Family Involvement in Addiction Treatment
To help families better understand addiction, the recovery process, and the family dynamics that are involved in addiction treatment, Recovery Centers of America offers a comprehensive, open-ended family program. When family and loved ones participate in treatment and the recovery process, and offer support, patients are more likely to achieve and maintain long-term recovery.
Our Family Programing includes individual and group counseling, family therapy, and educational seminars designed to help you and your family heal together. Our curriculum incorporates the 4 pillars for both families and our patients:
CONNECTION: Addiction is a disease that wants you and your family to isolate from one another. Addiction causes the person to pull away from everyone, while families push their loved one away.
What can you do? Set up safe boundaries to keep your family close while everyone works through the recovery process. Ask yourself, either as a family member or person struggling with addiction:
- How can I stay connected even when I need to create my own safe space?
- How can I stay connected but also say, this is what I need from you?
We help you figure out these answers through connection. When you’re connected to someone, you end up seeing their side. We identify the support needed, while recognizing that both the family and the patient need their own kind of support.
HEALING: Families often blame themselves for their loved one’s disease, while the person struggling with addiction blames themselves. As a response, everyone is angry with everyone. Parents have shame from not saying something sooner or raising their son/daughter a different way. The loved one feels shame for not being able to beat this disease.
Part of healing is recognizing the humility behind the disease of addiction. If you can understand this is a disease, it takes away the stigma, the guilt, and the shame, and replaces it with empathy. Once you do this, your loved one will know you’re there for them and how much you love them. Patients need their families to understand the disease because they’ve carried so much shame for having it.
You can’t have compassion if it hasn’t been given to you.”
– says Director of Family Services Trish Caldwell
KNOWLEDGE: Understanding the behaviors of addiction and the impact they have is key, because education is everything. When you know better, you do better. Education gets rid of anger. We’re trying to teach this, because often, even if the person has some buy-in, they don’t fully accept, understand, or acknowledge that addiction is a disease.
When families and support systems are involved and understand addiction being a disease, it allows the patients to stop focusing on blaming themselves and instead focus on reaching long-term recovery.
HOPE: You can be angry and still have hope that things will change or get better, hope is the beginning of recovery. The disease wants you to let go of hope, but we can’t let that happen. A patient has to have hope to get to recovery.
It’s the most important piece of having families together – none of us can get through life alone. As a family member or patient, you can be scared but still believe there’s hope. Families try to find hope by disconnecting from their loved one, while the loved one tries to isolate himself to find hope, but you can find hope here together.
Family Programming Schedule & First Steps
All family members who wish to visit your loved one in treatment must participate in an orientation first. This includes an RCA orientation and Narcan training, as well as one of the following educational seminars:
- Communications and boundary setting: Families are provided with the tools and skills needed to set appropriate boundaries and to create a safe environment for themselves and their loved ones.
- Healing the family system: Here, you’ll look at ways for your family to create their own foundation of recovery and explore concepts like enabling and codependency. This way, your family has clear ways to support your loved one in recovery rather than surrounding yourselves in the addictive cycle.
- The brain and addiction: Learn more about the impact substance use has on the brain and learn about the disease model of addiction. We’ll show clips from Pleasures Unwoven’ will be shown to explore how the brain is impacted by substance use.
- Journey to recovery: Better position yourself and your family to fight this disease as you learn about relapse, symptoms of the disease, and ways to create a space for forgiveness as your loved one makes his or her way to recovery.
Seeds To Recovery Program
We invite families to participate in our brand-new Seeds to Recovery program. This program is designed to help families heal together by providing positive interactive and therapeutic activities that help foster and support long-term recovery. Families will receive a sunflower seed that they can water and watch grow together, as they too grow on the road to recovery. Some of our program features include:
- Educational Seminars: These educational seminars educate families on the root causes of addiction, how to support your loved one on the road to recovery and more.
- Interactive Therapeutic Activities: We offer interactive activities to help families connect in a positive way as well as develop healthy communication and coping strategies.
- Special Programming for Families of Young Adults: For families of young adults in treatment, we offer special programming that works on healing family dynamics as well as developing independence for the patient.
Our Seeds to Recovery program is the second Saturday and Sunday every month at our Devon addiction recovery center and the third Saturday and Sunday every month at our Maryland Center for Addiction Treatment. Our goal is to empower families and restore family dynamics so that they can heal, together.
Family Services Director: Trish Caldwell
During her career, Trish has held a variety of clinical and leadership roles. She is currently the Corporate Director of Family Services of Recovery Centers of America, which has sites in NJ, PA, MA and MD, and provides services to adults seeking treatment for substance use disorders. Additionally, she is a member of the NOPE task force, Partners for Success Coalition and she holds a private practice specializing in adolescents and young adults who have been diagnosed with ADHD or Trauma.
Trish is a licensed clinician, marriage and family therapist and is certified in both co-occurring disorders and substance use, she specializes in ADHD, Opioid Use in young adults, Trauma informed care, Developmental trauma, Trauma and Substance Use disorders, Trauma and the Family System, Family Engagement, and Substance use for today’s teens. Trish has been a therapist for over 25 years and has worked extensively with families and patients with co-occurring behavioral health and substance use disorders in various settings. An adjunct professor at Jefferson University and a trauma trainer for Lakeside Global Institute, she created the first Young Offenders Treatment Program in Delaware County for first time offenders with drug charges.