Family Therapy for Addiction

Drug and alcohol use disorders can significantly impact families by impairing the functioning, health, and overall well-being of the addict as well as each family member. Just as problems within the family can influence addiction, a supportive family environment can play a crucial role in the recovery process. According to research, over 1 in 10 children under 18 live with at least one adult who has an addiction, and 7.5 million children aged 17 or younger live with a parent with an alcohol use disorder.1,2 Research also shows that parental substance abuse caused 38.9% of children to be removed from their homes in 2019.3 Fortunately, our rehab in Texas offers family therapy for addiction to help spouses, partners, caregivers, children, siblings, and even friends, to recover.

What Is Family Therapy?

Family therapy for drug addiction looks different depending on who’s being treated and the people involved, but it’s ultimately designed to improve family relationships and functioning and to support the person in recovery. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), family therapy – also referred to as counseling for families of addicts – includes interventions that reflect family-level assessments, involvements, and approaches.

Evidence suggests that people who have the support of their families for addiction recovery are more likely to remain in drug and alcohol treatment, stop misusing substances, and sustain their sobriety. For instance, one study showed that couples who participated in behavioral couples therapy experienced improved levels of abstinence from drugs and alcohol and better communication than couples who were in more typical individual-based therapy.

Moreover, though family involvement in recovery is important, it's not for everyone. After dealing with a loved one’s substance abuse and consequent behavior for so long, some family members might feel emotionally and psychologically drained, fear the unknown, or be hesitant to speak about family problems with a stranger. Regardless of the reason, it might be helpful to try family addiction counseling so each family member can speak one-on-one with a therapist about their concerns.

How Does Family Therapy in Addiction Treatment Work?

Family therapy for addiction can take different forms throughout the treatment process, depending on what the family members need. Our program allows whole families to meet together with a therapist while it also allows for individual therapy sessions. Each session lasts about an hour and may be devoted to different topics, depending on the individual’s concerns.

For instance, one session might be devoted to talking about each person’s feelings and concerns, while another might be devoted to education on effective communication and avoiding enabling behaviors. Based on the specific issues of the family or individual, therapists leading our support groups for families of addicts may use different techniques, such as:

  • Behavioral couples therapy (BCT): Intended for married or cohabitating couples where one individual suffers from a drug or alcohol addiction, BCT promotes and rewards abstinence through a “Recovery Contract.” This has the person with the addiction expressing their intent to not use substances and the partner supporting their abstinence. This therapy can help improve communication, reduce stress, and maintain abstinence.
  • Family behavioral therapy (FBT): FBT is successful for adults and adolescents with substance use disorders. It focuses on how the behaviors of the addict affect the family, explains addiction family roles that members may adopt to cope, and works to change those behaviors by involving the entire family.
  • Solution-focused brief therapy: This form of family therapy for addiction can help members struggling with co-occurring disorders, which is when an individual suffers from both an addiction and mental illness. While it doesn’t pinpoint the exact reasons for family dysfunction, it instead focuses on finding solutions for specific problems.
  • Family recovery support groups: Support groups for family members of addicts offer spouses, partners, caregivers, children, siblings, and others a space to connect with others undergoing similar experiences and receive peer support and guidance.

Our Banyan Texas rehab believes that offering help for families of addicts is a crucial step in recovery because it strengthens the addict’s support system at home by supporting individual family members. Addiction is considered to be a family disease, meaning it affects an entire home rather than just the individual. If you’re struggling to cope with a loved one’s drug and alcohol use, our facility is here for you.

Benefits of Support for Families of Addicts

Research indicates that there are various benefits of family therapy for substance abuse, such as:

  • A better understanding of what to expect during treatment and recovery
  • Reduced risk of relapse
  • Helping family members understand the importance of taking responsibility for their own emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being
  • Helping the family make positive changes to support the individual in recovery, such as their patterns of communication or eliminating enabling behavior
  • Improved treatment retention
  • Improved understanding of substance use disorders and how they affect loved ones
  • Increased awareness concerning the warning signs of relapse
  • Increased family support for the individual in recovery

Importance of Support From Families for Addiction Recovery

It can be difficult to accomplish any goal in life when you don’t have the support of those closest to you. Unsupportive family members in recovery can impact the individual’s progress and even contribute to a relapse. If you’re the loved one of an addict, there are various ways of providing help and support during treatment and recovery.

The strategies you employ will differ depending on the circumstances or the type of drug treatment your loved one seeks. Programs also vary in policies and procedures, such as rules concerning phone calls and visiting hours or about sending care packages and letters. As a parent, spouse, sibling, or child of someone with an addiction, we encourage you to be as involved as possible.

Some things we’d like you to remember are:

  • Your participation and support can make a big difference
  • You’ll need to be patient while your loved one adjusts to sobriety
  • Acknowledging your loved one’s successes and milestones can make them feel supported
  • Make sure you have your own support and make time to care for yourself

Finding Family Therapy Near Me

Our family therapy for addiction is offered to the family members of and clients in our residential treatment program. Once the individual is medically stable and undergoing individual therapy, our team incorporates family services as an option to aid recovery.

For more information about our other options for Texas addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one, contact Banyan Treatment Centers today.


  1. NIH - The Impact of Substance Use Disorders on Families and Children: From Theory to Practice
  2. SAMHSA - Children Living With Parents Who Have A Substance Use Disorder
  3. National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare - Child Welfare and Alcohol and Drug Use Statistics
  4. SAMHSA - Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Family Therapy
  5. NIH - Behavioral Couples Therapy for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

Related Reading:

Best Books on Addiction for Loved ones

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Rehab Facility

Most Insurance Plans Accepted

At Banyan Treatment Centers, our goal is to make sure that anyone who needs treatment from drug and alcohol addiction are able to get the help needed to assist them on the road to recovery. If you don't have insurance contact us to inquire about alternate methods regarding treatment for yourself or a loved one.

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