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Togetherness - A family's importance in aftercare

05.01.2018 - Addiction, Articles, Mental health

The family’s involvement in aftercare is a critical element of effective care. Involving client families in the therapeutic programme can improve communications, reduce stress and help your client's recovery from co-occurring disorders. Mental health and addiction issues are for a family’s wellbeing more damaging than poverty or natural disasters. Nothing breaks families more than the mental imbalance of one of their family members. 

During the most extreme circumstances, our ability to cope with trauma has its foundation in the deep connection that we have with one another. The trust, support and empathy that we receive and give, the emotions that we share. Mental imbalance makes all of the above impossible, the trust is lost, the empathy is non-existent and it`s impossible to realise the emotional connection. 

Our Family Programmes help family members to gain a better understanding of what addiction and mental health means. It provides better strategies to cope with any challenges they may face and offers an increased awareness of the role they play in the family system. The main goal of the family psychoeducation programme is to  address the family's present and future needs. 

Each client benefits from a uniquely designed Family Programme based on the recommendations of our medical and clinical teams, as well as taking into account the particular social context, needs and treatment goals. 

The most important component of the Family Programme is psychoeducation. This is a great opportunity for family members to learn more about the psychological dysfunction, medication, risks, implications and ways in which they could offer support. Families can be engaged at any point during the treatment process. Sometimes our relationship with the family begins before the client came into treatment and goes beyond the residential stage into aftercare.

Most clients fear that the Family Programme will be a burdensome and stressful experience for family members but we always do our best to create a stress-free environment; it is easier to learn if everyone in the family is relaxed and feels safe.

We are trying to create an atmosphere of hope; expressing our confidence that recovery from co-occurring disorders is possible and that change is possible. We always focus on the present and future, and not the past.

At the Kusnacht Practice we fully understand the importance of a strong support network around our clients, therefore helping them to rebuild their family relationships and reconnect in a harmonious way to their social network is paramount to their recovery.

Author: Raluca Babota - Aftercare Coordinator, The Kusnacht Practice