Addiction imposes various complications in relationships where one partner or both are battling substance use. Research shows that attending couples therapy can be the catalyst to positive change, by addressing the perils of addiction in a malfunctioning relationship. Effective models of therapy will aim to address how the addictive behavior is enabled, and implement new strategies to break toxic cycles of interaction within the relationship.
The relationship system as a whole should be addressed in therapy, not just the addictive behavior exclusively. Addiction often can be enabled by the other partner through reinforcing actions such as simply allowing their partner to ineffectively cope with their issues through self-medicating, or by failing to confront their partner’s behavior, cleaning up the aftermath of their partner’s intoxication, or simply funding the addiction.
In treatment the therapist will help couples battling with complications from addictions become aware of, and process through broken interactional patterns. Therapy can replace toxic behaviors with healthier methods of coping to the addicted client who has learned manage external, and relational stressors with destructive habits. The couple will learn to work together through challenges the addiction has imposed, and not isolate or revert to previous coping behaviors when the relationship has a breakdown.
Our staff invites you to consider the long term impact of investing in couples therapy. If you feel stuck and powerless to set your relationship on a new course and need professional guidance, please contact our practice to begin treatment, our team is here to help!