Addiction often causes teens to focus on the vicious cycle of being able to purchase and use drugs. An estimated 11.8 million teens have used drugs in the last month. It is not uncommon for teens to lie, cheat, or steal in their pursuit of getting high. However, their actions are not just against people they do not know. Substance use disorder can damage familial relationships that are often difficult to repair. Family therapy for treating addiction plays an essential role in the recovery process as it provides an opportunity to repair relationships and rebuild trust.
What to Expect in Family Therapy
The goal of family therapy is to support your teen in their recovery and consider the dynamics of your family unit. Your teen’s ability to overcome their substance use disorder does not lie solely in their actions. It also depends on your support. In family therapy for addiction, everyone will participate in group sessions. These sessions often meet once per week for about an hour. Your therapist will pose a series of open-ended questions allowing everyone in your family the opportunity to share how they have been affected by substance use.
5 Family Therapy Activities for Addiction
Rebuilding trust and healing relationships are at the core of family therapy for addiction. At every session, therapists will focus on how to support your teen in recovery. Here are some common activities that are popular in therapy sessions:
1. Toss and Talk
Family members will stand in a circle and toss and catch a ball to get their turn to speak. In families where no one can open up and say how they feel, this provides the opportunity to respond to a question posed by the therapists and then pass it to another family member responsible for contributing to the conversation. In this activity, everyone must actively listen to others so that everyone is heard.
In family therapy for addiction, therapists often reveal that it is a challenge to understand a teen who has experienced a substance use disorder. In addition, it is sometimes hard for teens to understand why their families are not more present. This misunderstanding leads to a need for stronger communication. In role-playing activities, family members will pretend to be someone else. They can take on their persona, showing how they would behave in specific situations. Although this might seem complicated, it is an opportunity for your loved ones to show how others make them feel.
3. Write a Letter
It is a challenge for teens dealing with a substance use disorder to share their feelings with others, and it can be especially tough to vocalize their feelings. Letter writing is an excellent way for teens and participating family members to share their challenges and supports strong communication. After everyone writes their letter, they can read aloud with a therapist’s support in helping everyone process feelings.
4. Use a Translator
Often we think of a translator as someone who will speak two languages. As an activity associated with family therapy for addiction, a therapist is a translator. As one person speaks, the translator listens and rephrases what was said. Then, it is repeated to others participating. A therapist acting as a translator supports all parties in being understood and appreciated.
5. Holistic Therapy
Often, it is a challenge to understand the purpose of family therapy activities for addiction. However, some activities such as yoga, meditation, art, and music will lend family members to find joy and communicate with each other.
Benefits of Family Therapy for Addiction
Addiction causes teens to behave in a manner that will create mistrust in their relationships with others. Once a teen is navigating rehabilitation, it is still difficult for them to restore relationships. While it might not always be easy to understand what to expect in family therapy, it is an opportunity for families to grow in understanding and communication. With family therapy activities for addiction, there are many benefits. Here are some advantages:
- Improve communication skills
- Learn conflict resolution
- Develop lasting, meaningful bonds
- Clearly understand each family member’s needs in the recovery process
Discover Family Therapy for Addiction at Destinations for Teens
Participating in family therapy activities for addiction can help everyone heal from the past. These activities will focus on how to support your teen and help them provide better care for themselves. In addition, various family therapy activities can offer the opportunity to relate to others with similar experiences, allowing for mutual support.
If your teen is struggling with a substance use disorder, they need your support. Contact us at 877.466.0620 to begin restoring your family.