Categories
Family Recovery

Visions’ Three-Day Family Intensive Program

Beginning in June of 2014, Visions will launch our Three-Day Family Intensive program. latigo-fenceIt is a small, intimate program, which will facilitate therapeutic and clinically supported opportunities to help parents view their current roles and reactions within their family systems. To heal, all pieces of the familial puzzle need to come together.

 

Terra Hollbrook, MSW, LCSW, CADC and her husband, Jeff Hollbrook, BRI-III, have been working closely with our clinical staff to review and expand our family program. Their experience ranges from personal to professional, and as a result, their contribution to the Family Program has added experiential depth and weight. Within the context of the Three-Day Family weekend, families, with the help of clinical staff, will address:

 

  • Dis-Ease;
  • Shame;
  • Trauma, and;
  • Powerlessness

 

The Three-Day Family Intensive will provide experiential learning meant to facilitate the recognition of similarities while adeptly addressing differences within the family dynamic. Visions’ Three-Day Family Intensive program will also provide the family with the experience of being the identified patient, a necessary tool when one is doing this kind of work. Understanding what it’s like to be in someone’s shoes can create a profound paradigm shift.

 

Day one is designed to be purely educational in which participants will gain a more salient understanding of their own powerlessness.

 

Day two will allow for a deeper divulgence into that powerlessness as families are broken up into small groups facilitated by clinicians guiding them through the emotional process of looking inward.  On days one and two, parents are without their teens.

 

On day three, families come back together so parents and teens can reconnect in a therapeutic and supportive environment. Families will do group work together, which will include sculpting a more therapeutic and functional family environment from that point forward. In addition, families will participate in group activities together. Finally, the weekend will culminate in a closing circle and a therapeutic process facilitated by a clinician where families are able to discharge from the emotional stimulation.

 

Family work takes time and dedication. There are no magical buttons that will make everything suddenly line up the way we want them to. However, with practice, and consistent work unpeeling the layers of internal stories and traumas, healing will happen. Families do find their way back together.

 

The heart is an amazing thing: it heals even when we believe it’s broken beyond compare. Our goal with the Three-Day Family Intensive Program is to teach families that they can heal and that they can create new, healthier root systems from here on out—that their hearts can, in fact, heal.

Categories
Adolescence Dual Diagnosis Family Parenting Recovery

An Intensive Family Program Promotes Healing the Family System

Visions knows that a family in crisis needs requires an intensive family program. It doesn’t benefit a family to be viewed as having individual branches that need to be removed, trimmed or repaired. We are thrilled to be building out our 3-day intensive family program with the help of Jeff and Terra Holbrook. They have been doing family work for almost two decades and are deeply committed to healing the family system. Their insight and experience are invaluable and in line with the  culture of Visions. Visions wants the family to heal from the inside out; We require all families to go to:

  • Weekly parent support groups;
  • Weekly multi-family groups; and
  • Individual family sessions.

Families are also encouraged to go to outside support groups (Al-Anon, AA, ACA, Refuge Recovery, et cetera).  When we meet with families, we address issues of attachment, enmeshment, codependency, and we assist families in creating healthy boundaries. The recovery process requires a level of willingness and curiosity on everyone’s part and it is particularly important to do family work because addiction and mental health are rooted in the family system. It is not uncommon for parents and loved ones affected by their child’s addiction or mental illness to become angry, place blame, distance themselves from their child, or try to fix the problem themselves; often times, the focus remains on the addict. Here’s where an intensive family program comes in.

 

Think of the family system as a garden. Imagine the roots of everything in the garden weaving their way through nutrient rich soil containing love, respect, healthy boundaries, positive attention, and connection to healthy resources. Now imagine what happens when that same soil becomes fallow: The roots begin to suffer from neglect, abuse, abandonment, deprivation, and entanglement; the garden begins to whither away, grasping onto whatever is closest to try to survive. Family systems need to be nurtured from their root systems all the way up. Removing one unhealthy part won’t allow the entire system to heal. In fact, the entire root system will malfunction as a result.

 

Our intensive family program provides salient educational tools for parents to learn to face addiction and mental health in a healthier way. Families must begin to unpeel their own layers, and begin looking deeply within themselves and at the origins of their own root systems. Parents must also understand what they are asking their kids to do to recover, and more importantly, it’s invaluable for parents to show their kids they are willing to do the same hard work.  For example, if a family is asking their kids to look at how they are powerless, that same family needs to ask themselves the same question.  Addiction and mental health are a family disease; they are not isolated incidents wherein one family member goes rogue. As David Sheff, author of Clean says, “The addicted are not morally bereft, they are ill.”

 

An intensive family program will also help parents move away from the stigma of mental health and addiction and move toward acceptance and healing.  Families are often surprised to find out that their feelings are in line with their child’s: Both may feel angry, betrayed, ashamed, scared, resentful, frustrated, tired, and so on. When parents are able to shed a light on these similarities, the willingness to look at the hows and whys of addiction and mental illness becomes more palpable. Recognizing this similarity also elicits compassion and empathy for their child and for themselves. When a family can recognize that everything is connected, recovery can truly bloom.