Addictive behaviour can cause many problems in a family.
Substance abuse, for example, can leave your family feeling fearful and apprehensive.
A gambling addiction or over-spending can create financial chaos in your family.
An eating disorder can negatively affect the physical health of someone you love.
You may find it challenging to unravel the unhealthy dynamics in your family that have developed as a result of a family member’s addiction. You may simply be too close to the problem to be able to see it objectively.
And even if you do understand the problems you and your family are experiencing, it is often difficult to change them without professional help.
If relationships in your family are strained, I can help you name the problem areas and identify what is causing the pain and confusion.
As you ease the tensions amongst yourselves, you will learn healthier ways of relating to one another.
Length of sessions:
Sometimes it is best for family members to see me individually. At other times it may be best to have sessions with the whole family. Together we can assess what is most helpful for you and your family.
Sessions with individual family members are one hour in length, and 1-1/2 hours when I see your entire family together.
Length of Therapy:
The length of family therapy varies depending on the issues needing to be resolved. Together we will decide on how long the therapy continues.
Accepting Reality: Tony’s Family Confronts Addiction
My brother and I first contacted Candace because one of our sisters was addicted to heroin and living out on the street. We didn’t know what to do so we decided to go to a counsellor to get some advice.
We decided to see Candace together for a few sessions, talking about what it was like to grow up in our pretty strange and dysfunctional family. Even though we didn’t initially go to talk about ourselves, we both found that we felt much better after our sessions.
Candace then started to see our other siblings individually, and then our parents in couple sessions, to help us learn how to become more united as a family and set clear boundaries with our sister. It was amazing to us to see how much energy our family had been spending on the squeakiest wheel, while the rest of us had felt neglected by our parents for many years!
Candace educated us about addiction. She showed us how to have compassion and understanding toward our sister, while at the same time not letting her behaviour rule our home. We stopped putting up with her abusive ways, giving her clear choices about what she would need to do if she wanted to be part of our family.
It took a while, but our sister is now in early recovery from her heroin addiction, something we didn’t think would ever happen. The rest of us have learned how to deal with her in more healthy ways, and we have become much closer as a family.
Working with Candace has been a blessing for all of us. We feel so lucky to have found her – she has changed our lives completely for the better!
Click here to read more about counselling for family and loved ones.
Click here to order Candace’s award-winning book Loving an Addict, Loving Yourself: The Top 10 Survival Tips for Loving Someone with an Addiction.