When it comes to addiction rehabilitation, family and loved ones can be the difference between success and disappointment. Exactly how we involve and include families in the recovery process is key, says psychologist Jane Enter.
It’s often said that addiction is a family affair. The heartbreak and devastation an addiction can wreak is not limited to the person with the addiction, and families especially often bear the heaviest load. Conversely, in many circumstances family or loved ones can contribute to negative feelings or behaviours in the person experiencing addiction. So, it stands to reason that family plays a key role in recovery. Defining exactly what that role is, and how it is implemented is an important step toward sustainable change.
Psychologist Jane Enter has over four decades experience in addiction rehabilitation and has seen the difference family support can make to someone in recovery.
Enter explains that at Raindrum Private Rehabilitation, where she is co-clinical director, the family experience is different to many other clinics.
Breaking away from this model, Raindrum’s private treatment programs, where clients receive treatment from private and exclusive accommodation, allow for family members to join the client for a short time, once the client has progressed through the majority of their treatment, and where it is deemed appropriate by the clinical team. The family member is treated as an individual, and their own experience is heard and honoured, before they are ever asked to become part of the ongoing support system for the client.
Enter says in the Raindrum model, the family member or loved one is given their own, separate therapist, and their individual experience is heard and understood. Only after this, and when the family member is ready, are they integrated into the treatment program. She believes this is one of the reasons behind the success of Raindrum’s addiction treatment programs.