Residential treatment allows you to focus exclusively on recovery. It’s intensive treatment, away from your familiar surroundings. Once you’re ready, it’s time to return home. How do you reconnect with family after treatment? Here are a few tips to help you rebuild and renew your relationships with loved ones.
1. Continue Treatment
As you reconnect with family, it’s likely to bring up complicated feelings. You’ve had a transformative experience, but your family hasn’t. Continuing treatment is an essential part of rebuilding your relationships. You can talk through the situations that arise with your therapist or support groups. You can learn and practice new communication styles. Your residential treatment center may have put together an aftercare plan for you to continue treatment. Following your aftercare plan is essential to handling the stresses and joys of reconnecting with your family.
2. Make Amends When Appropriate
When you were experiencing addiction, you may have done things that hurt your family. For example, many people withdraw and isolate themselves when addicted to drugs or alcohol. This may have left your family feeling neglected or rejected. Reflect on your experiences with your family before you started treatment. You may want to discuss these experiences with a support group or therapist. Think about whether you should make amends and what amends might be appropriate.
Keep in mind that some family members may be ready to talk about the ways they were harmed, but some may not be. Be patient, and when they are ready, ask for forgiveness and find ways to make amends.
3. Consider Family Therapy
Researchers have found that families experiencing addiction often have distinct communication patterns. These may include:
- Negativism: The majority of communication in the family is negative. It might include criticism or complaints.
- Parental inconsistency: Rules and boundaries are erratic. What might be okay one day isn’t the next. This leaves the children in the family confused and uncertain of their place in the family.
- Miscarried expressions of anger: If emotions like anger aren’t able to be expressed, then that anger may come out in other ways. Substance use disorder may be one of these ways.
- Unrealistic expectations: Expectations may be unrealistically high or low. In a family with high expectations, members may feel like they never measure up. In a family with low expectations, members may feel like they’ll never succeed, so why bother trying.
Recognizing and changing these patterns is difficult. Family therapy can help you and your family uncover unhealthy communication patterns and learn to change them, which benefits everyone. Some family members may not be willing to engage in therapy, but it can’t hurt to ask.
4. Meet Them Where They Are
Some family members may be ready to engage and reconnect. Other family members may be more hesitant. Respect what each family member wants. For those that are ready to reconnect, look for ways to rebuild your relationship that are meaningful to them. Consider joining them in activities they enjoy or making a meal for them that you know they’ll enjoy.
If you’re reconnecting with children, things might be bumpy at times. They may not be used to you setting boundaries and enforcing rules. Play with them, spend time with them, and listen to them. It will take time, but you can reconnect with them. Family therapy or individual therapy can help children and teens find a way to talk about and express their feelings.
Reconnecting With Family
Reconnecting with family might seem intimidating. It will take time to find your footing and rebuild your relationships. Social connections are essential to recovery, though. Relationships with family, friends, and peers in recovery can help you maintain your sobriety. You deserve safe, supportive people in your life. Those people might be friends you made in your treatment program, family members, and current support group members.
About Cliffside Malibu
At Cliffside Malibu, we offer an individualized treatment program that can include the family. Our family program includes education and therapy to help you and your loved ones uncover destructive patterns. Together, we work through the Stages of Change. The Stages of Change model is evidence-based and proven to help people make meaningful, lasting changes. As you work through the stages, your family will as well.
When it comes to your care, we offer services for each stage of recovery. We offer a safe, comfortable, medically supervised detox, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient treatment. In addition to a treatment plan designed specifically for you, Cliffside Malibu offers luxury accommodations, five-star dining, peaceful surroundings, and a wealth of amenities. You can relax, rejuvenate, and focus your time and energy on your recovery and health.
As people leave our treatment program, we develop an aftercare plan to ensure continued support. We’re also available for support, even after you leave formal treatment.
For more information on Cliffside Malibu, visit cliffsidemalibu.com.