When one member of a family is suffering from addiction/alcoholism, it is an indication that the transactional rules within the unit are dysfunctional. The symptoms or maladaptive behaviors that the addict or alcoholic presents are indicators of various emotional pains and fears that are not appropriately addressed or processed within the unit. More often than not, this is a multi-generational pattern of behavior. The entire family unit plays a role in such dysfunction and hidden subsets, hierarchies, dyads and triads must be identified in order to be restructured into a healthier family construct.
It is easy to identify the addict or alcoholic as the problem of the family, however that is just an easily attainable excuse to avoid identifying and addressing the ultimate underlined relational context within the system as a whole. It is imperative for a person’s long term recovery that the family strive to understand the physical, physiological and emotional struggles of the addict or alcoholic. It is then, that the family unit will have a chance of allowing their rigid transactional rules and relationships to be restructured for a healthy recovery of the family system.
1- Understand the disease concept of addiction from a medical and psychological viewpoint
2- Understand the dynamics of the family unit when in crisis
3- Gain insight into the maladaptive behaviors taken on by all family members to retain homeostasis
4- Learn how families can recover from crisis situations/addictions within the family unit