Anyone dealing with an addiction to drugs or alcohol knows how challenging it can be to finally turn their lives around and live sober. However, it can be considerably more difficult to achieve and maintain sobriety when both parties in a romantic relationship are coping with a substance use disorder.
Couples or spouses who abuse substances are more likely to argue and grow emotionally distant from one another. When one or both partners in a partnership turn to alcohol abuse or drugs to cope with stress or find solace in their troubles, it can set off a vicious cycle of escalating substance usage.
Fortunately, there are substance abuse treatment facilities that welcome cohabiting or married couples to go through their substance abuse issues together.
Keep reading to find out more regarding couples rehabs, and what Pathfinders Recovery Centers can offer!
Modern Approach to Couples Therapy
Conventional wisdom held that in the past, couples who suffered from a substance abuse disorder ought to seek out individual substance abuse treatment. The plan was for everyone to seek therapy for their substance abuse problems apart from one another.
Having both partners in therapy was seen to be too much of a distraction and a potential roadblock to the healing process. As a result of the lack of support for this idea, it has been largely disregarded.
Modern approaches to couples substance abuse therapy assume that partners may work through the recovery process together, all the while addressing the fundamental relationship difficulties that need to be resolved for sobriety to last.
All the anxieties, frustrations, and marital dysfunction may eventually force the partners to relapse if these issues are not handled or a plan for moving ahead is not provided.
Reasons to Consider Couples Rehab Treatment
Sadly, drug addiction and alcohol abuse are widespread problems in modern relationships. Manipulative behaviors, such as codependence and enabling, can trap couples in a vicious cycle of drug addiction. Going through substance abuse treatment centers along with other couples who are also struggling with drug abuse is beneficial.
Couples in recovery can encourage one another during the treatment process for alcohol and drug abuse as they work toward a shared goal of long-term abstinence.
This can work similarly to family therapy for drug and alcohol addiction. In certain drug rehab centers, as an alternative to behavioral therapy, family members meet during outpatient or inpatient rehab to discuss the damage of substance addiction. This helps with a range of issues, including domestic violence, and is likely to have the same effect on a couples drug rehab.
Regardless, it’s important to understand your treatment options in the context of outpatient or inpatient rehab in couples rehab centers. When you seek treatment, find out about the different levels of care available at behavioral treatment facilities you inquire about.
Benefits of Attending Rehab With Your Spouse
Addiction can cause major problems in a marriage or committed relationship when both partners are dealing with substance abuse issues. When one or both partners in an alcoholic or drug-addicted partnership can’t keep up with their obligations as parents or household caregivers, it can have a negative effect on the entire family.
Substance misuse inside a marriage can also increase the likelihood of physical and sexual assault, family discord, legal trouble, and separation or divorce.
By entering behavioral couples therapy together, couples may strengthen their commitment to sobriety and recovery and work toward a common goal. Couples rehab may help them tackle any issues that may be fueling their addiction as a unit. Couples in recovery look out for each other, encourage one another, and hold each other accountable as they work together to overcome their addictions.
How Do Couples Rehab Help?
When both parties in a relationship are addicted to substances, a couples rehab program is created to help them. You and your partner can even get help quitting smoking alongside alcohol and drugs by participating in an addiction treatment catering to your specific requirements.
You will emerge from the addiction treatment as a stronger pair, more able to tolerate and support one another, and more committed to working on your relationship. Collaboration between partners entails:
- Every session, the therapist checks in with the couple to see how things are going and make sure they aren’t abusing substances again.
- A couple’s progress is monitored in light of the goals they established in the prior session.
- In addition, the therapist will evaluate the couples’ progress in overcoming their addiction by assigning them homework that builds on the concepts covered in the program.
- The therapist works with the couple during addiction treatment to help them work through their issues, whether they are longstanding or more recent.
- The therapist makes sure the couple hasn’t relapsed to substance misuse by asking about their progress since the last session.
- Couples’ progress is monitored in relation to the goals they established before addiction treatment.
- The therapist will also assign the couples weekly homework, which will be discussed and graded at each session.
- For the sake of maintaining harmony in the relationship, the therapist and the couple discuss any issues that have arisen or that may emerge in the future.
Developing Skills to Cope and Communicate During Times of Adversity
When there is an addiction component to the relationship dynamic, the focus of drug rehab will be on developing coping mechanisms that strengthen both individuals and the bond between them. Anger, irritation, and resentment are all signs that addiction is causing problems at home.
Drug and alcohol use can cause cognitive distortions, paranoia, delusions, and illogical thinking, albeit the particular effects depend on the drug or drink. Conflicts, particularly those inside families, may flare up as a result. By working with couples to hone their communication skills, coaches may help couples resolve arguments and frustrations in more fruitful ways.
Maintaining Sobriety as a Couple
Individual, couple, and group psychotherapy will form the backbone of any effective relationships rehabilitation program. Trauma, abuse, and sorrow are all examples of underlying mental health concerns that may be identified and addressed. It’s possible that one spouse is dealing with a mental health condition or trauma illness, like PTSD, simultaneously.
Emotional problems are universal, and this approach treats them as such. In the future, the couples’ element will have more stability if both partners are actively striving to overcome their own personal challenges.
In addition, the couple will learn interpersonal and coping skills that will aid in their healing process. Frequently, the couple’s relationship chemistry is deeply dysfunctional. Learning to communicate and resolve differences more constructively helps speed up the healing process. Some common examples of these abilities are:
Resolving Issues Together
Communicating feelings, problems, or grievances in a fair and non-confrontational manner is an important skill for couples to develop. The communication part of any relationship may be strengthened by increased understanding of the influence of eye contact, body language, ineffective accusing statements, and active listening. Couples who are able to effectively express their feelings and thoughts, both positive and negative, benefit from improved communication.
Effective Methods for Dealing with Anger
Addiction to drugs or alcohol can increase the likelihood of verbal and physical aggression between spouses. In reality, drugs or alcohol are factors in the majority of domestic violence incidents. Couples in drug rehab acquire healthy coping mechanisms for difficult emotions like frustration and stress, such as rage and violence.
The ability to approach interpersonal conflicts rationally is a crucial part of the rehabilitation process. Emotions can be calmed and more sensible dialogue can occur by employing certain strategies, such as avoiding putting the other person on the defensive and restating the subject before starting a verbal attack. The techniques for resolving arguments that couples’ learn may be applied in many sorts of situations.
As a typical cause to relapse, stress is the number one hurdle to a prolonged recovery. Learning how to manage stress through practices such as deep-breathing exercises, mindfulness, yoga, guided meditation, or massage treatment can help couples discover skills to regulate stress in their relationship while also minimizing the likelihood of one or the other relapsing.
Different Forms of Couples Rehab
BCT (Behavioral Couple’s Therapy)
When one or both partners in a relationship suffers from substance abuse, effective therapy will require a combination of approaches. The term “behavioral couples therapy” (BCT) refers to a major drug rehab technique for couples in addiction recovery.
Psychotherapy for couples in recovery from substance abuse aims to strengthen interpersonal bonds and family dynamics. In a “recovery Contract,” the partners pledge to stay sober and aid each other in their own rehabilitation processes.
The idea behind BCT is that relapse rates can be reduced for recovering couples if they learn to communicate and resolve conflicts more effectively. The short-term program provides couples with a variety of tasks or exercises designed to strengthen the relationship via the adoption of mutually supportive mindsets and behaviors.
Behavioral couples therapy (BCT) is frequently used in conjunction with traditional talk therapy and is usually administered on an outpatient basis, similar to the methods outlined earlier, where couples are allowed to maintain their living arrangement at home.
However, that’s not to say that alternative or inpatient forms of couple’s rehab don’t exist.
Both outpatient and residential treatment options are available to couples. As a result of the more intensive nature of the residential program, the couple may be able to continue living in the same residence, but this is subject to the rules of the specific rehabilitation facility in question.
While most outpatient programs are designed for those with only a slight drug abuse issue, more intensive programs are available for those with more severe addictions. The greatest degree of care available through an outpatient rehabilitation facility is a partial hospitalization program (PHP), which is offered in addition to intensive outpatient programs (IOP).
The following are components of the treatment plan:
Detoxification and Withdrawal
During detox, the body gets rid of any lingering chemicals, and some people experience withdrawal symptoms as their systems readjust to life without the drug. The brain’s reaction to the lack of the addictive chemical causes the symptoms. The onset of withdrawal symptoms is often around 12 hours after the last drink or dosage, however, it can occur as early as 6 hours. Detox is supervised by medical experts who intervene at different points depending on how severe the patient’s withdrawal symptoms are. Detox and withdrawal often last between 7 and 10 days.
Psychotherapy can take the form of either one-on-one sessions or larger group sessions. Both methods can assist partners to gain insight into their own dysfunctional patterns and how they may have contributed to the development of addictive behaviors. In therapy, you will investigate the possibility that there is an underlying emotional issue, such as a traumatic event or the death of a loved one, that is contributing to your current difficulties. Depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety are all examples of co-occurring mental health conditions that will be treated simultaneously if both partners suffer from them. Couples who attend group support sessions might learn from one another’s experiences and become closer to each other as they undergo treatment.
Some people may benefit from taking a drug that makes it easier for them to stay sober. Drugs like naltrexone, buprenorphine, and methadone bind to opioid receptors in the brain and significantly lessen the action of the substance, resulting in decreased levels of drug desire. This results in less desire to use substances, which lessens the likelihood of recurrence. In the first year of sobriety, MAT can greatly enhance stability.
Helping One Another
An array of spa-like amenities is one of the numerous advantages of a high-end couples rehab program. Diverse experiential activities have been shown to boost mood and alleviate stress, all while adding value to the therapy process as a whole.
Traditional psychotherapy and group therapy sessions are “complement[ed]” by these additional measures. Acupuncture, physical activity, healthy eating, meditation training, mindfulness practice, yoga, therapeutic massage, and recreational therapy are all examples of these types of interventions.
The 12- Step Recovery Process for Couples
Couples who attend couples rehab may also benefit from participation in a 12-Step Recovery Program or similar. These may be attended together or separate from determining which produces the best results.
Pathfinders Recovery and Couples Rehab
At Pathfinders Recovery, we have options for couples who are seeking to experience recovery and continue on their healing journey together. We are firm believers that in the right situation, couples healing together can be a healthy option, assuming both parties are dedicated to making a full recovery.
If you can’t find a treatment center for couples, contact our Admissions staff today to find out how we can help you or another couple you know experience recovery!