Family Relationships Can Hold the Key to Change
Relationships between family members are often tested more frequently and more fiercely than any other relationships in our lives. The trials of life can push those bonds to the brink and strain our feelings of love and compassion. But for someone struggling with addiction or another behavioral health issue, family ties can be among the most effective in bringing about lasting change.
At Family Recovery Resource Experts, we aim to rebuild relationships between family members and repair the connections that can lead to healing on all sides.
Problems show up in relationships
Before any discussion about behavioral health problems can take place, it’s important to consider how we got to this stage. For parents of a teen or young adult, often we are only just starting to see the behavioral patterns develop. The discussion can then come from a place of prevention and de-escalation. But for parents of an adult child, we must recognize that behavioral patterns have become well-ingrained in their lives and have become the lens with which they view the world.
In either case, the strains between family relationships often stem from a desire to control the situation. For parents, it is often the desire to rein in what they see as dangerous behavior and control their child with the sole purpose of preventing harm. For many children, they want to have control over their own lives and have their parents see them for who they are. That struggle between control and access can strain relationships and create volatile interactions.
Recognizing relationship realities
To help mitigate those conflicts and rebuild strong family bonds, we at FRrē strive to help all parties involved recognize and accept each other’s realities. Families often struggle as they try to convince others to adopt their own point of view instead of listening to what the other person is saying. That disconnect can lead to anger, rejection, and often further strain already fractured relationships. It’s important to realize that most people just want to have their reality validated by their family members, rather than rejected. That recognition opens up the discussion to the real issue at hand.
When we can move past labeling each other and rejecting one another’s experiences, we can then start to replace reactivity with respect. When we’ve moved from “right and wrong” to respectful understanding, we create a shared experience. It is within this respectful environment and shared reality that true healing can begin to take place.
Relationships create change
Simply recognizing each other’s realities will not solve all the issues at hand, but it is an important first step in working towards healing. Recognition can help family members understand their own role in contributing to the problem, and can help the person who is struggling feel validated and connected to the important people in their life.
Many of the issues that we see at FRrē stem from the fact that a family member has isolated themselves from the primary relationships in their life. So our aim is to help family members extend lifelines of support to one another and reestablish meaningful connections. By doing so, they not only create a support network to help family members through their difficult time, but they also provide a source of motivation for change to take place.