Support for Families

Drug and alcohol misuse can have a devastating effect on the families and friends of the person affected. Relationships very often deteriorate dramatically when addiction takes hold of someone’s life.  The Nelson Trust aims to support families and friends impacted by addiction, and to give clients the best chance of a successful recovery by helping to rebuild damaged family relationships. 

The support of family and friends are very important for our clients’ sustainable recovery from addiction. That support can only work if family and friends feel well informed about addiction and are involved in the recovery process.  But families and friends of people with drug or alcohol problems do not always get the support they require. Often people feel they need more information about addiction, about treatment options and about what “recovery” means for families.

If you are worried about a spouse or partner, a parent or a child, a brother, sister or anybody else you are close to who is in addiction, then you are not alone and the Nelson Trust may be able to help you. 

550x309 ISIS internal pages36Are you trying to help your partner or family member to find the right kind of treatment?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us: our Admissions or Admin teams can put you in touch with a Nelson Trust family therapist who will be happy to offer you advice.

Is your family member or friend coming to The Nelson Trust for treatment?

Please take time to explore this website, to find out more about residential treatment and to read and hear what our clients say about their experience. Hopefully this will give you some idea of what life may be like for them over the coming months.

What support can we offer to family-members of our clients? 

The Nelson Trust family therapist works with the family and friends closest to our clients.  Many families and friends will have an opportunity to attend family weekends where they can share learning, understanding and support with others who are in a similar situation.  We may also be able to offer Family Therapy sessions for you, the person in treatment and other close family members.  

Support for clients in treatment around family relationships

Our treatment programme recognises the central importance of close relationships - both in addiction and in recovery - and we aim to help clients to improve their understanding of family relationships, their awareness of family dynamics and communication, and to develop their confidence and their skills in managing their responsibilities as a parent, as a partner and as a member of a family in their recovery.

You can explore family relationship patterns through writing your life story. This often helps to identify family patterns of behaviour and roles in the family. You may be asked to write an assignment focusing on the roles taken up in the family system. The ‘drama triangle’ assignment and workshop is often useful in helping to gain awareness of relationship patterns and dynamics. Often substance misuse is a family problem and several family members may have substance misuse problems themselves. A Genogram (family-tree) session with the family therapist can quickly identify relationship dynamics within the family and highlight, in some cases, the need for family therapy work.

There are also two gender specific dedicated courses of group workshops, which we call “Mothers in Recovery,” and "Fathers in Recovery," which is designed to help clients who feel that they have struggled or failed in their role as a parent whilst in addiction and aims to help people to overcome feelings of guilt and shame, and work towards a better understanding and closer, healthier attachments to family members in the future. Clients who have, in addiction, lost contact with their children may be helped to build back contact and work towards continuing communication with children and with their carers where this is appropriate for all concerned. 

Helping your immediate support network enhances the treatment process and adds important strengths to your recovery from substance misuse.  In Family Therapy, our family therapist works with you, your family and friends to open an honest dialogue, improve communication and to develop plans for ongoing support and for the future. Skills learned in assertiveness workshops and communication skills practice sessions will help your communication with your family. Often clients will practice and rehearse what they want to say to their family members by role playing scenarios with their group.