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Family Therapy in Iowa


If you are actively seeking treatment options for a drug or alcohol addiction, you may also benefit from family therapy in Iowa. This type of therapy is often overlooked, yet it can play a critical role in relapse prevention. Family therapy in Iowa can help your entire family heal from the damage caused by addiction.

What is Family Therapy?

Family therapy in Iowa aims to address the needs, feelings and desires of a family as a whole. It is a proven strategy for rebuilding trust, love and compassion for one another and can help all members involved overcome addiction.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that there are over 23.5 million Americans addicted to drugs or alcohol. If you are part of this figure, chances are that you have loved ones that either live with you or see you regularly. Addiction can damage relationships with your loved ones and can even result in neglect or abuse. Family therapy is a good starting point in the recovery process that can be used during rehabilitation or following it.

What is the Family’s Role in Addiction?

Researchers have identified several different roles that are seen in families affected by addiction. By determining these roles within your own family, you can work to overcome them as they all can have a negative impact on the individuals playing them.

The Enabler: This individual, usually a spouse or parent, allows the addiction to continue by helping the addict out of challenging situations. As a result, the addict is never able to fully face his or her consequences. Enablers often work on a subconscious level and don’t realize how their actions are holding the addict back from recovery.

The Hero: Also known as the golden child, this role is found in children. The hero attempts to move attention away from the problem of addiction by excelling in school, sports or other activities. This role wants to cover up the addiction by showing how successful he or she is. However, heroes often end up bottling their feelings.

The Mascot: The mascot, or the family clown, uses humor to defuse emotionally charged situations, such as arguments or discussions about the addiction. This role is most commonly seen in children. Mascots often hide their true feelings.

The Scapegoat: The scapegoat, usually a child, attempts to distract attention from the addiction towards their own self-created problems. Scapegoats are often used as another source of blame within families suffering from addiction. This individual can be at a high risk of developing their own substance use disorder.

How Can Family Therapy Help?

Family therapy in Iowa can help families heal in a variety of different ways. For starters, it can teach all members involved about the true nature of addiction and help resolve feelings of hate or shame towards the addicted member. It can also help families resolve issues within their home and with one another. Another benefit of family therapy is that it aims to equip each member with coping strategies that they can use instead of emotional outbursts or other maladaptive behaviors.

This type of therapy is critical during the treatment phase of recovery and can also be beneficial as part of aftercare. Ongoing participation is the best way to maintain significant progress and prevent relapse.

If you are living with a substance use disorder, you may feel a variety of emotions towards your loved ones. Family therapy can help you and your loved ones regain trust, compassion and peaceful cohabitation. Contact an addiction specialist today for more information on how to get started!