encourages each member of a family to tell their own story. They work to understand how their experiences affect their identities and relationships.

Narrative family therapy can help people understand their experiences more objectively. Instead of relying only on their own viewpoints, they learn to see their experiences from other perspectives.


Psychoeducation focuses on teaching family members about mental health conditions or substance abuse. Families learn about treatment options, medications, and lifestyle changes. This often means they can better support someone living with addiction or mental illness.

All types of family therapy can help families as they navigate challenges. Marriage and family therapists, social workers, and other licensed mental health professionals can lead therapy sessions.

Families may attend therapy sessions as part of their loved one’s addiction rehab program. They may also participate in family counseling sessions on an outpatient basis.

Family Behavior Therapy in Addiction Treatment in Los Angeles

Addiction is a complex condition with roots in many parts of your life and experience. It’s crucial to find a comprehensive treatment that addresses the physical, emotional, and behavioral parts of substance abuse.

During an addiction rehab program, your treatment team will develop a plan to meet your unique needs. Treatment planning may include a combination of evidence-based and holistic therapies, including:

  • Medically-supported detox
  • Individual counseling
  • Behavioral therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Family unit counseling and education
  • Medications to manage withdrawal symptoms
  • Mental health treatment
  • Medical care
  • Relapse prevention education
  • Coping skills
  • Nutrition support, exercise, yoga, mindfulness, and other holistic practices

Addiction treatment programs are available in inpatient and outpatient options. Many people begin recovery in an inpatient rehab program and then transition to outpatient care.

After completing treatment, you must develop an aftercare plan. Sticking to your aftercare plan can reduce your risk of relapse. An aftercare plan may include:

  • Sober housing
  • 12-step meetings and other support groups
  • Individual therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Mental health treatment

These and other activities can support sobriety and help you stay on track in recovery.

Find Support Now

Reach out to the Invigorate Behavioral Health specialists now to learn about our holistic addiction treatment programs in Los Angeles, CA. We will answer your questions, verify your insurance, and help you schedule an intake as quickly as possible.

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