This post is written to invite all families everywhere, whose family members suffer from addiction, to get the education and support they need to help them understand and heal from the tornado that addiction has brought into their and their loved ones’ lives. It is specifically written to families already enrolled in or considering enrolling in the BALM program, to help you understand why we offer comprehensive family recovery education and to get a brief overview of the program.
When a loved one struggles with substances or other addictions, the family members experience a wide range of thoughts and emotions ranging from severe rage, plain anger, fear, and mistrust, to shock, denial, disbelief, sadness, depression.
Situations can range from upsetting to dangerous to dire, and families will often use every trick up their sleeve to help their loved one see the light. When that doesn’t work, family members either give up or keep doing the same things they’ve been doing, thinking that if they just keep trying, things will get better.
Meanwhile, the struggling loved one is often getting worse and as they do, the family member goes from desperate to despondent. Some family members lose all hope in situations that are not impossible, but sure seem that way.
So, families ‘put their loved one in treatment’ and many believe that 30 or 60 or 90 days later, everything will be great! He or she will be cured!
May I ask you a question: If your child had cancer or your spouse had a heart condition and the doctors at the hospital said there were important classes for you to take that would help you better cope with the situation and that could possibly help your loved one recover, would you participate? If you are like most people who are asked this questions, your answer is YES!!!
Yet, many family members, when told by their loved one’s addiction treatment center that their participation in classes and groups is vital, ignore the guidance with words like, “This is their problem, not mine!” or “What on earth could I possibly learn here that I don’t already know?” OR “Yes, but I’ve been focusing all of my energy on getting them here. I’ve got my bridge game (or soccer or game night) that night.” “I participated during their last three or four treatments and it didn’t help. Why should I do so now?”
The fact is, there is so much to learn about this life and death malady of addiction. Plus, the research shows that when the family gets well, the addicted loved one has a much better chance of getting and staying in recovery. There is no guarantee of course, but there are known tools, techniques and skills that can help you, as a family member contribute to recovery in your home, and that is what is family recovery education is all about!
While families believe that after a 28 day treatment stay their loved one will be ‘cured’ and all will be well, treatment centers often encourage attendance at Alanon or some other support program for families and some treatment centers offer their own excellent family programs. After all, after ‘holding it all together’ for so many years, the family often feels depleted.
Indeed, often families are ‘holding things together’, but at what price to themselves, the other family members and their struggling loved one him or herself?
Here are some of the prices untreated families and loved ones pay:
- physical illness
- emotional distress
- a sense of feeling lost
- fear of the loved one’s return back home from treatment
- not knowing what to do or say to make things better, either to help them make a decision to get help or to help them stay in recovery once they get home
- prolonged relapses that may have been caught and reversed earlier had the family had the tools to break through their own habits of denial and enabling
While the family didn’t cause, can’t control, and cannot cure their loved one’s addiction, they CAN learn ways to contribute to their loved one’s recovery. Thus, we come to the need for family recovery education. When a family is educated in recovery principles and has tools for positive loving action, there is hope, a sense of the possibilities of recovery.
Family Recovery Education can’t promise that an addicted person will get well, but only that the family members who do engage in the family recovery process will get better, and that their wellness will begin to rub off on others in the family.
We say that BALM Family Recovery Education is comprehensive because it includes a variety of content and pedagogic styles, as well as the opportunities for family members to learn in the way that they learn best.
The key to the power of this program is it is available to enrollees 24/7 for a full year! We certainly encourage consistent participation over the course of the year. Yet, we know how life happens! And we have had many families go through their 12 weeks and then the 7 steps, see improvement at home, and think, “All is well! I’m done!” only to have a loved one go through a pre-lapse or slip. Fortunately for those families, they have a place to go to get strong again and get support. Soon they are back in the swing of BALM conversations and practices and often start having a positive impact on a loved one’s choices once again! This program is HERE for YOU for a full year!
This is a powerful foundational program that includes 12 Principles and 7 Steps.
The 12 Principles (Daily BALM) Course includes:
- weekly live calls all year long
- 12 recorded lessons (one on each principle)
- an archive of over 100 recordings including expert interviews, talks by recovering persons and talks by recovering family members
Families can access and listen to all 12 principles in 6-12 weeks, or take an entire year to do so.
The 7 Steps to BALM Course includes:
- an eight week course
- each step covered in depth through discussion, demonstrations, practice with a buddy during class
- an assigned partner to practice each step with in between classes
- time for deep discussion of timeless principles that work to bring sanity back into a family’s life
- personalized support that the participants give to each other in the course of their buddy work and in-class partnering
Both courses include:
- recorded lessons
- digital workbooks
- PowerPoint slides downloadable on PDFs
- live calls
- q and a time
If you like to read, you will find the information available in ebook form. If you prefer to listen, you can listen to the recordings. If you need to see what you are learning, there are accompanying workbooks and powerpoint slide pdf’s for each lesson to help you integrate the information more powerfully.
The best part for many families is that the entire course is available online and by phone. So, no matter where your loved one’s treatment center is, you have BALM Comprehensive Family Recovery Education available to you, in your home, in your car, at your office or out in the park.
Family Recovery plays a CRITICAL role in a loved one’s ability to stay in recovery.
Move your family from toxic to healthy with a powerful dose of Comprehensive Family Recovery Education today!
See you on Wednesday’s call this week, March 18th, when we will go into the details of how to navigate the BALM so it is optimally helpful to you and your loved one! Bring your questions and we will be there to get you started or restarted on your BALM journey!
Be A Loving Mirror!
Beverly A. Buncher, MA, PCC, MRLC, CTPC
Family Recovery Coach/CEO
Family Recovery Resources, LLC
786 859 4050