Warriors Heart recognizes that alcoholism/addiction and PTSD are diseases that affect the entire family. Not only does the addict suffer, feeling hopeless and afraid, so, too, do his family and friends.

Warriors Heart’s clinical team recognizes the importance of family members being involved in treatment, both for themselves and their loved one.

What happens at Family Program meetings

Our family program is held each Saturday afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m.

Our family program provides group education on the following topics:

  • Addiction: The Disease and the Family.
  • PTSD.
  • Forgiveness.
  • Karpman Triangle Dynamics – Drama Triangle purpose is to understand the roles each family member plays in the family.
  • Family Relationships.
  • Feedback Loop – Learn to practice and utilize assertive communication skills and to set healthy boundaries.

We discuss:

  1. Why the American Medical Association defines addiction as a disease.
  2. What Al-anon is and why it is important.
  3. How and why PTSD occurs and how it affects everyone involved.
  4. The importance of forgiveness for both clients and family members.
  5. Family roles.
  6. The importance of healthy family communication.
  7. The 3 C’s
    * You didn’t Cause the addiction.
    * You can’t Control the addiction/addicted person.
    * You can’t Cure the addiction.

Why we have a Family Program
Much about how we view the world, relate to others, and cope with life’s stresses, is established in the foundation of our birth family and primary caregivers.

Our core beliefs and style of action — healthy and unhealthy, helpful and unhelpful — are borne out of our reactions to early childhood events, particularly our relationships with caregivers in those early years. Sometimes, people “update” their beliefs, views, and styles of interaction when they realize such things are inaccurate and unhelpful.

If people don’t make those adjustments, they carry that “baggage” into their adult relationships, and often their problems worsen. If we choose a partner who also has unhealthy beliefs and interpersonal “styles,” we make our lives more challenging and, if addiction is an issue, sustained recovery less likely.

Attend Family Groups in person or meet with therapist

The most helpful step in overcoming such challenges and breaking unhealthy patterns is to attend our Saturday Family Groups. If possible and in the best interest of the client’s treatment plan, a family session with the client’s therapist also is helpful.

If you are not able to attend in-person, we offer video sessions. Rest assured, the client’s Mission File (treatment workbook) contains all sorts of great information, exercises, and instruction to help in the next phase.

Family involvement makes a big difference

It helps because all parties are on the same page. It creates the space for all parties to be heard and understood. And, by learning improved ways of speaking and listening, each person’s truth can be heard and appreciated.

How family members’ understanding can help, especially after treatment

Often the very traits and protective skills that make Warriors able to do their difficult jobs are the very same that block the needed emotional connectivity so desired by spouses, children, and friends. On top of that, active addiction prevents one from being fully emotionally present or intimate.

Our Family Programing helps to educate the client’s loved ones about the chaos addiction brings. The classes also address other issues frequently driving the addiction such as PTSD, Unresolved Grief/Loss and Moral Injury.
Research suggests that recovery from addiction and other emotional pain will be more sustainable when the person’s core support system, i.e., YOU, also join in learning new views and behaviors.

It is said that if one spends six weeks learning a new language only to return to a family speaking only the old one (English), the new language likely will not be sustained. LIkewise, returning to an environment of old attitudes and styles will not provide any opportunity to apply new skills. In short order, the problems (including substance misuse) that brought your loved one into treatment, will return.

But what if you can’t participate? Well, keep this in mind: if you change just one number in an equation, the result will be different. So, if circumstances prevent your participation, there is still hope!

Warriors Heart is working with the client from every angle to bring about sustained change and growth for all involved. A healthy Warrior makes for a healthier family and a healthier community. We all benefit by letting go of old unhelpful ways and starting on new paths of gratitude, humility, and spiritual connection.

Still, we hope you can attend and participate. You are the most important connections your Warrior has. This is your opportunity to clean the whole house, not just one room. We look forward to meeting and working closely with you, the rest of the family, and the Warrior we’ve welcomed home.