Expedition Discovery Kei

FAMILY IN RECOVERY: Aftercare travel

  • Posted by: Expedition Discovery

Jean’s rehabilitation from alcoholism was concluded one year ago.

She is, however, yet to be re-integrated in her family as an active member.

Her nuclear family members find it hard to trust her in running the family business, though they ensure that she is well provided-for financially.

With money to spend and a lot of free time, Jean is struggling to remain sober.

What her family members fail to recognise is that idleness is a key recipe for relapse. They also fail to realize the importance of family integration in the healing process.

Addiction is considered a family disease, and rightly so. The behaviour of the addicted family member impacts on the entire family differently and when the individual is admitted for treatment, the other family members are often assumed to be fine.

A few sessions of family therapy may not be sufficient to rebuild broken relationships and regain lost trust.

That means that a safe environment where some of the decisions made during family therapy may be practically implemented is important.

Family after-care travel

Allow me to liken family aftercare travel to honeymoon after marriage.

The excitement brought about by successful treatment deserves to be rewarded with the opportunity to bond and rediscover each other.

In a safe and therapeutic environment, family members are given the opportunity to reflect and heal emotional wounds.

Aftercare travel involves incorporating the family in the recovery programme.

Besides having fun and learning new things, the family receives therapy during travel.

The programme, coming after intensive rehabilitation, provides an opportunity for family members to rediscover each other.

It affords them ample time to re-evaluate family goals and come up with strategies to avoid relapse.

Guided family activities and thorough assessment of family dynamics help in ensuring that no gaps are left in the long-term recovery plan.

Having fun with family members as part of aftercare recovery ushers in new exciting experiences that had been earlier been rendered impossible by substance abuse.

Commitment to the new possibilities in life is likely to help in relapse prevention.

It is therefore advisable for the family to view having fun with he recovering individual as a key step in recovery.

They must also appreciate that new hobbies, family routines and traditions are important for long term recovery.

Deliberate efforts should be made to re-design family roles to include the recovering member.

This makes the remaining journey of recovery more of a family affair than an individual struggle.


Author: Expedition Discovery

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