We have thirty years of experience in family and relationship therapy. We teach healthy parenting skills especially with difficult adolescents and young adults. We help families deal with addiction as well as depression and anxiety that affect the family system
Each member of an in addictive family begins to take on unhealthy crazy family rules and roles in an addicted family to keep the family somewhat functional. Often they become codependent with the addict in an attempt to accommodate the addict’s behavior in order to reduce stress and uncertainty. Genuine reciprocal positive regard within the family is damaged. The addict/alcoholic escapes pain by using their chosen substance(s) and learns how to use the family to escape the pain of the consequences. The family suffers when the addict uses and they also suffer the painful consequences.
One of Dr. Paul Standal’s goals in counseling AOD families is to help the family learn about chemical dependency. The best way to help any addict/alcoholic recover is to remove ignorance, acquire an adequate attitude based on knowledge and have the courage to practice these principles when dealing with the afflicted individual. Many of the feelings about themselves and the dependent person in their lives will be clarified with basic knowledge.
Dr. Standal also focuses on helping family members to stop enabling the addict’s behavior, making the dependent person responsible for his or her behavior. He helps the family recognize how they enable the dependent person. He helps addicted family members struggling with the question of how to gain self-esteem in recovery make conscientious, often difficult, decisions in order to learn to stop blaming others for their behaviors. Many times the family members do not recognize their enabling behavior or find it difficult to relinquish this role.
Dr. Standal also finds it critical to help family members relearn how to take care of themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually again, because they have been caring for the dependent person for so long they have forgotten to care for themselves. Rather than their thoughts and actions being controlled by the dependent person, he helps the family learn to find their voice and focus on their own needs and their own lives again. By giving top priority to their own needs, they can begin to make progress toward a normal life again.
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