Unexpected Ways Addiction Affects Relationships

Healing Relationships Affected by Addiction: A Dual Perspective

When you’re in a relationship with someone struggling with addiction, it’s easy to believe that if the addiction gets under control, everything will be okay. However, addiction impacts relationships in profound and unexpected ways, and repairing that damage is a complex process.

The Dual Impact of Addiction

Addiction doesn't just hurt the person using substances; it affects everyone close to them. To understand the full scope of its impact, we need to look at it from both perspectives: the person with the addiction and their loved ones.

The Loved One’s Perspective

For the loved one, the journey through a partner's addiction is often marked by a rollercoaster of emotions. There’s the initial hope that the situation will improve, followed by disappointment when it doesn’t, creating a cycle of trust and betrayal. Over time, this repeated cycle can lead to deep-seated resentment and a profound...

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The Dangers of Counseling

The Risks of Counseling for Your Addicted Loved One: Why Timing and Insight Matter

Are you grappling with the daunting task of convincing your addicted loved one to seek counseling? Before you dive headfirst into individual or couples therapy, it's crucial to understand the potential pitfalls that could arise. In this insightful post, we'll explore why rushing into counseling can sometimes backfire and how timing and insight play vital roles in the effectiveness of therapy.

Why Couples Counseling Might Not Be the Solution

You might believe that couples counseling could be the key to addressing your loved one's substance abuse issues. After all, it's an opportunity to address relationship dynamics while tackling addiction. Unfortunately, the reality is often far from ideal.

One significant risk of couples counseling is the potential for each party to seek validation from the counselor. Your loved one may enter the session expecting the therapist to side with their perspective,...

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Does Couples Therapy Make Things Worse? A must-watch for couples!

Here's what usually happens when people go to couples counseling and there's an addiction involved. Naturally, the person with an addiction problem doesn't want to discuss it. They're incredibly defensive about it, and if you bring it up in a couple's counseling session, that person will feel very much ganged up on whether they are or not, they're going to feel backed into a corner. Guess what will happen? They're going to quit going, and the only other option would be not to bring up the person's addiction. In that case, why are we ignoring the big elephant in the room?

Suppose the counselor doesn't realize this vast giant addiction problem is happening. In that case, they're probably going to be giving lots of bad advice because they're going to be working on the wrong things, even though I don't think that traditional couples counseling is beneficial when it comes to one or more other partners having an addiction I am a big believer in the idea that the whole family system...

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How To Talk Someone Into Making A Positive Change

Therapists use special communication techniques to help people overcome their fears and make positive changes. These communication techniques are straightforward; anyone can use these skills as long as they know how they work. (not just for addiction)
If you want to learn how to communicate effectively with someone to motivate them to make a positive change, use these techniques:
  • Let them bring up the problem first (change talk)
  • Ask when they became aware there was an issue. Example: "What makes you think there's a problem? Or What happened to make you realize there's a problem? Or When did you become aware that this wasn't working for you?"
  • Reflect on their issue with empathy. 
  • Ask for an example of the problem they're dealing with
  • Validate their feelings with a reflection statement 
  • Ask what they're afraid might happen. (What's the roadblock?) 
  • Be relatable but don't steal the attention 
  • Say it before they think it 
  • Extract...
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