Excerpt from "TIP 39: Chapter 1 Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy"

Discussion in 'Parenting News' started by maril, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. maril

    maril New Member

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64269/

    Lengthy, yet interesting and informative. Unfortunately, I could not locate the date this was written.

    Following is an excerpt:

    Introduction

    The family has a central role to play in the treatment of any health problem, including substance abuse. Family work has become a strong and continuing theme of many treatment approaches (Kaufmann and Kaufman 1992a; McCrady and Epstein 1996), but family therapy is not used to its greatest capacity in substance abuse treatment. A primary challenge remains the broadening of the substance abuse treatment focus from the individual to the family.
    The two disciplines, family therapy and substance abuse treatment, bring different perspectives to treatment implementation. In substance abuse treatment, for instance, the client is the identified patient (IP)—the person in the family with the presenting substance abuse problem. In family therapy, the goal of treatment is to meet the needs of all family members. Family therapy addresses the interdependent nature of family relationships and how these relationships serve the IP and other family members for good or ill. The focus of family therapy treatment is to intervene in these complex relational patterns and to alter them in ways that bring about productive change for the entire family. Family therapy rests on the systems perspective. As such, changes in one part of the system can and do produce changes in other parts of the system, and these changes can contribute to either problems or solutions.
    It is important to understand the complex role that families can play in substance abuse treatment. They can be a source of help to the treatment process, but they also must manage the consequences of the IP’s addictive behavior. Individual family members are concerned about the IP’s substance abuse, but they also have their own goals and issues. Providing services to the whole family can improve treatment effectiveness.
    Meeting the challenge of working together will call for mutual understanding, flexibility, and adjustments among the substance abuse treatment provider, family therapist, and family. This shift will require a stronger focus on the systemic interactions of families. Many divergent practices must be reconciled if family therapy is to be used in substance abuse treatment. For example, the substance abuse counselor typically facilitates treatment goals with the client; thus the goals are individualized, focused mainly on the client. This reduces the opportunity to include the family’s perspective in goal setting, which could facilitate the healing process for the family as a whole.
    Working out ways for the two disciplines to collaborate also will require a re‐examination of assumptions common in the two fields. Substance abuse counselors often focus on the individual needs of people with substance use disorders, urging them to take care of themselves. This viewpoint neglects to highlight the impact these changes will have on other people in the family system. When the IP is urged to take care of himself, he often is not prepared for the reactions of other family members to the changes he experiences, and often is unprepared to cope with these reactions. On the other hand, many family therapists have hoped that bringing about positive changes in the family system concurrently might improve the substance use disorder. This view tends to minimize the persistent, sometimes overpowering process of addiction.
    Both of these views are consistent with their respective fields, and each has explanatory power, but neither is complete. Addiction is a major force in people with substance abuse problems. Yet, people with substance abuse problems also reside within a powerful context that includes the family system. Therefore, in an integrated substance abuse treatment model based on family therapy, both family functioning and individual functioning play important roles in the change process (
    Liddle and Hogue 2001).
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
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