We recognize that each member of the family can benefit from counseling, psycho-education and support from others. We strongly recommend that family members participate in treatment center family programs but, closer to home, we offer a variety of support services.
Safe-Use Check-Up Info for Families
If someone you loved had symptoms of an illness, you would suggest that they get a check-up to be sure it’s nothing serious. The same thing applies to issues with alcohol and drug use. It’s a good idea to get things checked out – just to be sure it’s nothing serious. Unlike other substance abuse providers, Full Life Counseling does not begin an assessment assuming that someone has an alcohol or drug abuse diagnosis. We begin with the assumption that the person is healthy but simply needs to be sure that the present issues are not symptoms of a much bigger problem.
There are no “tests” for addiction like there are for diabetes or high cholesterol. This is why a diagnosis requires a thorough examination from a variety of perspectives. Once all the information has been collected and analyzed, Full Life Counseling will:
- Reach a final clinical conclusion based on results, then review with the individual and/or family to explain the reasons to relax and/or reasons for concern, prognosis and recommendations.
- Offer insights into the findings
- Provide rationale for the conclusions
- Assist individuals and families in accessing services through our professional and collegial relationships with treatment providers at your request.
- Safe Use Check-Ups and assessments are generally completed in 2-3 sessions and include structured interviews with the individual and the family (separately), computerized assessment process, and laboratory tests.
Please note: While written Comprehensive Assessment reports may be submitted by you to a court of law, Full Life Counseling is not a recognized provider of DWI assessment services, ADETS, or 508 reports. If you have sought our services in response to a legal situation, it is still up to you whether or not to share the findings with the court or its representatives.
Counseling for Parents with Pre-Contemplative Teens/YAs
We recognize that there are stages in the change process, and not everyone is ready to take action to make changes in their lives when they come in for counseling. Sometimes teens and young adults have little insight into the ways in which their use of substances is – or could become – problematic. As a result, they are often uninterested, unaware or unwilling to make changes. But parents, on the other hand, may be quite aware of their own need to make changes, even if the young person in their lives is not yet ready.
In cases where teens or young adults are not yet ready or willing to make changes, we find that there is value in trying to provide:
- Motivational Enhancement Counseling for teens or young adults
- Motivational Enhancement Counseling for parents
One counselor works with the young person to identify personal guidelines for reducing risk, recognize discrepancies between their goals and their actions, and personal warning signs that treatment may be needed one day. Another counselor works with the family to identify and reduce their own enabling behaviors, recognize how fear and the desire to control may have become counterproductive, and develop improved self-care practices.
Often the work with the young person may end after just a few sessions, but the family can benefit from on-going counseling. Only time will tell if the substance use creates more problems or becomes less and less of a concern over time. Either way, family members can benefit from having the hope, guidance and support of a Full Life counselor along the way.
Co-Dependency Counseling and Exploration of Intervention Options
Full Life counselors can work with families to help reduce rescuing and enabling behaviors and offer support for the family as their loved ones experience consequences from their unhealthy choices. Family members learn about the disease of addiction, how people feel motivated to make changes, and loving strategies for encouraging positive change without rescuing.
Often family members experience great fear and confusion about how to take action to address substance abuse or other self-destructive behaviors. Conventional wisdom that “you have to wait for them to hit bottom” is powerful, yet families suffer greatly watching and waiting for that proverbial “bottom.”
Full Life counselors can help family members know whether or not to prepare to take action and, if so, how and when to move towards intervening.
Counseling for Children and Adolescents Affected by Addiction in the Family
Children are observant and sensitive to emotions within the family, even if they are not able to identify an explanation. When a parent, sibling or grandparent goes to residential treatment, the experience of living an uncertain life is intensified. Children and adolescents often assume that problems within the family are their fault, and these thoughts can lead to depression, anxiety, regression or acting out behavior. Even sobriety and recovery can be unsettling for children and adolescents if a previously disengaged parent begins to demonstrate responsible parenting behavior.
Counseling for children and adolescents affected by addiction in the family can be a great support for them and even a great support for parental/sibling recovery. Barbara Potts, Ph.D. provides counseling for children and adolescents after school or in the evenings and typically sees children two-to-four times a month. She incorporates art, play, bibliotherapy and age-appropriate psychoeducation to help children and adolescents better understand addiction and find hope in the opportunity for recovery.
While Al-Anon meetings are important resources for family and friends of those experiencing problems with alcohol or other drugs, sometimes parents of teens and young adults feel lost and left out in Al-Anon meetings. Frankly, the parent-child relationship is complicated by laws, parental guilt, interference from grandparents and other extended family members, and parental fear.
Parent-to-Parent is a free, weekly support group for parents of teens and young adults affected by alcohol and other drugs. We utilize motivational readings written by parents of teens engaged in enthusiastic sobriety programs. The group is professionally facilitated and allows parents to share their stories, receive feedback, and provide encouragement to other parents in similar situations.
CRAFT Support Groups
Full Life offers Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) groups at both our Winston-Salem and Raleigh offices. CRAFT, a model developed by Drs. Robert Meyers and Jane Ellen Smith, provides techniques and insight that enhance the ability of family members to effectively communicate, set boundaries, practice self-care, and pursue professional help with loved ones whose substance use has become problematic.
You can learn more about CRAFT by reading Chase Salmon’s blog “In with the New.” Please note, the price of CRAFT varies by city so please contact our office at 336-923-7426 or 919-651-3889 for more details.