Family Program at Cottonwood Tucson
Cottonwood Tucson’s Family Program week is about creating change. Often, families come into family week fearful, angry, distraught and obsessed. Their interactional pattern is focused around the illness or chaos of a single member, and their ability to care for themselves emotionally, and sometimes physically, can be seriously compromised. In these families, the interactional patterns are stuck and unhealthy behaviors have become logical.
Our Family Program is based on the theory that all behaviors are logical and learned. Family Program is designed to shift an unhealthy set of logical behaviors to a healthy set of logical behaviors: to create new patterns of behavior that allow for the recovery of the family and its loved one. The goal of Family Program is to create a shift toward a new way of interacting that is more useful than were the old patterns. The remarkable achievement of family week is that this shift is created in five days. Family week uses four core elements to create this shift: Education, Communication Training, Communication Enactment, and Multiple Family Group Support. When the family members are of an adolescent patient, the education extends to include Parenting and Adolescent Development. For all families, individual needs for private sessions or specific educational needs to address the loved one’s return to the family environment are met.
Family Program includes:
- Education. The first two days of Family Program are an acquisition of knowledge about psychiatric disorders, neurology, addiction, and communication.
- Communication training. Using a psychoeducational approach, members are taught to develop effective communication statements that include affect, behavior, and context.
- Communication enactment. Using a structural family therapy framework, the members are facilitated in their sharing of concerns, appreciations, goals and commitments, and boundaries.
- Multiple Family Groups. A small group composed of several different families normalizes the struggles of families with addiction or mood disorders. Members learn from each other, and they share feedback with each other, about what they see, feel, and hear happening in the communication.
- Individual attention. Individual and family sessions and education are set up as needed to facilitate the loved one’s return to the family environment.
The goal of Family Program is to help families relearn behavioral interaction so that healthy behaviors become logical. Interpersonal change that can be sustained after treatment requires a movement from following direction (first order change) to internalizing new ways of interacting (second order change). Families shift from obsessive worry and controlling behaviors to acknowledging that which is outside of their control and learn to focus on their own personal needs and boundaries. They learn to detach from the pain, and not from the person.
Five 8-hour days, a solid program, and a community of support begins the shift to sustained healthy family behavior. It’s a program that asks a lot from families. For many families, the result is a healthier functioning which is priceless.
Does your family need a family week, but you do not have a loved one in treatment? Cottonwood Tucson’s Family Program is available on an outpatient basis to families who want to strengthen and improve their current family communication and interaction patterns. Call and ask how this family program may benefit your family.
Are you a licensed professional wanting to further develop your skills in family process and family systems? Contact us to see how you can put Cottonwood Tucson’s Family Program into your continuing education plans.