It’s true that recovery from addiction is ultimately a process that requires a will to change and the effort to bring that change into action. But it would be insincere to claim that most with chemical dependencies overcome those dependencies alone. Medical professionals are there to provide patients with the structure and the tools they need to change their life for the better, and intervention from family and friends can play a major role in recovery. Out of the people who enter a therapy office or clinic, 10% suffer from an addictive disorder.
Only 10% of those people ever receive treatment. That’s an indication that encouragement from family and social networks are critical to encouraging change. Addiction can have a ripple effect on entire families and even communities, and that’s why couples treatment can be such a powerful tool for change. But these sorts of programs are about more than just resolving the root of the couple’s problems. They offer a holistic approach that tackles addiction from every possible angle.
What Are the Advantages of Couples Treatment?
Substance abuse doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Instead, there are a wide variety of different factors that can influence an addicts to need to continue using, increase their probability of relapsing, and influence their reticence from seeking help. Couples treatments are predicated on the notion that relationships with mutually addictive issues exacerbate the triggers for usage and create systems of codependency that justify the continued usage of harmful substances. At the core of couples, treatment is two major philosophies. First, professionals and patients need to identify the triggers that facilitate usage in both subjects. Once these weaknesses in the relationship are identified, the work can begin on determining healthy new methods for supporting one another and determining how to make these healthy patterns a lasting part of the relationship. These include rewards based systems for positive behavior, wherein both partners encourage positive behavior and reduce the risks of relapse within the relationship.
Stress is one of the most prominent factors that contribute to negative behavior, and that’s why couples therapy works to create better communications within these relationships so that abstinence is easier to sustain. This creates a bedrock of nurturing that can serve continued growth and a break from cycles of abuse. In essence, it creates an environment where couples can lean on one another rather than on a chemical substance or dangerous behavior for the succor they need. This can be a valuable tool whether both members of the relationship are using or chemical dependency is present in only one member of the relationship.
Is Couples Therapy Alone Enough to Overcome Dependency?
Self-harmful behaviors are intrinsically tied to situations, but that doesn’t mean that addressing the immediately harmful factors of a romantic relationship alone is enough to overcome addiction. That’s why couples addiction treatments generally constitute a lot more than simple couples therapy. Different circumstances will, of course, determine the best course of rehabilitation, and there are a number of different options available depending on these circumstances. They may include:
- Addiction-focused couples therapy to help both parties understand the unhealthy dynamics of the dependency, identify the triggers that facilitate negative behavior and provide meaningful rules for abstinence.
- General couples therapy which recognizes that factors not directly related to the addiction can have a major effect on preventing recurrence. These could involve focused therapy on single couples or group therapy that allows multiple couples to work out their issues collaboratively.
- Family Therapy which comes from the direction that no one enters a relationship without past trauma. Family therapy can provide a greater support network on which both parties can lean into when facing obstacles and also help get to the formative issues which contributed to dependency in the first place.
- Individual therapy to provide focused mechanisms of control and change that can address the immediate issues of the person facing a chemical dependency and help them integrate those behaviors into their larger relationship.
While couples treatments are about healing together, the most effective programs synthesize a combination of these different programs. The matrix of factors that contribute to addiction are complex, and focusing exclusively on the dynamic of the two people most immediately involved can leave patients blind to the wealth of contributing triggers and stresses that allow addiction to continue abated. There’s no one size fits all solution for mending a relationship and curbing addiction, but patients can work with therapists to come up with a comprehensive plan that’s right for them. If you or a loved one is in need of help dealing with addiction, give us a call at 833-762-3739 today.