Our Family Workshop
Family workshops are an important part of the overall recovery process, as they help family members and significant others to understand the impact that addiction has on their relationships. The workshop also provides education on addiction and recovery and helps family members and significant others to develop the skills and knowledge they need to support their loved one’s recovery.
During the workshop, family members and significant others learn about the common dynamics that occur in families affected by addiction, such as enabling, codependency, and the role of trauma. They also learn about the importance of self-care, setting boundaries, and healthy communication skills in the recovery process.
Our workshop sessions are lead by counselors that are specialized in addiction recovery and family therapy. They provide guidance and support, with the goal of providing a safe and constructive environment for the families to talk through their experiences, learn from one another, and develop strategies to support their loved one’s recovery.
It is vital to have realistic expectations about the recovery process, and to understand that recovery is a journey, not a destination and that it can be a complex and challenging process for the individual and the whole family.
There are numerous hotels located close to our campus and staff can provide phone numbers if requested. The closest and most convenient is the Hilton Garden Inn of Albany located just a couple miles away from GraceWay.
We ask that all participants commit to attending the entire family workshop in order to fully benefit from the experience and to minimize disruptions to the group as a whole.
It is equally important to minimize distractions during the workshop, such as work-related activities or cell phone usage. Such distractions can interfere with an individual’s ability to fully focus and engage in the workshop, as well as disrupt the flow and dynamic of the group. This workshop is time sensitive, and the material provided will help the individuals and their loved ones to have a better understanding of addiction, the recovery process and how to support the individual in their journey.
GraceWay requires participants to attend a minimum of 6 Al-Anon, Families Anonymous, and/or CODA meetings prior to the family workshop. This is an important step in ensuring that they have a foundation of knowledge and support before participating in the workshop.
Al-Anon is a support group for family and friends of alcoholics, and it provides an opportunity for individuals to share their experiences and to learn from others who are going through similar situations. It can help to provide a sense of understanding, validation, and hope, as well as offer tools to cope with the effects of living with an alcoholic.
Families Anonymous is similar, providing support to family and friends of alcoholics and addicts, to help them to understand and cope with the impact of addiction on their lives and relationships.
CODA (Co-Dependents Anonymous) is another support group that provides support to individuals in codependent relationships. People in codependent relationships often give too much to others, have difficulty setting boundaries, and have trouble feeling good about themselves. CODA provides an opportunity for individuals to learn new tools and behaviors to improve their self-esteem and relationships.
Attending such meetings can be very beneficial for the individual and the family as a whole, it will give them a better understanding of the disease of addiction, recovery process and how to best support their loved one.
It’s easy to locate meetings, you can search online for your nearest meetings, or the staff at GraceWay can provide direction and assist in finding meetings that are in close proximity to the individual’s location.
Visitors must respect the privacy and confidentiality of other residents while visiting GraceWay. Addiction treatment is a vulnerable time for individuals, and maintaining confidentiality is essential to protecting their privacy and well-being. This can include not sharing personal information about residents or discussing their process or progress with others. All visitors are required to read and sign our confidentiality statement. Cameras, video cameras, or tape recorders are prohibited.
Additionally, visitors must abide by any posted guidelines while visiting GraceWay. These may include rules around visiting hours, dress code, and behavior expectations. Following these guidelines can help to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all residents and visitors.
We ask that visitors and residents respect the space and time of the other residents and their families. While visiting, please do not not interrupt any individual family sessions as this will take away from their process. The recovery process is delicate and sometimes a lot of emotions are brought to the surface.
Residents and visitors are to stay on the property and be accessible to GraceWay staff at all times in case of an emergency or if assistance is needed. Walking off the property or isolating oneself from staff can put the individual’s safety and well-being at risk. Residents and visitors are to maintain appropriate boundaries and behavior during the workshop and not engage in inappropriate public displays of affection.
To help maintain a safe and secure environment, all visitors are required to wear name badges during all visitation periods. This can help staff and residents to easily identify visitors and ensure that only authorized individuals are on the property.
It is also important to respect the privacy of the residents. Visitors are not permitted to enter the apartments or resident’s rooms. As the environment of the facility is focused on recovery, and is not a social setting for visitors.
The family workshop can be intense and is not appropriate for children under the age of 16, and as such, we do not recommend them attending. Unfortunately, GraceWay cannot provide assistance with childcare so visitors must make prior arrangements.
It is essential to keep in mind that the recovery process can be affected by the use of mind altering chemicals, therefore visitors must abstain from alcohol or any other mood altering substance for the duration of the workshop.
We enforce these guidelines in a respectful and compassionate manner and desire to make sure that visitors understand that these rules are in place to ensure the safety, privacy, and well-being of all residents and visitors and to provide the best possible experience for all involved.
What Your Loved One May Experience:
These are a list of common reactions and feelings that people in addiction treatment may experience. It’s important to note that everyone’s experience with addiction and treatment is unique and that not everyone will experience all of these reactions or feelings.
- Building a “wall” to protect oneself from the recovery experience is a common defense mechanism, but it can be detrimental to the recovery process. It’s important for individuals in our program to be open and honest with themselves and others in order to make progress in their recovery.
- Focusing on the shortcomings of other residents, staff, or the program rather than one’s own issues is also a common defense mechanism, but it’s vital for individuals to take responsibility for their own actions and work on addressing their own issues.
- Feeling surprised and comforted to discover that others have similar feelings and experiences.
- Stronger feelings such as anger, loneliness, or feelings of being out of control are also common in early recovery.
- A feeling of “being fixed” and therefore they believe that they are ready to leave the program.
- Guilt and shame, and the desire to ‘fix’ broken relationships immediately.
- Finally, individuals may feel a desire to shield their family members from becoming involved in the family program or talking to counseling staff, but it’s important to remember that addiction affects the whole family and that involving loved ones in the recovery process can be beneficial for everyone involved.
What You May Experience:
- A tendency to keep secrets or avoid talking to staff regarding any relevant information regarding telephone or written communication with their loved one is a common reaction, but it is important for family members to be open and honest with the recovery team in order to support the recovery process.
- Feeling resentment toward their loved one for being in a long-term program and leaving the family member to deal with outside issues and problems alone. On the opposite end, a feeling of hope and optimism.
- Preoccupation with problems that could wait until their loved one has completed the program. It is important for residents and their family to focus on the current recovery process.
- The belief that this will magically fix all family problems.
- Resistance to attending support groups that will aid in their own recovery.
- Continued manipulation from their loved one.
- An urge to shield their loved one in fear of ‘setting them off’.
- A willingness to do whatever it takes to keep the family and their loved one in recovery.