10 Components of a Recovery-Friendly Home

recovery-friendly home with wooden cutouts of heart and house

A recovery-friendly home is where the heart is.

The family programs at Sanford Behavioral Health were created to include our clients’ loved ones during treatment and beyond. The Family Program provides education and support about the disease of addiction, recovery, and how to create a recovery-friendly home. Family involvement is one of the essential components of a healthy long-term recovery. Because of this, we provide these programs at no charge to our client’s families.


Building a Recovery-Friendly Home

The Family Program, managed via telehealth, provides a space where loved ones can ask questions, voice concerns, and obtain current information about the disease of addiction. We encourage all supportive loved ones to take advantage of this valuable resource. Why is family important to recovery? Because members of a recovery-friendly home acknowledge addiction as a brain disease and treat their loved ones as they would with any other chronic disease. They accommodate their loved one’s needs and demonstrate compassion, respect, and acceptance.


Components of a Recovery-Friendly Environment

  1. Loved ones acknowledge addiction as a brain disease.
  2. Adults in the family participate in their individual recovery plan, including ongoing education.
  3. All members are part of the support network.
  4. Everyone in the family acknowledges that their behavior significantly influences their loved one’s recovery.
  5. They do not take the disease of addiction as a personal affront.
  6. They accept that the disease’s recurrence is possible and have a plan.
  7. A system is in place to monitor everyone’s progress in recovery.
  8. Family members have an uninterrupted, safe space and time for weekly active engagement to share progress, struggles, and successes.
  9. No one blames, shames, judges, or controls the other’s behavior. Everyone is accountable and responsible for their feelings, actions, and reactions.
  10. Assertive Communication is implemented in household discussions.


family program resources button

Click the PHOTO for more articles by Family Program Facilitator Carli Noffsinger, LMSW, CAADC.


Recovery-Friendly Home – Family Education Program

The family education program at Sanford Behavioral Health has four specific sessions. This is a psychoeducational group to help family members more fully understand the disease of addiction. The education series also teaches practical ways to support loved ones through treatment and recovery. This group is a repeating cycle of four educational sessions that meet weekly.

  • Session one – How addiction becomes a family disease
  • Session two – Learning about the addictive disease process
  • Session three – Understanding post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) and dynamics of early recovery
  • Session four – Communication for the recovery-friendly home

Family members of clients in any of our programs are welcome. A master’s level clinician facilitates the group, and it is open to all supporting friends and family. We define “family” as parents, spouses, siblings, adult children (and accompanied adolescents), significant others, and encouraging friends.


Family and Friends Support Groups

The family and friends support group provides continuing help and connection for anyone who has been through the family education program. It is guided by the shared experience of loving someone with an addiction. The three-phase support group schedule allows people to share and discuss their challenges and successes over time. Phase I meets weekly, Phase II bi-weekly, and Phase III meets quarterly for “family tune-ups.” Each group has specific ground rules concerning confidentiality and group mores. (Please keep in mind that support groups do not take the place of individual therapy.) Click the link for more information about the FAMILY PROGRAM.


If you are an alumni of the Sanford Behavioral Health Family Program and want to become involved, please contact familysupport@sanfordhouse.com.



Caroline (Carli) Parmelee-Noffsinger has 20 years clinical experience including: primary therapist and case manager for residential, IOP and outpatient therapy. Carli’s primary role at Sanford House is facilitating the Family Program. She is currently updating and revising the program design and content and hopes to improve upon an already successful approach to family intervention. In her free time, Carli spends time with her horse. She has been a horse lover and owner for most of her life and has facilitated equine therapy sessions. She says, “The back of a horse is good for the inside of a person.” You can reach Carli with questions about The Sanford House Family Program at cnoffsinger@sanfordhouse.com