Family Therapy For Addiction

family therapy in recovery

When someone is suffering with substance abuse, the whole family suffers. That is why therapy with all of the family members is an important component of treatment.

Substance abuse can impact every area of one’s life. From work to friendships to relationships with family members, everyone and everything is affected. It is known to be a family disease as so many lives are touched. That is why many substance abuse and mental health treatment centers believe in the power of family therapy for addiction treatment.

What is Family Therapy?

Family therapy is the coming together of family members to work with a treatment provider and one another for improved communication, enhanced relationships, and in this instance, addiction treatment for the family member who is struggling with substance abuse. Throughout family therapy while one is in either residential treatment or outpatient treatment, a professional family therapist will address and identify specific problems and patterns within the family unit.

There is a wide range of addiction treatment therapies that may come into play throughout family therapy. But, the overall goal is to have family counseling that can help each family member to feel supported. Additionally, family interventions and family therapy have proven to help the individual who is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse and/or mental illness to feel supported and encouraged to stay on the path to recovery. 

Sometimes there are unwilling family members or a family is not traditional, but a blended family and a non-traditional family participate in family therapy at rehab centers just as regularly. The goal in family therapy during addiction treatment is the same for everyone: to learn new skills, improve family communication, address substance abuse and mental health issues, and to get the loved one who is in treatment to stay on a path of sobriety and healing. If a family member is unwilling, then therapy sessions that address the family system will still be conducted with the other members of the family who are supporting the addiction treatment program and overall mental health services that are being offered. 

How Can Family Therapy Help With My Addiction Treatment?

While addiction can greatly affect the entire family, a supportive family can also greatly impact the overall addiction recovery process for alcohol abuse and for substance use disorder. According to the American Addiction Centers, more than one out of 10 children under the age of 18 lives with an adult who has substance use disorder.

Fortunately, a family therapist can help address the family system throughout the treatment process as treatment is not just for the family member who is engaging in drug abuse or alcohol abuse. The addiction treatment is actually for the whole family so everyone can heal and address their own needs. The goal in functional family therapy is to ensure that all members of the family work to understand substance use disorders and to engage in behavioral strategies that result in lasting, positive change.

Family therapy sessions with an addiction specialist treatment provider include behavioral health and mental health services that are designed to address substance abuse, to improve communication, and to improve family relationships. Depending on the particular family dynamics, the severity of the loved one’s addiction, whether or not parenting skills need to be addressed, and the interest of the family members to heal, there are many positive results that can occur after strategic family therapy. With family involvement in therapy for substance misuse, some of the results of family counseling at a treatment center can include:

  • Creating healthy boundaries with family before and during family conflict
  • Tackling behavioral problems in the home environment and establishing behavioral goals
  • Gaining insight into complex family relationships
  • Heal from past family violence 
  • Building and maintaining coping skills throughout addiction treatment and always
  • Communicating effectively with the addicted person and all family members
  • Understanding previous family roles and negative patterns
  • Improving communication and overall family dynamics 
  • Establishing a broadened ability to empathize for the substance abuser and the family members
  • Enhancing problem-solving skills with each unique family relationship
  • Learning anger management skills and addressing behavioral goals
  • Looking at issues relating to anxiety and depression
  • Improving mental health and overall well being

Why Choose CRC in Chicago for Family Therapy?

CRC in Chicago is home to the industry’s most stimulating and successful programming for an evidence-based personalized approach to substance abuse treatment and health optimization that facilitates whole-person healing. CRC’s clinical and wellness team consists of the best doctors, clinicians, and holistic practitioners for therapy for substance misuse. 

At CRC, the trained and expert family therapists employ evidence based treatment options for substance abuse and mental health programs. The family therapist who you work with at CRC will specialize in family behavior therapy, addiction treatment for the entire family, and family therapies for mental health.

In order for substance abusers to heal from a chronic condition, one thing has to change – everything. This is why it is so important that family support is a part of the equation. This journey towards addiction recovery is different for every individual, but the two elements that are always involved include connection and magic. In order to achieve these two components, our therapies at CRC in Chicago are:

Gender Specific

Treating patients in groups by gender allows for safer healing environments and more comprehensive care. Offering gender-specific treatments is something very unique to our program at CRC in Chicago, and we take extra steps to create a supportive and empathetic culture. As a result, our patients receive a truly safe, respectful, and distraction-free environment.

Holistic Therapies

Our holistic practitioners work with our doctors and psychiatrists to configure the most effective, evidence-based activities that support our patients’ individual needs. Our holistic programming adds an extra layer of treatment that is exclusive to CRC.


Our person-centered programs and therapies address each individual as a whole person.

Medical Evaluations

When you begin substance use treatment at CRC, we include a 360 palm print analysis, a fully comprehensive blood panel to determine any deficiencies, and a complete physical, nutritional, and wellness examination.

Our Board-certified and licensed medical team goes to extraordinary lengths to fully and comprehensively evaluate all of our patients’ concerns, needs, medical history, and specific goals for recovery. Our unique combination of therapy, clinical modalities, and outpatient programs have consistently proven to help individuals overcome and heal from substance abuse for a successful long-term recovery.

If you want to gain more information about family therapy for addiction in Chicago, visit CRC’s website at or call (312) 858-0422.

Reviewed by Dr. Beth Dunlap

Dr. Beth Dunlap, a board-certified addiction medicine and family medicine physician, is the medical director at CRC Institute, where she is responsible for overseeing all the integrated medical services at the Institute. Beth completed medical school, residency, and fellowship at Northwestern University, where she continues to serve on the faculty as a member of the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She has extensive experience in addiction medicine at all levels of care, and her clinical interests include integrated primary care and addiction medicine, harm reduction, and medication-assisted treatment.

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