Couples Counseling in Addiction Treatment

Also known as couple's therapy, couples counseling is a form of therapy that can prove useful in cases where one or both parties to a relationship are struggling with substance abuse and addiction.

This is particularly important especially when you consider the fact that alcohol and drug abuse and addiction are major problems in the United States. They are also among the major sources of marital and relationship breakups.

Most of the issues that surround addicted are focused on the psychological and physical effects of drug and alcohol abuse. However, addiction can also have other devastating effects on a relationship.

Even in the absence of this problem, many relationships are complex and difficult to maintain. They also require a great deal of care and work. When you add substance abuse and addiction to the mix, the relationship may be damaged even further than it otherwise would have been.

In many cases, the partner who has been struggling with addiction might be in denial - which could become a problem within the relationship. They will also engage in secrecy to abuse drugs. This could result in isolation, distance, and significant strain on a relationship. Apart from trust issues, aggression and anger might arise in a relationship affected by addiction.

On the other hand, the partner of the addict might start covering up for them, making excuses on their behalf, and overlooking poor behavior and accidents. It is also highly likely that they will start suffering from codependency or even find that they already have a tendency to involve themselves in relationships with people who are needy, emotionally unavailable, and unreliable. Even if they try to control the relationship, they will find that they cannot.

Apart from the problems occasioned by addiction, financial issues might also affect the couple. Resentment is another problem that could arise especially if they have one account - such as a joint account. This is particularly true if the addict starts spending the money in the account carelessly.

If you are the partner to an addict and you try to control them or cut them off from the joint account, this could lead to contention which could add other additional problems to the relationship.

Overcoming Addiction in a Relationship

Having a partner who is struggling with substance abuse and addiction can be an incredibly difficult and intense experience. Often times, this could lead to a demise in your relationship. For this reason, making the choice to get divorced, to breakup, or to work through the problems is a deeply personal decision - and one that will require a great deal of consideration and time.

In some situations, you may feel that the betrayals you have undergone are too great. As a result, you may feel that you it is impossible for you to re-establish trust in the relationship. In other situations, you may want to help your partner overcome their substance abuse problem.

The important thing to keep in mind is that substance abuse and addiction are incurable and progressive illnesses. However, they are like any other disease in the sense that they can be brought into remission. It is also possible for the addict to recover.

The Treatment Process

In many cases, treatment will take the form of group therapy, marital or couples counseling, and individual therapy. The treatment process will try to break through the denial before progress can be made. Once this happens, the program will create an appropriate treatment plan.

If your partner is struggling with an addiction and they are enrolled in a treatment program, they may wish to include you in the recovery process. This is because research studies have shown that involving a romantic or loving partner could increase the chances that the treatment will succeed.

But exactly how does couples counseling work in helping with drug and alcohol addiction? Essentially, you or your partner might not be able to see why it is important for both of you to be involved in the treatment process. However, this is not the case as many research studies have reported.

For instance, if your addicted partner is going to Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings and you are attending Al-Anon meetings, and the both of you are seeking couples counseling services, it is highly likely that your relationship will stabilize.

All these meetings might also improve your relationship as each of you - both individually and together - work through the difficulties that you experienced when your addicted loved one was engaged in unhealthy and destructive behaviors. For instance, you will finally get the opportunity to face up to the patterns of secrecy and lies as well as seek and grant forgiveness.

As the co-dependent partner, the recovery process will come when you get the chance to address your own needs and requirements instead of continuing to tolerate mistreatment or attempting to save your partner. It is recommended that you remember the importance of changing your own behavioral partners especially if you have been enabling your loved one in their substance abuse and addiction.

Through couples counseling, you can improve your awareness of any behaviors in the relationship that are dysfunction. It could also help you and your partner develop new coping skills.

Some of the recurrent themes in these counseling sessions include limit-setting ND communication, among many others. Further, the focus will be on forgiveness as well as on building a newer and brighter future with your loved ones. For this reason, it is important that the both of you recognize and accept the fact that recovering from addiction is a lifelong commitment.

Therapists who work with addicts and their partners often believe in the importance of handling the entire situation with patience, acceptance, and empathy. They also believe that forgiveness, hard work, and the right kind of counseling and support can help couples heal their relationships as well as ensure that they are able to create new relationships that are healthier than ever before.

Overall, however, it is necessary to note that couples counseling often takes a great deal of persistence, patience, and time. However, it comes with many benefits both for the addict and their partner as well as to the other parties to the relationship - such as the family unit, the relationship itself, and the professional and social circles that the couple moves in. This is because couples counseling helps the clients build a new level of intimacy and trust.

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