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Family Therapy: A Treatment Approach with Substance Abusers in Inpatient and Residential Facilities

  • Edward Kaufman

Abstract

Family therapy is more easily done in residential settings for abusers than in outpatient settings because the family is a captive audience that can and should be required to participate in therapy if any contact is to occur. It is also essential to engage the family in treatment because if they are not a part of the solution they will frequently pull the patient out of the treatment setting. In addition the patient will frequently duplicate patterns in treatment which originate with the family and can only be recognized, understood, and changed if the patient is seen in the total family setting. Family therapy is presently being used by most substance abuse treatment agencies. A recent survey of 2012 agencies involved with treating substance abuse found that 93% provide some type of family therapy, and 75% of these agencies include the client and his or her entire family (Coleman, 1978). Additionally, 62% provide couple therapy and 36% group therapy for clients’ parents (Basen, 1977). In drug abuse programs, the emphases have broadened so that both types of programs are viewing family therapy as involving three generational systems. Family treatment of substance abusers is a complicated process. In meeting the needs of the family as an entity, the spouse and parental subsystems, the sibling subsystem, and the individual needs of each person in the family must be considered. The therapy of each of these three systems must interlock and work in harmony. This can be done if the same therapist or therapeutic team treats all parts of the family. If not, there must be close communication between therapists.

Keywords

Substance Abuser Family Therapy Family System Drug Abuser Family Treatment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward Kaufman
    • 1
  1. 1.Irving Medical CenterUniversity of CaliforniaOrangeUSA

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