Guardian Intensive Outpatient Program
Our Family Workshop Retreat

The effects of substance abuse and dependence are extremely far-reaching. Active addiction affects everyone it touches – in the majority of cases, this includes the immediate family members of the individual who is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction. Addiction is widely referred to as a “family disease,” in fact. This does not merely mean that family members are directly affected – it also means that family members play a vital role in the diagnosis and treatment of substance abuse. An article published in Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences titled, “Role of family in alcohol and substance abuse” explains that the family often requires just as much clinical treatment as the individual who has been abusing the chemical substance, and that family participation in the recovery process is essential to the prevention of relapse, conflict resolution and the quality of sobriety overall. At Guardian IOP we have developed a Family Workshop Retreat that services as a vital piece of our family-oriented Intensive Outpatient Program.

Our Family Workshop Retreat is a highly involved and intensive three-day program, one that was developed by our experienced team of clinical professionals and is facilitated by one of our highly trained and licensed therapists. The Retreat takes place at our clinical office in Delray Beach, Florida, and is open to all family members who wish to actively participate in the recovery process while gaining invaluable insight and healing on a deep, personal level.

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Our Family-Oriented Intensive Outpatient Program

At Guardian IOP we believe that the family members of each client should be heavily involved in every single phase of the recovery process, from medical detox through aftercare. For some, Intensive Outpatient is a single stage on a multi-phased continuum of clinical care – for others, it serves as an effective, standalone treatment option. Whatever the case may be, our Family Workshop Retreat is offered as part of our comprehensive and heavily family-oriented IOP program. Some of the additional services and resources we offer the family members of our clients include:

  • Location-specific recovery resources, such as a list of local Al-Anon meetings or licensed individual and family therapists (who specialize in substance abuse and healthy family functioning)
  • The development of healthy and effective communication skills
  • Addiction education (which focuses on the scientifically and medically acknowledged disease model of addiction)
  • How to develop and maintain healthy personal boundaries
  • How to effectively support a family member in his or her sobriety
  • A thorough introduction to common recovery-related issues that occur within the family unit, like enabling, blaming and ineffectively handling conflict

Family and substance abuse are closely intertwined. Active addiction harshly disrupts healthy family functioning, and in order for sobriety to be maintained long-term, the family must re-learn how to interact in beneficial ways while actively supporting one another and focusing on individualized healing. Addiction is also a highly genetic disease, meaning that addictive tendencies are often passed down from one generation to the next. At Guardian IOP we are dedicated to tackling all family-oriented issues while equipping our clients and their loved ones with the tools they need to successfully overcome all obstacles.

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What is the Guardian IOP Family Retreat?

Our Family Workshop Retreat is led by Michael Hebert, a certified addiction counselor, certified recovery coach and certified interventionist with years of firsthand experience. Herbert has developed an effective and highly involved method of family counseling, which is broken up into three main components. These components include understanding the existing family dynamic, breaking down the existing family unit and understanding the role of each individual family member, ultimately restructuring the family dynamic into something healthy, functional and fulfilling for all involved.

The process is broken down day-by-day, as family members focus on healing individually and as a unit.

Guardian IOP Family Workshop Retreat Process

Day One:

Over the course of the first day of the Retreat, the clinical team will take ample time getting to know each family member on an individualized basis. The client is not present during the first day of the workshop, and all of the therapeutic work that is being done is focused exclusively on the client’s family members. We ask a series of questions that help illuminate the strong points and the potential weaknesses that exist within the family unit. In order for authentic healing to occur, all underlying family issues must be adequately identified and addressed. The first day of our Retreat focuses primarily on addiction education, revolving around an in-depth introduction to the disease model of addiction. Substance abuse is complicated, and can be quite difficult to understand from an outside perspective. However, it is important that family members understand what their loved one is experiencing – this helps to foster a deeper level of understanding and compassion. Regardless of how much family support an individual was receiving before he or she entered into Intensive Outpatient treatment, the disease of addiction is always more powerful than rational decision making and a desire to quit.

Once we cover the disease model of addiction in depth, we turn our attention to the personal experiences that each family member has had over the course of the past several years (or for however long the active addiction has been occurring). We focus on the ways in which each individual family member has been reacting to stressful situations, and how they have been attempting to cope with the ongoing presence of addiction. focusing on the personal experiences of each family member helps us understand what role each family member plays in the comprehensive family unit. In many cases, these roles must be thoroughly restructured.

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Day Two:

On the second day of our Family Workshop Retreat, we begin shifting our attention to the client him or herself. We examine how the client exists in his or her appointed (and often unspoken) role within the family unit. We take note of the ways in which the client interacts with his or her family members, and reacts to the messages that they are attempting to convey. This helps our licensed family therapist further understand the reasoning behind repetitive self-destructive behavioral patterns, and the ways in which these negative patterns can be effectively and permanently altered. The therapist assesses and breaks down the information he observes, helping family members develop healthy and effective communication skills while addressing their individualized needs.

Day Three:

The third and final day of our Family Workshop Retreat focuses on changing the family dynamic however necessary. Rather than spend extensive time attempting to repair a broken familial system we start from the ground up and work to build and develop an entirely new and functional way of living. We work to teach the family members of the client how to set and maintain healthy personal boundaries, while teaching the client to respect these boundaries and alter his or her behavior whenever necessary. This is a process that takes an ample amount of time, and it is not always straightforward. Because of this, it is often necessary for our clients and their families to continue with family therapy sessions once our Intensive Outpatient program has come to a close. we provide a wide range of beneficial resources, pointing family members in the right direction once the Retreat has concluded. At Guardian IOP, our main priority is helping our clients avoid relapse long-term – not just a relapse into substance use, but a relapse into old and unproductive behaviors that affect the entire family.

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    Guardian Intensive Outpatient Program
    Effective Addiction Treatment for the Entire Family

    One of our main priorities is helping the family members of our clients better grasp why they react the way that they do, and how to improve the ways they respond in order to maintain a harmonious and happy household. It has been repeatedly proven that the families who are most successful continue to apply the strategies they learn in real life situations on a day-to-day basis. No matter how dysfunctional and unhealthy any given family unit has become, recovery is entirely possible if each individual family member remains committed to continuous self-improvement. We look forward to seeing you at our next Family Workshop Retreat, and speaking to you should you reach out with any additional questions or concerns. To get started give us a call today at (855) 517-1871, we are available to help you 24/7.