December 8, 2015

The Family Meeting

What Is A Family Meeting?

The Family Meeting (workshop) is a used to encourage or direct an addict or alcoholic to agree to go to rehabilitation. The meeting includes the addict along with any family members, friends. Friends and family agree to intervene because the addict is unresponsive to their pleas to seek help. Family members are at odds as to what to do. The interventionist works with the family to address their concerns surrounding the addiction.

Family members learn about enabling and second-hand drinking and drugging (co-dependency). The most powerful tool the family has is leverage. Leverage is the power or ability to act or to influence people, events or decisions. Most families feel powerless over changing the addict and in fact they are. They do however have the power and ability to influence. Whether or not the addict makes the decision to get treatment and find recovery. Leverage is the single most unconditional loving way to provide the addict with what they need.

The interventionist works with the family in developing an effective “family team”. The aim of the team is to help the addict understand the seriousness of the issue and get them help.

What Happens After?

When the addict enters the treatment program this is where recovery begins. Usually this process starts with a period of detox. After which is movement into the educational phase. During this stabilization phase the individual learns about the recovery process. In this treatment,the addict learns about the disease of addiction. The addict will also learn about relapse prevention. During his stay he will also be assessed for the need for medication. Treatment is also a place where the individual can address any psychiatric issues or any history of trauma. Remember the first 30 to 90 days is just the beginning.

The family also engages in a recovery process. The recovery rates significantly increase when family is fully involved. This is the time when the family learns what their role will be in family recovery.

Family members have often felt responsible and blame each other for the addiction. Other times they believe the addict created this and has chosen to ruinhisorherlife. Families often find that neither of the above is true.

They learn to:

  • Identify their role in the family system
  • Identify how the family deals with crisis and crisis management
  • What the 12 steps for a family in recovery looks like
  • What their own relapse pattern could be (identify triggers, coping mechanisms)
  • Develop healthy boundaries with their addicted family member and others
  • How to continue their process of recovery moving forward

The family meeting is a loving process to help families heal from the devastating effects of addiction.

Be advised that any good treatment or interventionist works with the family to create a continued care plan that last a minimum of one year. This is a long-term problem that requires a long term solutions.