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Family Education Week & More
Twenty years of addiction research has determined that successful treatment of an addicted person ideally includes the education of family members. Just as the disease of addiction causes dysfunctional behaviors in the addict, so too does it have psychological emotional and spiritual effects on family members. At first the family commonly denies the reality of the disease. Then family members unintentionally enable the progression of the illness. Finally, the family might fall into an attitude of hopelessness of ever effecting any positive change in the addicted person.
Family members sometimes exhibit somatic disorders in relation to a loved oneís addiction. These might include heightened anxiety, stress, and depression. Historically, treatment focused only on the addicted person. However, addiction researchers Weg Scheider, Black, et al., have conclusively demonstrated that untreated family members continue to suffer the effects of living with the disease. Further, family members who are educated and work a recovery program provide a highly encouraging atmosphere for recovering alcoholics and addicts.
Family Education Week
LMRC conducts five-day educational sessions for families of alcoholics and addicts. Participating family members undergo a thorough regimen of education and group work. They learn about addiction dynamics, primary social stressors, and maladaptive reactions. They are given nutritional guidance and education about support group fundamentals as well.
Group sharing allows family members to ventilate long-suppressed feelings, and to share these feelings with people who understand who "have been there". Skilled counselors use a variety of techniques to teach family memberís healthy communication patterns and behaviors. These newly acquired skills nurture a sense of competence in family members who may have lost all hope for change.
Goals of the Family Education Week are to educate family members about the disease, to reduce feelings of uniqueness and isolation, and to furnish family members with a recovery plan that will work. Admission is based on whether or not the person has lived with and/or loved an alcoholic or addict. It is not required they have a patient in treatment.
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