The transition from rehab back to everyday life can be difficult. Your family, loved ones, friends, colleagues, and even acquaintances, are all important parts of your safety net in recovery. Expanding your safety net can help you remain sober. Easing your way back into your family and work obligations can make for a smoother transition. Engaging in family therapy while undergoing treatment and continuing therapy post-rehab can play a pivotal role in mitigating issues as they arise.
It’s important to be fair to yourself. After rehab, you will likely have to alter aspects of your daily routine in order to reduce high risk triggers and keep yourself on the path to lasting sobriety. Family can help you on the path to lasting recovery by maintaining a positive mindset and avoiding behaviors that can be triggering or enable problematic thinking and behaviors.
Talk to your family honestly about what you need from them to help you navigate the day to day. In the initial days and weeks after completing rehab treatment, you will need extra care and attention as well as space to yourself to reflect on your intentions and goals. Too much idle time is risky for those in recovery as this can open up space for negative thoughts to creep in. Finding a healthy middleground is an important aspect of learning about yourself in recovery.
The Importance of Aftercare for Relapse Prevention
Aftercare is an essential part of the recovery process. Aftercare needs vary from person to person. Some find a great deal of benefit from engaging with others in anonymous groups like AA, NA, or related 12-step programs. Others prefer to find their own path but may still benefit from having a sober sponsor available in moments when they feel their willpower is not as strong. A sponsor can be an active listener and a person to lean on when you feel temptations and cravings, negative thoughts, or the temptation to relapse.
Dual Diagnosis and Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders
The vast majority of those who have substance abuse issues also struggle with one or more mental health issues. In a high quality treatment program like those offered by Oasis Recovery, in North Carolina, clients follow a treatment plan that is designed to meet their personal needs. Our treatment plans treat the whole person. This means we focus on both physical health, mental health, and emotional health in order to promote overall well-being.
Our mental health therapies include both scientifically-proven traditional methods as well as holistic therapies. Therapy options include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Family Therapy
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been one of the most effective therapeutic models for treating mental health conditions and addiction. Counselors who use CBT help identify and change negative thought patterns and replace them with thoughts and behaviors that are positive and healthy.
Strategies for changing thoughts and behaviors can include:
- Improving self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence
- Understanding other people’s intentions
- Learning to recognize and accept harmful thoughts and emotions
- Developing techniques to better cope with stressful situations
- Learning to control your emotional responses to stressful interactions
CBT encourages clients to consider connections between your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. CBT therapists usually suggest a set number of sessions to address a particular issue a patient is working through.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavior Therapy (DBT) helps clients find healthier approaches to the challenges of everyday life. DBT counselors often provide homework assignments for clients to reflect on between sessions. Counselors use DBT to help teach clients learn methods to accept their personal situation and learn therapeutic techniques that promote positive thinking and healthy behaviors.
DBT helps clients:
- Learn to combat intrusive thoughts
- Avoid negative thought patterns
- Avoid a tendency towards black and white thinking
DBT has demonstrated success in clients ability to complete treatment programs and maintain a life of sobriety.
Individual therapy involves working one-one-one with a therapist or counselor. Patients develop goals and a treatment plan with their counselor and have regular sessions. During individual therapy sessions, clients receive personalized care from a therapist who they learn to know and trust.
The bond created with an individual therapist is important for clients as they learn coping skills that will help them change their thoughts and behaviors to avoid substance abuse. Therapists help clients develop life skills that can be applied in everyday circumstances to avoid relapse in sober life.
How Family Therapy Can Help Improve Life in Recovery
When it comes to family, there are always deeply embedded issues and challenges that can affect the mental health of your spouse, children, and other relatives. Coming to terms with the need for counseling is one of the most difficult steps in this process. Compliance of other family members can be tricky but is essential.
There are many common ways in which family members accidentally make life for their loved ones difficult. Family members can unintentionally create challenges and obstacles for those who are doing their best to maintain sobriety. Family therapy can be an invaluable resource for learning methods to provide help that helps instead of help that hurts.
Codependency happens in situations where your emotions are wrapped up or “enmeshed” with those of others. In codependent circumstances, if one person isn’t happy, their spouse is unlikely to be happy either. If you’re not happy, the rest of those in your household may be struggling as a result.
In family therapy, a mental health counselor can help you break the habit of codependent behavior. This can include:
- Taking responsibility for the actions of others
- Worry about problems that are not your own
- Trying to protect others at a cost to your own well-being
- Approval seeking
- Lack of self-worth resulting in unreasonable expectations
- Relationship dynamics that are not based on mutual respect
- Trying to change others
- Telling others what they “should do”
- Letting others take advantage of you and your time
- Neglecting your self-care needs
A therapist can help you and your family discuss ways to validate each other and unravel the negative effects of codependency.
2. Communication Breakdown
Sometimes you reach a point where you’re not communicating well with others and they’re not communicating well with you. Unfortunately, many relationships develop bad communication habits such as talking past one another instead of being a good active listener. A therapist can help you, your spouse, and family members learn techniques for active listening and practice respectful ways to engage in conversation.
3. Disinterest in Family Activities
There are many reasons why family members may express disinterest in activities. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of lack of money and savings. Working with a financial planner as well as a therapist could help you better navigate the day to day and allow you to get back to engaging in activities you mutually enjoy.
There are instances when families stop going on vacations together because something seems to always go wrong and everyone insists they are not having a good time. There could be any number of reasons why this is the case. One reason could be that anticipation is one of the most enjoyable aspects of travel. In general, looking forward to activities is often as much fun, if not more fun, than the activities themselves. Learning how to let other family members play a role in vacation or general activity planning can help create excitement around upcoming family activities.
4. A Family Member Struggling With Addiction
When a family member is battling addiction, it affects the rest of the family unit. It’s difficult to watch a family member struggle and put themselves in dangerous situations or otherwise at risk. Families who deal with addiction often suffer mental health challenges as a result. They want to help but feel helpless.
Family therapy can help clients learn ways to navigate the emotional distress caused by watching up close as another family member struggles with addiction and recovery. It’s important to remember that individuals with family support have a much higher chance of lasting recovery if they have a support system in place. Family can provide reassurance and validation as someone goes through the process of recovery and learns skills for sober living.
5. Family Integration
Family integration is a therapy program designed to help families learn improved communication skills. Sessions are personalized and tailored for individuals, spouses, siblings, parents, and children, so that each family member feels their voice is heard. Families learn important self-care strategies that they can use to better engage when family disputes arise.
In family integration sessions, family members learn to:
- Regain trust in other family members
- Find ways to forgive negative past behaviors and incidents
- How to take personal responsibility for your actions
- Expectation management
Contact Oasis Recovery for more Tips on Returning to Family Life After Rehab
Repairing relationships is often important as having a family member with an addiction often results in trust issues and boundary issues. It’s important that families learn how to provide useful help without enabling problematic behavior. Instead, families must learn how to encourage positive behavior and life choices. It’s important for all family members to believe the truth that lasting recovery from addiction is always possible.
At Oasis Recovery, our medical professionals pride themselves in their ability to assist those in recovery as they work to mend relationships with family members and learn tactics to create a positive and healthy lifestyle. Family plays an integral role in preventing relapse and making sure their loved one feels supported as they return to everyday life with the intention of lasting sobriety. Reach out to Oasis Recovery today to speak with a specialist who can provide you with more information about how to create a smooth transition from rehab back to the responsibilities and obligations of everyday family life.