Whether or Not Our Loved One Finds Recovery – Jackie Stein

Loving someone who has a problem with drugs or alcohol is life changing for the entire family.  Those of us who have been down this road know that we have spent huge chunks of time and energy trying to help and/or fix our loved one.  We can become obsessive.  In fact, our loved one can become OUR addiction.  We feel a wide range of emotions – mostly fear and anxiety, but sometimes also anger at what the disease is doing to our loved one and in fact, to the whole family.  We worry ourselves to the point of becoming physically ill.  In many cases, we make little or no time to take care of ourselves. At some point most of us figure out that without help, nothing will change in the family.  There are no guarantees that our loved ones will find recovery.  They might go in and out of… Continue reading

The Secret of Relating to your Addicted Son or Daughter – By Lee Weber

Relating to your addicted son or daughter is possible…especially when you learn to practice “tough love”. The most important thought to keep in mind? You are not alone unless you choose to be. Read more about how to relate to your addicted son or daughter here. First, A Range of Emotions Parents of addicted children can sometimes become misguided and misdirected by their emotions. In fact, it’s common for us to feel: Fear Shame Guilt, or Anger …when we first find out about a son’s or daughter’s addiction. For this reason, it is important that – in the beginning – we learn how to deal with our emotions. This article provides parents of drug addicted children with information and resources about the who/what/when/where and how to address substance use disorders. So, continue reading to learn more on the topic of relating to your addicted son or daughter. All of your… Continue reading

A Letter For Your Isolated and Hard to Reach Teen – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT and Steve Legallet, LMFT

    As family therapists, we are seeing more and more young people who are suffering from various degrees of depression, anxiety, addictions and social isolation as they try to mask all of the emotions and negative consequences associated with theses self-defeating behaviors. We also see many concerned and baffled parents who struggle with trying to find ways to help their wounded and isolated kids. If you have a son or daughter who is suffering, addicted, depressed, anxious, isolated, angry and/or shut down, here are some words that you might consider writing or saying to open the door to a new avenue of communication: Dear Son or Daughter, We see that you are struggling and suffering. We imagine that there are many thoughts and feelings underneath your anger including confusion, fear, hopelessness, and pain. We understand that you are going through a very difficult time in your life, and that… Continue reading

Enabling versus Helping – By Jackie Stein

Am I enabling or helping and what is the difference? This is a question I have been asked by clients many times. It is also a question I have asked myself. We can all think of fact patterns that we would consider enabling. However, sometimes the answer is not so clear. Sometimes the answer is, “it depends.” On what does it depend? Usually on a wider set of facts than the specific action we might take. Your daughter is sleeping off a busy party night. If you want to wake her in the morning before school so she makes the choice to go or not to go, is that enabling or helping? What if you go so far as to drive her to school so she won’t be late? Is that enabling her or helping her? What if she has her own apartment and you call her every morning to… Continue reading

Working on Ourselves and Our Relationships in the New Year – By Jackie Stein

  As we begin 2018, many of us seek to engage in new and healthy behaviors.  We plan to eat better and sleep better.  We plan to give up cigarettes or video games.  We also say we want to repair our relationships with our family members who are suffering from substance use disorders (SUDs). We know how to eat better and sleep better – we give up foods that are unhealthy and we drink lots of water.  We stop drinking caffeine in the evening and turn off our electronics at least an hour before bedtime.  We have tools for giving up cigarettes, unhealthy eating and video games, including medications and 12 step programs. Similarly, there are tools to aid and support us as we try to develop a healthy program for living with our loved ones.  That program involves tools and programs to both help our loved ones and repair… Continue reading