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Tips for Families

Hope for Hurting Families: One Day at a Time

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Many of the families I’ve worked with feel that they have lost everything. They are financially tapped out. Their basic assumptions about family, love, success, and life have been turned upside down. They feel betrayed and embarrassed and sad and angry. How does a family rebuild in the wake of trauma, or addiction, or mental illness, or betrayal, or loss? A little bit every day. If you can do that, you can find your way forward a step at a time. You can heal. You can hope.

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PARENT TO PARENT: TIPS FOR TREATMENT

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Through the process of treatment we came to understand at a very deep level that we’d made the right choice. We were saving our daughter’s life, our family’s health…and maybe even our marriage. But in retrospect, we wish we’d had other parents to talk to prior to enrolling Rachel. Parents who were a few clicks further down the road who could help normalize the process and give us some assurance that we were doing the right thing.

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Beat the System with Family Systems Therapy

By | Tips for Families, Treatment 101 | No Comments

Much to the frustration of those engaged in treatment, families are designed to resist change. Families are what scientists—and family systems therapists—call “self-regulating systems.” Since self-regulating systems prefer stability (homeostasis), the self-regulation response automatically resists change. This can be tricky during family therapy the point of which, of course, is to facilitate change!

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Your Teen is Away: Learn to Sleep Again!

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If your child is away in treatment, you may still be suffering from the sleep distress that was a part of being vigilant and worried. If so, now’s the time to reclaim your right to a good night’s sleep! Your child is safe and, for the time being, it’s someone else’s job to be vigilant around the clock. A huge part of every parents’ job when their child is in treatment is to prepare for their return home. You’re a better parent (and employee, and friend, and everything) when you’re taking good care of yourself. Sleep is at the core of self care; so now’s a great time to practice good sleep habits. I joke that learning to fall asleep and stay asleep has saved me thousands of dollars in carpentry, refrigerator repair, fly traps…oh and plastic surgery. So if you’re a light sleeper, an insomniac, or curfew cop on sabbatical, here are some things I’ve learned that will help you sleep like a baby.

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COMING CLEAN WITH YOUR DIFFICULT TEEN

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Many experts agree that the negative effects of anger can be minimized by addressing the emotion in an honest, non-reactive manner. While ranting and raging tend to actually increase, rather than alleviate, anger (according to some studies), the healthy expression of anger can actually reduce its intensity and keep it from festering. In fact, the healthy communication of your full range of emotions—including anger—can be a critical part of your difficult teen’s healing process.

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