Family Therapy in Addiction and Mental Health Treatment



Video by Dr. Dawn Elise Snipes on integrative behavioral health approaches including counseling techniques and skills for improving mental health and reducing mental illness.

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What is a Family
~ Families are uniquely defined by each individual
~ Not always blood related
~ The significant others (SOs) the Identified Patient (IP) considers important in their lives.
~ Families are systems characterized by self-regulation & Homeostasis
~ Each members has a function in maintaining the balance
~ Enabler, scapegoat, hero, lost child, mascot
~ When a person or the situation changes, everyone else has to adapt to maintain “status quo”

Family Risk Factors & Interventions
~ Disrupted attachment
~ Emotional or physical enmeshment or disengagement creating a lack of safety
~ Mental illness or addiction in caregivers
~ Lack of effective caregiver interpersonal skills including boundaries (CRAVES)

Family Risk Factors & Interventions
~ Disrupted attachment
~ Lack of effective skills to nurture a high-needs child  environment of invalidation
~ What causes high-needs
~ Genetic predisposition to emotional dysregulation
~ Fetal exposure to
~ Substances
~ High levels of cortisol
~ Grief or anger at the child
~ Birth defects / disabilities
~ Unplanned pregnancies  interpersonal and tangible losses
~ Long NICU stays
~ Family violence
~ Low parental supervision

Consequences of Addiction & Mental Health Issues on the Family
~ Lack of trust
~ Anger
~ Frustration and feelings of helplessness as they watch the IP suffer
~ Resentment at the IP for their behaviors and “refusal” to change
~ Guilt
~ Feeling responsible for the IPs condition
~ Abandonment
~ Embarrassment

Consequences of Addiction & Mental Health Issues on the Family
~ Anxiety that the IP will experience harm
~ Pessimism & cognitive distortions
~ Isolation
~ Social withdrawal or “lack of time” for outside activities
~ Withdrawal from the IP
~ Family conflict over how to deal with the IP

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#support #mentalhealth #copingskills

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