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Family Systems: Encore’s Family Program

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Family Systems: Encore’s Family Program

Encore Outpatient Services views substance use disorder treatment as a family disease. Therefore, it is important to include family in the treatment and recovery process when possible. Encore’s Family Program allows families to begin their own healing process as the client begins theirs.

When someone begins treatment, they are receiving very intensive therapy and ancillary services focused on helping them integrate back into their families and communities. However, a key piece of treatment is also ensuring wherever clients will be reintegrating is a safe and healthy environment, conducive to their recovery. If families neglect their own recovery, the prognosis for a client coming home is not as good as when families do engage in their own recovery process. This is especially important for clients at a program such as Encore, where many clients may be currently living with family. At Encore Outpatient Services, we employ theories such as that of Family Systems to provide our clients with a holistic and comprehensive approach to care.

What is Family Systems Theory

two women chatting addiction therapy

Family Systems Theory focuses on helping individuals in the context of their family unit. A key component of this theory is the concept that what affects one family member will in turn affect all family members. Therefore, it is easy to see how this relates to the disease of addiction, which affects not only the person suffering from addiction but all those who surround the individual.

Family members organize around the struggling individual to accommodate and maintain homeostasis within the family system. This can look like enabling, codependency, denial, and other unhealthy behaviors. Because we know that the environment can play a large role in relapse and relapse prevention, the family system is something that cannot be ignored in the addiction treatment process.

Many well-intentioned family members want to help their loved one but are unsure of how to do so in a productive manner. Encore Recovery’s family program can assist families in finding the best methods of caring for their loved one while supporting their treatment. Family addiction therapy also has a beneficial effect for the person receiving treatment as it is a great boon to recovery to have a strong support system both in treatment and at home.

Part of how Encore helps address these issues is through our weekly Multi-Family Group. This group is run by our Clinical Director Kim Ragan and provides a space for psychoeducation and support for the family members of our clients. Family members are taught the idea of parallel recovery. This refers to the concept of family members engaging in their own personal recoveries as well, separate from the recovery of their loved one. We encourage family members to seek our community support or their own providers when needed as well. At Encore in Arlington, Virginia. we truly believe healing is a family journey.

Addiction is hard

Getting help shouldn’t be.

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