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Family and Friends Support

Family and friends support

The role of family and friendsThe role of family and friends

We recognise that, although personal difficulties have brought an individual into treatment, the whole family system is often affected and needs to find its own path to recovery, through effective communication and a re-negotiation of boundaries.


Our family programme is designed to enable participants to establish a mutual supportive family whilst developing the required tools to restore functional family dynamics. Family dynamics are the patterns of relating, or interactions, between family members. Each family system and its dynamics are unique, although there are common patterns. All families have some helpful and some unhelpful dynamics and this programme is designed to help you and your loved one to explore these, changing the unhelpful and promoting the helpful ones. We believe that honesty is the building block for change and the foundation of long-term recovery so, during this programme, families are encouraged to speak openly and honestly.


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For some people, of course, the family unit has been effectively replaced by a group of close friends and they are also welcome to access this programme.

Up to two family members or friends may join the programme but they must be committed to attending every session and they cannot transfer their places to anyone else. Working with others in a similar situation to themselves will give them the opportunity to ask questions about the treatment and aftercare. Supporting and encouraging each other should help to dispel some of the shame and stigma that surrounds addiction.

This 20-hour family programme is included in your 160-hour programme and family members can attend free of charge. Although attendance is optional, the evidence suggests that involving family in the recovery process enhances the probability of sustained abstinence, as well as delivering the benefits of improved family dynamics. Family and friends who take part will find the professional support and education of real practical value. If required, we can also signpost them to their own recovery twelve-step fellowship, counsellor and ongoing recovery.

Total programme time: 160 hours - Including family programme: 20 hours.

The family programme consists of a series of workshops over consecutive weekends which look at the following subjects:

  • What is addiction?
  • What is the 12-Step model?
  • How do you support someone in early recovery and take care of yourself?
  • How do you use boundaries effectively and understand enabling behaviour?
  • Effective communication skills. Understanding defence mechanisms and self-destructive behaviour.
  • Preventing relapses. How do you support your loved one in recovery and what are the warning signs that he or she may be on the verge of a relapse or has already lapsed

If you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, or know someone who does, please get in touch for free, confidential advice.

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