Family Counseling and Why It’s Important

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:


When someone is struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD), they need strong support. Inpatient treatment is extremely beneficial for treating SUD, as it provides a steady flow of support from clinical staff and peers. While someone is receiving this intense, structured support, they still need family, friends, or partners during this time. Family counseling allows those recovering to stay connected with those they love through providing tools to mend relationships.

What Does Family Therapy Involve?

Family therapy aims to address all participants’ needs and intervene in complicated family relational patterns while managing interdependent relationships. There are four predominant family therapy treatment models:

  1. The Family Disease Model – This model views addiction as a disease that affects the whole family. Co-dependency is an issue that many family members suffer from when their loved ones struggle with SUD. If a family member is co-dependent, they may continue to enable addiction. This model helps address the issues of the entire family, from SUD to co-dependency.
  2. The Family Systems Model – A family can develop a balance of homeostasis around a person’s drug use. For example, a parent who is addicted to substances may be unable to properly communicate with their children unless they are intoxicated. The Family Systems model approaches this issue by attempting to fix the miscommunication between family members and provide positive communication tools.
  3. Cognitive Behavior Techniques – This approach assumes that family interactions influence a person’s substance abuse. For example, children who experience trauma in their homes growing up may develop substance use issues to alleviate any mental effects of trauma. Cognitive behavior techniques seek to distinguish behaviors associated with triggers that cause SUD and help a patient develop healthy coping skills.
  4. Multidimensional Family Therapy – This technique has integrated several different methods to emphasize the relationships between cognition, emotions, behavior, and environmental input. Multidimensional family therapy is the most recently developed form of family therapy.


Those suffering from substance use disorder are not the only ones affected by their drug use. Substance use can affect families and entire communities as well. While there are options for those who use substances to seek recovery, family and loved ones may feel they have no resources. However, there are numerous counseling and support groups for family and loved ones of addicts. Several different forms of family therapy exist, including the family disease model, the family systems model, cognitive behavior techniques, and multidimensional family therapy. At Avalon Malibu, we offer a family counseling model tailored to best suit our clients’ needs. Family is the best support while in recovery, and we believe in supporting the family unit as a whole. If you or a loved one suffers from substance use disorder and your family needs support, call us today at (844) 857-2559. You and your family deserve to live a happy, healthy life.

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