ERIC Number: ED313653
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Comprehensive Treatment of Addictive Families.
Schlesinger, Stephen E.; Horberg, Lawrence K.
This article describes a practical approach to treating addictive families, designed to help them repair the damage, create more satisfying lives, and prevent long-lasting deleterious effects, commonly associated with "co-dependency" and "children of addicts." This approach is grounded in a developmental model of family recovery which was devised to meet the shared needs of members of this population while, at the same time, taking into account their high level of diversity. The following four points summarize the highlights of this approach. First, the approach focuses on engaging all interested family members in a journey from chaos to family health. It takes issue with those approaches which view the family as an instrument to coerce the addict into recovery, with those which ignore the addiction, and with those which ignore the family's needs. Second, for many families, the journey begins in a state of exasperation, hopelessness, and helplessness. The journey reaches a state in which family members feel hopeful about, in charge of, and competent to handle their lives. Third, the approach focuses on helping family members confront the addiction itself by engaging in a stepwise process of withdrawing from destructive experiences related to addiction. Fourth, there are specific actions and foci of attention required for successful recovery. These developmental tasks are organized into four main groups: getting started, strengthening the family, confronting the addiction, and thriving as a family. The greater part of this paper consists of a detailed description of these four tasks. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (97th, New Orleans, LA, August 11-15, 1989).