What to Expect During Family Week
“No man is an island.” John Donne
These five simple words say at all. Every last one of us needs others in our lives. We human beings are social creatures and are interdependent upon one another. Our lives would be quite bleak absent our family and friends. Nothing is more damaging to relationships than alcoholism and addiction. Every member of the family is affected by the disease of the one. The family gets sick together. That is why the family must get well together. That is why we have family week.
When a client goes through Rocky Mountain Treatment Center, family is invited to participate in the family program. They are asked for information about their relationship with their loved one, and are invited to participate in three days of programming designed to help them understand addiction better – how they are affected and how things can be different. And isn’t that what this is all about; how to make things better? So, what can you expect? A lot of honesty.
Most relationships where alcoholism or addiction are involved are usually houses of cards. No one is honest with each other; no one is honest with themselves. There are many hurt feelings and an abundance of blame. Everyone is really good at sharing what they think and really bad at sharing how they feel. Family week deals with this exact problem. For many families, this is the first opportunity to embrace the truth of the matter, which is the family is sick and if something doesn’t change, the family will fall apart. Expect even more…
You can expect to receive an in-depth education on the disease of addiction, addictive thinking and co-dependency. You can expect to receive individual and group counseling, not only related to addiction, but also mental health issues, trauma, grief, overcoming communication barriers, improving family dynamics, and effective coping strategies. You can expect that you will be working with other families that are in the exact same situation as you. This will let you know that you are not alone and you are not the only family going through this. Other families will support your efforts because they mirror their own situation. You can expect that this will all be done in a safe environment with a qualified and compassionate counselor overseeing the whole process. Nobody jumps on anybody; it’s just not allowed. It will be a safe place for you. And, after family week is over, you can expect counselors to follow up with you to help you apply the tools you learned and continue the healing process.
Family week is about creating a positive recovery focused environment for your loved one. It affords everyone in the family the opportunity to see their strengths, recognize thinking errors and learn effective coping strategies. It is how everybody gets better. It is the method for learning about living in union with others for the betterment of us all, the way families were meant to be. Change is possible, and with a little work, probable. If you take advantage of all that family week has to offer, you can reasonably expect an open, honest, and hopeful beginning to your family’s recovery journey.
James A. Francetich is a freelance writer and author. The opinions expressed are solely of the author and do not represent any community based recovery programs, private or public entities or any governmental agencies.