The Family Program
Addiction is a family disease.
The Family Programs at Sanford were created to include the loved ones of our patients during treatment and beyond. Family involvement is one of the most important components for a healthy long-term recovery. Because of this, we provide these programs at no charge to the families of our clients.
Family members can be powerful allies in the recovery process. And while a person is in treatment, it is a good time to involve family members. During the course of their loved one’s care, family members may begin to recognize behaviors and habits that have developed while trying to cope with addiction in the family. Family members will also be supported in shifting their focus to areas of their lives that may have become neglected.
You hear the success stories, and those are the ones that keep you going. The thing you need to remember about addiction treatment, is that if somebody gets well, it’s not just that person. It’s also their family getting well. And I believe it pays dividends for generations, because it creates an atmosphere within the family that is going to be passed on.David Green, Founder and CEO Sanford Behavioral Health
Quite simply, addiction is a family disease, and it will continue to impact the whole family. For some family members, accepting their loved one’s changing behavior in early recovery is difficult. These folks are at a loss as to where their responsibilities lie. What is their new role? Often, as contrary as it may seem, they don’t feel "needed" anymore.
Many family members are not practicing self-compassion. And they may have developed negative physical, psychological, and social symptoms. This is a result of trying to adapt to the stressful living conditions that take place when a loved one is actively using.
Sanford has developed its Family Programs to work with all members of the family. And to help them define their new roles as they move forward. Also, the program gives family members the tools and resources they need to handle the inevitable bumps on the road to recovery.
The Family Program
Family members and loved ones are vital to our patients' recovery. The Sanford Family Program invites friends and family members to come together in a virtual, telehealth group. In this setting you will learn more about addiction and recovery. Family education groups are for the people who will provide support to our patients during and after treatment. Compassionate support is crucial to the continued wellbeing
of those in early recovery. Education is key.
The Family Program provides a space where loved ones of our patients 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. Once you have attended all four Family Education sessions, you will be invited to join Sanford’s Family Support Group (log-in information for the support group is provided by the facilitator once you’ve met the requirements to join).
The Family Education Program
The Family Education Program has four specific sessions for the family and friends of our patients. This is a psychoeducational group to help family members more fully understand the disease of addiction. The Education Series also teaches effective ways to support loved ones through treatment and recovery. This group is a repeating cycle of four educational sessions that meets weekly, Tuesday nights at 7:00 PM (EST).
Session One: How Addiction becomes a Family Disease
Session Two: Understanding the Addictive Disease Process
Session Three: Understanding Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) & Dynamics of Early Recovery
Session Four: Communication for the Recovering Family
Family members of Sanford patients in any of our programs are welcome. A master’s level clinician facilitates the group, and it’s open to all supporting friends and family. We define “family” as parents, spouses, siblings, adult children (and accompanied adolescents), significant others, and encouraging friends.
Friends and Family Support Group
The Friends & Family Support Group provides continuing help and connection. It is guided by the common experience of loving someone with an addiction. The group provides an opportunity for people to share and discuss their challenges and successes. Topics to be discussed are selected by the group.
Anyone who has been through our Family Education Series, or a previous Sanford Family Program is welcome to attend. The 1-hour group is a support group, not a therapy group, and is facilitated by Sanford Family Program staff. This group meets bi-monthly on Wednesday at 6:00 PM (EST). Sanford Family Program Groups are virtual!
Phase One Group - Participants in Phase One have less than 6 months of participation in support group. Because participants are new, groups will be no larger than (approximately) 15 people. In group they share one behavior they are doing well and one behavior that requires improvement in recovery-based situations. They are also encouraged to network with each other. There will be some direction from the facilitator as themes develop. These groups meet weekly for an hour via telehealth.
Phase Two Group - Participants in Phase Two have 6 months of participation in ongoing recovery support group. These groups may be larger. Also, the facilitator will present a 20-minute talk based on codependent behaviors. Participants fill out a worksheet on how the topic applies to their recovery work and discussion as a group will follow. Topics for the presentation will come from the group participants. This group meets every other week for one hour.
Each group above has specific ground rules concerning confidentiality and group mores. Note that support groups do not take the place of individual therapy. If you are an “alumni” of the Sanford Family Program (Education Group) and want to become involved, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Program Resources
We have chosen Excursions articles and outside resources to provide you with more information about detox.
Who Do You Trust? Rebuilding Connection in Family Recovery
When a family loses trust, the sense of connection as a family is also lost. And for the family to achieve true recovery, early steps to rebuild trust and connection lost during active addiction are essential. Rebuilding trust equals reconnection as a family. The ways we deal with our mistrust is critical to how well our family will heal and how long this healing might take.
Self-Care and Support: The Family Recovery Plan
Self-care means committing to one’s own wellbeing. It also means taking steps to keep yourself balanced and in good physical and mental health. Self-care means focusing on your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Likewise, to act consistently and acknowledge that others are impacted by your behaviors.
Why should self-care be a part of your recovery plan? Because you have been living the exact opposite for an extended period of time.Read More
Family Addiction Education - It Takes a Lifetime!
Just as managing addiction is a lifelong process, so must our learning about addictive disease become lifelong. To this end, the family education groups offered at Sanford Behavioral Health are simply stating the basics about addiction and family life. Learning about addictive disease is an enormous motivator for personal growth.Read More
Dynamics of Early Recovery
Not so fast, my friends. Yes, treatment works and opens the path to recovery for those with substance use disorders (SUD) by establishing a foundation, or plan, to follow. However, reconnecting with loved ones following treatment is one of the most awkward and anxious times for the person recovering from an SUD, and their family and friends.Read More
Addiction Defenses: Denial, Justification, Deception, Manipulation
For the family members of an individual developing an SUD, these defenses are known as “the crazy makers”. The “crazy makers” cause frustration, self-doubt, and downright exasperation! But the over-use of defenses is actually a function of a developing brain disease. Knowing this, helps family members and friends.Read More