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What is the Family Systemic Model?

Posted on August 2nd, 2012

An addict’s dangerous and deadly behaviors not only affect themselves but they also affect the family members around them. Some of the side effects of an addiction can include, but are not limited to:

  1. Depression
  2. Aggression
  3. Weight Loss/Gain
  4. Suicidal
  5. Impulsiveness
  6. Manic behavior

Did you know, though, that many of these side effects not only affect the addict but also their family members and loved ones? It is completely true. Take this situation as an example.
A wife has a husband who is an alcoholic. He comes home late every day drunk and rarely eats dinner or spends quality time with their children. This has been going on for a year and it is starting to show through the wife’s actions. No longer is she sociable with friends or outgoing. Instead of making her kids a priority, she is more concerned with herself and how awful she feels. The wife is depressed because of her husband’s alcoholic addictions. This example is exactly why there is a Family Systemic Model.

A Family Systemic Model is a way that an entire family can truly heal from an addiction as a whole if the family is involved with the treatment. The ultimate goal of the Family Systemic Model is the entire family will become motivated to seek treatment for themselves and to teach them the following healthy traits:

  1. Communicating in a healthy way
  2. Support
  3. Encouragement

Regular Intervention Vs Family Systemic Model

There are five basic points of a Family Systemic Model, which takes a regular intervention and gives a twist, focusing on the entire family along with the addict. A normal intervention has five points that basically describe what goes on. These five points include:

  1. All meetings prior to the intervention only involve the family members. The addict is not told about the intervention.
  2. The intervention occurs only once – this is strictly for effectiveness.
  3. An Intervention occurs in a controlled environment that includes a trained counselor.
  4. Once the intervention occurs, daily life must go on.
  5. An addict must choose whether or not they enter into rehab. Whether they agree to it or not, the family must stick firm to the consequences that were outlined during the Intervention.

A Family Systemic Model Intervention is completely different. The following points listed below show how a family systemic model is outlined as well as how it differs from a normal intervention.

  1. There are no planned meetings that are hidden from the addict. In fact, when a meeting is set up with a trained interventionist the addict goes to the very first one.
  2. During the meetings, all family members and the addict openly discuss the way the addict’s behavior has impacted each one’s lives. It is not a one way conversation – it can go back in forth in a controlled manner.
  3. Instead of having one big meeting for the intervention, there could be several meetings a week and the process can last months at a time.
  4. Both the addict and family members commit to entering some type of counseling. Most likely, the addict will attend an inpatient rehab to get over the addiction. Afterward, the addict will join the family therapy sessions that occur while he/she is in rehab. The family commits to therapy sessions while the addict is in rehab as well as afterward as one family unit.

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