Alcoholism does not just affect the addict, it affects the lives of all who love and care about them. Addiction is a disease that can leave the families of addicts feeling hopeless, powerless, and devastated. Watching the life of someone you love fall into shambles can create feelings of guilt, shame, and anger. Luckily, there is support and help available and you do not have to suffer alone.
While support groups for the families of addicts are fairly commonplace, some may be surprised to find out that individual counseling for the families of addicts is also an available option at alcoholic treatment centers. Individual counseling may be a good choice for you if you:
- Don’t feel comfortable sharing intimate details about your life in a group setting
- Need additional, dedicated time to discuss your familial problems stemming from your loved one’s addiction
- Desire a mental health professional’s individualized, expert advice
Benefits of Individual Counseling for the Families of Alcoholics
One family member’s addiction to alcohol can often cause the whole family to focus on that one person, neglecting their own mental health in the process. Seeking individual counseling can be one of the first steps in making sure that you are emotionally healthy enough to be a supportive influence on your loved one. Airplane safety speeches urge you to put on your oxygen mask before helping those around you put on theirs. The same principle applies here. Seeking counseling can allow you to make sure you help yourself first, so you are strong enough to help others.
Individual counseling provides an opportunity for you to get professional advice about how to set healthy boundaries with addicts so that their disease doesn’t destroy the whole family. It also provides a way to learn individualized coping skills that fit your situation. Family members who learn healthy boundaries and coping mechanisms have a chance to continue to live a happy, healthy life, despite their loved one’s affliction. Talking to a counselor can also help you find ways to counteract enabling, which is a problem that many families face.
A counselor or therapist may be able to help you pinpoint which good-intention behaviors may actually be enabling negative behavior from your addicted loved one, and offer solutions to help remedy the situation. Family members who seek counseling can make healthy changes in their own lives that can show your loved one the benefits of counseling and, in turn, encourage them to seek counseling as well.
Why Seek Counseling from an Alcoholic Treatment Center?
You may feel that since you yourself are not an addict, there is no reason for you to seek treatment from a facility that specializes in this disease. However, there are many reasons why alcoholic treatment centers are a wonderful place for the families of addicts to seek help. Getting help from a medical center that deals specifically with alcoholism allow you access to medical professionals that deal with cases such as yours day in and day out. They have the benefit of seeing what has worked and what has not worked for other families that have been impacted by alcoholism. They may also be able to arrange for facilitated discussions between you and your loved one that can provide a safe and productive space to sort through deep and sensitive issues.
Watching your family member struggle with alcoholism is emotionally draining and extremely difficult. Just like it is imperative for an alcoholic to seek help, it is important to remember that help is available for family members, too. So many people begin neglecting their own well being in order to focus on their energy into trying to save their loved one, but it does not have to be this way. Helping yourself can give you the power to better help your family member struggling with alcohol in ways you did not previously think possible.
You may feel alone when dealing with your family member’s addiction, but you are not. There is a safe place for you to get help and speak with professionals that can partner with you to get you through this difficult chapter of your life. If you are ready to start the healing process, please call us now at 833-762-3739. We have professionals available 24 hours a day that is here to help.