Families of Clients
Overview of Family Services
MARR understands that addiction is a disease that affects the entire family and thus, provides family services to support loved ones. Active involvement of family members is an important part of the addiction treatment process and can have a positive affect on the addicted individual. All family members are encouraged to fill out a questionnaire to enable our licensed counselors to best assist their needs.
Family services at MARR include the following:
- Assigned Family Counselor
Before we have any contact with family members and proceed with family services, the client in addiction treatment must sign a release that allows us to do so. Each client is assigned a family counselor, who will be the contact person for his or her family. The counselor will meet with the family in person or by phone to assess their needs for ongoing support. Families will be given a questionnaire to complete, which will assist the family counselor in the admissions process.
- Weekly Family Support Groups
MARR offers weekly support groups for families, including spouses/significant others, couples and parents.
- Family Workshop
Our 3-day intensive workshop is designed to provide education, support and counseling to family members. It is offered approximately every seven weeks and loved ones are strongly encouraged to attend. When the client finishes Phase I and the time is deemed appropriate, his or her family will be sent an invitation. To prepare for this workshop, we recommend regularly attending some sort of 12-Step program beforehand, such as Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, CoDA or Celebrate Recovery.
- Individual, Couple and Family Counseling
MARR’s family services also consist of counseling to families while the client is in addiction treatment, with the option of continuing for aftercare.
Information for Families
Families will be provided with information concerning spending money and prescriptions when the client is admitted. Clients receive a weekly food allowance as part of the program.
MARR has specific guidelines that must be followed with respect to what clients may receive from family and friends during the course of addiction treatment. It is not our wish to deprive our clients of anything. Part of the therapeutic process is learning to budget and live within the guidelines set and the client’s best interests are always paramount. Please follow the procedures given to families upon admission.
Phone and Mail Privileges
Clients have no phone privileges until their contract has been presented and accepted by their counselor and community. Mail privileges vary at the different sites. Please be patient—your loved one will call and write when he or she can.
If for any reason you have the need to stop by the Center, you must call and make an appointment first.
Therapeutic Leave Requests
Clients become eligible for a therapeutic leave (TL) approximately 45 days after they begin treatment. The client must submit a leave request to their house manager for community approval, as well as staff approval. Family members are also required to prepare for a TL by attending two Al-Anon meetings and having a family counseling session (which will include the client) with their assigned family therapist. (Out-of-town families can arrange their session by phone.) Family members are advised against making concrete plans until the request has been approved. If staff denies a therapeutic leave request, it does not necessarily mean the client is not making progress; instead, leave requests can be denied for a variety of reasons, including an insufficient plan or family instability. The family counselor is available to discuss an upcoming leave and debrief after the visit.
If you have questions or would like to inquire about the wellbeing of a client, please contact the family counselor for information and support. However, keep in mind that a release of information, signed by the client, must be on file in order for us to even acknowledge that the client is in treatment at MARR. This is implemented for the client’s protection and is required by law. We try to limit releases to immediate family members, so please advise friends and extended family that you will update them and there is no need for them to contact the Center.
3-Day Family Workshop
Our family workshop is an intensive, three-day-long process designed to provide education, support and therapy to adults and adolescents age 14 and older. MARR believes those who have been in relationships with addicted individuals experience their own struggles and pain. If the family is to survive and grow, it is critical that the individual members begin their own recovery process.
Goals of Family Recovery
- To support the recovering clients currently in treatment through active participation of family members.
- To assist family members in discovering and working through issues by providing a safe environment for honest exploration of feelings.
- To guide family members in the development of healthy relationships.
- To expose family members to support and therapy groups, spirituality and 12-Step recovery.
When Should We Attend?
Experience tells us that no sooner than the fourth week of the client’s stay at MARR is usually best. A family counselor will talk to you on the phone about the timing of your visit. Please don’t make time-off or travel plans until this conversation has taken place.
Contact your MARR family counselor for more details.
Men’s & Women’s Recovery Centers – No cost
Family Support Groups
Family support groups provide ongoing support for individuals who have a child, spouse/significant other, parent, sibling or friend in one of the following situations: (1) is currently in treatment at MARR, (2) has been in treatment at MARR or another facility and is now in recovery, (3) is in active addiction, or (4) is in another substance abuse-related situation (i.e. jail, etc.).
The groups discuss and teach members about codependency and enabling, and attempt to help members detach from their addicted loved one in healthy, loving ways. We have several long-term members who have experienced the positive impact of support for their own recovery process.
MARR is pleased to offer different group options for family members of alcoholics and/or addicts interested in ongoing support. Please contact the corresponding leader for more information on becoming a member of a support group prior to attending. We ask that group members commit to a minimum of four sessions.
About 12-Step Groups
By attending Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, CoDA, Celebrate Recovery and other 12-Step meetings on a regular basis, families affected by addiction learn to change their attitudes and old patterns and habits to find serenity and even happiness. Here are a few highlights of 12-Step family recovery:
- We learn that alcoholism/drug addiction is a three-fold disease—mental, physical and spiritual—and our loved ones were/are victims of this illness. Learning about and understanding the disease is the beginning of forgiveness.
- We learn the three Cs: (1) We didn’t cause it, (2) we can’t control it and (3) we can’t cure it.
- We learn to put the focus on, and be good to, ourselves.
- We learn to detach with love. In other words, we practice ‘tough love’ with others and even ourselves when appropriate.
- We use slogans such as “Let Go and Let God,” “Easy Does it,” “One Day at a Time,” “Keep It Simple,” “Live and Let Live,” “Don’t Push the River, Let It Flow by Itself.” Using these slogans helps us begin to lead our day-to-day lives in a new way.
- We learn to feel our feelings by accepting and expressing them, and to build our self-esteem.
- Through working the Steps, we learn to accept the disease of addiction, realizing that our lives have become unmanageable and we are powerless over the disease and the alcoholic/addict. We are able to change our attitudes and turn our reactions into actions. We work the 12 Steps daily and believe in the spirituality of the program—that there is a Power greater than ourselves that can restore our lives. By sharing our experiences, relating to others, welcoming newcomers and serving our fellows, we build self-esteem.
- We learn to love ourselves and in turn, we are able to love others in a healthy way.
- We practice regular telephone therapy with others in the program—this is helpful at all times, not just when problems arise.
- By applying the Serenity Prayer to our daily lives, we begin to change the unhealthy attitudes we have acquired.