At By Grace, we are excited to be offering family coaching, a service which aims to help those family members affected by the substance use disorder and subsequent recovery of a loved one. Family members, especially if they are still living with the main client, may not know what to do, who to talk to, or where to turn as they watch their loved one struggle in either active addiction or sobriety. They may ask questions such as: How long will this last? Where did we go wrong? Will we ever be able to repair our relationship with one another? Addiction is an affliction that affects not just the individual experiencing it firsthand, but those around them as well.
As much as we would like to believe that sobriety is the only solution to repairing one’s relationship to one’s self and others, we know there is much more work to be done. We believe in a systematic holistic approach to recovery that also involves those in the recovering main client’s close circle and community in an attempt to recover, restore, and rebuild the family. We advocate for using as many services and tools as possible to ensure a rich, lasting foundation upon which individuals and their families can build up relationships with themselves and thereby each other.
Why Family Recovery Coaching?
While it is entirely possible to solely focus on helping the individual recover outside of the realm of the family and still have a successful long-term recovery, it is undeniable that substance use disorder is rooted in a family system whose dynamics need to be explored and addressed. Our Family Recovery Coaches support and guide families to navigate family roles and the scaffolding that preceded the individual turning to substances in the first place, as well as the dynamics that followed after the client’s active substance use disorder and recovery.
How BGRS Can Help
At By Grace Recovery Services, we can work with one family member or the entire family to create individualized plans for recovery. We spend considerable time getting to know each individual and talking through their fears, hopes, and expectations for the family recovery process. We employ a breadth of tools and skills in discussing a wide range of recovery topics such as boundaries (within one’s self and others in the family), effective methods of communication, mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, accountability, self-care tips, and healing from codependency. New interpersonal and communication patterns may need to get worked out. For example, an inner conflict may arise when wondering whether to protect a loved one from a trigger or letting the individual handle the trigger on their own (detaching and letting go) without seeming indifferent or overbearing and overprotective.
Family recovery is not a linear process, nor is the main client’s recovery. We encourage all family members involved to allow themselves the gift of help and tools that can redirect ways of thinking and behaviors that may no longer work. While we encourage family members to share openly in a confidential manner during 1-on-1 sessions (whether online, on the phone, or in person), we do not encourage behaviors between family members such as blaming, shaming, judging or faultfinding. We know it is important to own up to uncomfortable and painful feelings around another family member while also acknowledging one’s own role and behaviors within the family system. When appropriate, we also refer family members to other forms of support such as individual therapy, family therapy, community resources as well as recovery groups such as Al-Anon and Alateen Family Groups, which are rooted in the Twelve Steps. Additionally, we work with specialists and industry leaders from all over the Tri-State area to ensure a well-rounded approach to our Family Recovery ethos and principles.
Challenges and Misconceptions
We recognize there are a plethora of challenges and misconceptions that may arise when one thinks about family recovery coaching. Our role is not to stage an intervention or pressure any family members to participate in their loved one’s recovery if they do not want to or if they decide to no longer participate after having started.
Our family recovery coaches are not therapists, psychologists, clinicians, treatment specialists, sponsors, or medical practitioners. We incorporate what we have learned about the individual in their recovery in informing how to move forward with family members. If an individual chooses not to have any relations with their immediate family of origin, By Grace will respect that desire as well. We know how important it is to uphold strict boundaries, such as having no or minimal contact with family members in highly toxic or dysfunctional situations. We put no pressure on the individual or family to participate against their own will. Otherwise, we will encourage all parties to participate only to the extent that they are physically, mentally, and emotionally able to. We aim to provide the space for family members to foster growth and maturity while upholding one’s autonomy.
At By Grace, we do our best to help restore a family unit to a state of stability and balance while acknowledging our limitations and that of each individual in the family system. Ultimately we take the main client and the family members as far as they allow us to while respecting everyone’s personal needs. The main client’s chances of success for a sustainable long-term recovery are greatly enhanced when the family is supportive and cooperative, which paves the path to bridging all kinds of disconnection. Getting better doesn’t mean feeling better right away. While the path of recovery may be full of challenges and obstacles, it is also one that can be rife with serenity, freedom, and many rewards for everyone involved. When families become stronger and empower themselves with knowledge, their loved one will start to feel seen and heard in a new way that will positively affect everyone involved. Ultimately, we believe in the healing power of sobriety and families coming together to find their individual purpose as well as a greater purpose that serves the needs of all family members.