We know all about leadership in the workplace, however, the theory of leadership is also applicable to the “job” of parenting and the role of treatment in recovery. In our role as parents, we are leaders. We lead our children toward making good choices; we redirect them when they stray; we nurture them when they need to grow; we provide them with a safe container–the tribe of family–to lean into when times get tough; and we provide discipline when they need it.
Ultimately, when one of our family members gets sick with mental illness, we lead them toward a path to safety and recovery. Likewise, when one of our family members struggles with addiction, we lead them toward a path to safety and recovery. These actions are all part and parcel to being a great leader.
Still, with addiction and mental illness, we know that both have an inherent negative effect on the health of the family. Emotional and sometimes physical safety is compromised; trust is also compromised. We also know that addiction and mental illness can be a direct response to an injured family root system.
When a family comes into treatment, Visions begins the process of teaching them how to be better leaders and partners within their family system. Visions’ clinicians and support staff lead families toward healing and self-discovery via individual and group work. We provide them with opportunities to take the lead in their own self-care though contemplative practices. We teach them how to make good choices; we redirect them when they stray; we nurture them when they need to grow; we provide them with a safe container to lean into when times get tough; and we provide discipline when they need it.
The recovery process can be muddy: It’s difficult at times and emotionally raw, but it’s worth every tear and every sweaty brow. Recovery is like finding your footing after you fall, and taking a shaky step forward. Recovery is being able to hold yourself and those around you with compassion and care. Recovery is also the process of letting go of negative relationships, old ideas, old stories, and self-loathing. Recovery is the development of kind awareness of our selves and others, and the ability to create healthy boundaries in our relationships. Great leadership fosters recovery, and great willingness lets it sink in.