Reconnecting with family members and loved ones after rehab can be challenging for those recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. Close interpersonal relationships are often highly charged with contentious histories that may have contributed to the development of substance abuse. In other cases, the recovering individual may feel ashamed of the things he did to loved ones while in the throes of addiction, which can lead to a cycle of guilt and shame.
While it can be very rewarding to repair and rebuild damaged relationships with family members, addiction counselors and experts stress the importance of timing and setting. Otherwise, relapsing into addictive behaviors can become a real threat.
Effective Strategies for Reconnecting with Loved Ones after Rehab
There is no set timeframe for reconnecting with family members and loved ones following a successful stint in rehab. This is an issue that should be discussed with an experienced addiction counselor on a case-by-case basis. However, addiction experts do offer some general tips and pieces of advice that can help make the process less difficult.
First, the recovering individual should remain sober and relapse-free for an extended period of time and get his or her personal and professional life in order before trying to repair damaged interpersonal relationships. This can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more, and it’s essential not to rush through this vital part of the recovery process.
Next, the setting should be carefully considered. By and large, addiction counselors recommend that first contact be made in a neutral group setting where charged emotions are unlikely to surface. In some cases, it can help for a therapist to be present; this is particularly important if strained family dynamics were a causal factor in the recovering person’s addiction cycle.
Open and honest communication between family members is vital. Asking for and granting forgiveness is a vital part of the recovery process, and family therapy can be a big help. Most importantly, don’t expect big changes overnight, since healing takes time.
The caring addiction counselors at 10 Acre Ranch can help individuals and families struggling to heal from substance abuse. If you or someone you care about needs help, please don’t hesitate to contact our facility’s sympathetic and experienced staff members for guidance in your family recovery journey.