While you are walking the path to recovery from an addiction, therapy can be a strong tool for assessing the root causes of the addiction, integrating pain from the past into your life, and moving on. Family therapy can even bring families back together and help them heal old wounds. It's an important part of outpatient treatment services. Here are some tips for reconnecting with your children as part of family therapy.
Be Open and Honest
Lies can become the lingo of life when addiction is ruling your every move. If you lied about your addiction or as a result of it, your family members may be a little slow to believe what you say even now. It's very important to be open and honest during family therapy, though. You won't be protecting yourself or your family members if you twist the truth. Be as open and honest as possible throughout the process.
Hear Your Kids Out
No matter how painful it may be to hear accusations and angry rants from your children, commit to hearing them out fully. Don't interrupt their story even if you think that they are exaggerating or misrepresenting what happened. Simply listen and hear them out. You may discuss your own point of view on the matter after they have spoken, but the therapist will be able to guide the discussion in a way where every member of your family gets to have their say.
Apologize Fully and Completely
One thing that your children will need to hear is a complete apology. Be detailed. Offer it after you have heard them out on all the ways that they were wounded as a result of your actions while under the influence of your addiction. Be thorough as you create an apology. You may want to write them a letter of apology, but be sure to offer it verbally as well.
This apology may be best offered as a part of the family therapy, so your therapist can help guide the conversation that follows. Make sure to take this action, though. As a part of the apology, you also want to take responsibility for making amends. Also explain exactly what you are doing to ensure that you never repeat the past mistakes that have caused such harm.
Offer Absolutely No Excuses
When you look back at the past, it's only natural to want to explain why you did the bad things that you may have done under the influence of your addiction. However, in order for your children to have the closure that's necessary to move on from the pain that was inflicted on them from those actions, they do not want to hear your excuses. You need to be willing to hear them out without jumping in to offer excuses. You can talk about your feelings about what was done, but leave the excuses out of it.
Finally, keep in mind that this may be one of the most difficult parts of the recovery process. Most people carry an enormous pain around once they have hurt their loved ones because of an addiction. The good news is that it is possible for you and your loved ones to heal and move on together with the help of family therapy and other outpatient treatment services. For more information, contact a company like Hope House Inc.