At our recovery center in Taos, New Mexico, family systems therapy (FST) plays an integral role in our addiction recovery curriculum. We understand that addiction never affects the addict alone, and those closest to the addict are negatively impacted by their addiction as well. Whether they are the addict or a close friend or family member of an addict, everybody struggles with the pains of addiction in different ways and mending the harm that addiction causes other people is an important part of the healing process.
Systems therapy is a branch of therapy that studies the part in relation to the whole. In family systems therapy, the addict is studied in relation to their family, with the addict being the “part” and the family being the “whole.” The underlying foundation of FST is the belief that people cannot be understood in isolation from their interpersonal relationships. To say that another way, in order to understand a person, you must study how they interact with those around them. This is especially true of the person’s family.
Many psychologists agree that psychological issues begin early in life and that the problems are influenced, at least in part, by family dynamics*. Every family member influences the dynamics of the family, and the dynamics of the family, in turn, influence every family member. People are influenced by their family dynamics in more subtle ways than they likely realize, which is why using FST to explore how the addict’s family relations may have influenced their addiction is so important. Another reason why FST is important is that the addict’s family is often their main source of love and support along their recovery journey, and FST helps to build family relationships and increase that love and support.
*It is important to note that FST is not a way of shifting the blame of the addict from themselves to their family, but is instead a way of understanding how the addict’s family dynamics may have played a role in the patient’s addiction so that the family can make the necessary changes to help the addict overcome their addiction.
During the family therapy sessions, our therapists work with the addicts and their families to explore their family dynamics. In an effort to understand how their family dynamics may have played a role in their addiction, the therapist discusses with the patient:
Because FST places a heavy emphasis on interpersonal relationships, it teaches the addicts and their families some important interpersonal skills. As the patients and their families work with our staff to undergo FST, they will:
If you or a loved one near Taos, New Mexico is struggling with an addiction, let us help you. Using FST and other methods of therapy, we can walk you and your family through the recovery process, giving you the tools, support, and encouragement necessary to heal the wounds that addiction has caused and reclaim your life.
Men's Gender-Specific Residential Treatment
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