Anyone who has lived with an alcoholic or drug addict knows what a terrible impact the addiction can have on the integrity of the family. Unfortunately, most family members do not get the opportunity to access “family therapy”. Families are the silent victims of addiction.
In this three minute video, Gordon Hogg, Head Therapist at Castle Craig rehab clinic, describes addiction as a “family illness, complicated by the fact that they love them.”
He explains that both the alcoholic and his/her family tend to follow the same dynamic. On the one hand the alcoholic is putting a lot of effort into feeling good, by drinking too much, and on the other hand the family puts a lot of energy into helping the alcoholic -- and all of this is to no avail as nothing seems to change. The disease of addiction can’t be successfully treated by the family.
“The family really need help in understanding the problem, the illness,” explains Gordon Hogg. “They also need help in being allowed to .. process how they have been affected by this. This healing has got to go on in the family as well as for the alcoholic.”
The good news is that the families of alcoholics and drug addicts tend to be quite responsive to the family therapy that is on offer at Castle Craig, and other residential rehab clinics. Hogg says that “the relief the family starts to see is really palpable, quite quickly.”
Gordon has found in his 18 years experience of addiction treatment that “families instinctively recognise that what we’re doing is the right thing to do.”