Family Therapy Intervention for Alcohol Addiction


FamilyTherapy Intervention for Alcohol Addiction

FamilyIntervention Program for an Alcoholic Addict



Thiscase involves one alcoholic addict who is 66 years old. Robert,drinking problem got worse after his retirement and things changed inhis family due to his drinking problem, the victim familyrelationships especially with his wife got worse and the couple hadto sleep in separate bedrooms. On numerous occasions, the doctor hadwarmed Robert against his drinking problem and had to have blood testevery three months to test for diabetes and prostate cancer. Thefamily through the elder daughter got concerned about her father’sworsening condition and decided to enlist the help of a localcounselor to facilitate a family intervention program for Robert.After arrangement and detailed discussion with other family membersthe counselor decided to visit Robert’s home to encourage himundertake a rehabilitation program. The counselor and the patient’seldest daughter marshaled a team of family members, friends andlongtime worker in a bid to convince Robert to join a rehab for hisdrinking problem m. Robert accepted the proposal and the family metto discuss the appropriate post-intervention program to help Robertcope fully with his dinking problem.

Evaluatemajor intervention techniques for their effectiveness in treatingaddictions

Additionis a great problem that takes toll not only on the patient but alsothe immediate members of one’s family. Alcohol addiction is adeliberating problem that if not altered early leads to harmfulhealth affects that complicates the overall wellbeing of anindividual. Addition is a psychological dependency problem thatrecurs unconsciously after long periods of engaging in drug abuse(Liddle,2010).As such, it becomes extremely hard helping individuals to cope andchange theiraddiction. There is numerous intervention techniquesused in therapeutic models to deal with drug addiction. However, theeffectiveness of these intervention programs on specific individualsneeds varies. It is thus apparent that intervention programs aimed atindividuals require customized approaches that target the uniqueneeds of an individual.

Whatconstitutes effective treatment for addiction?

TheNational Institute of Drug Abuse acknowledges that there is nojustifiable single method of intervention that fits all, eachindividual addict has got a unique treatment approach. However, anumber of factors can help improve treatment in post-intervention.These factors include proscribing good medication that helps indetoxification the patient and help them adjust to life withoutdrugs. An evaluation of mental health disorder is also necessary inorder to ensure good treatment after and before intervention programs(Moonat,Pandey, 2012).Additionally, it is also necessary to conduct regular drug test toensure that a relapse does not occur. Counseling of individual ingroup setting is an effective way of ensuring that individuals copingmechanisms is effective. Lastly, for effective coping mechanism it isimportant to have continuous re-evaluation of the treatment programto establish its effectiveness.

Majorintervention programs available for Robert

CognitiveBehavioral Therapy

Thisis a form of intervention approach that helps the patient understandhis situation that triggers the addictive behavior and thus helpavoid such situations in future. Cognitive behavioral therapy is amaladaptive behavioral pattern in which learning processes takes thecentral role in identifying problematic behaviors lading to drugabuse. CBT is effective in facilitating individual educe drug abuse(Liddle,2010).

Contingencymanagement intervention Therapy

Thisapproach is based on motivational approach by giving the addict somerewards to reinforce positive behaviors such as abstaining from drugabuse. Studies indicate that this incentive based approach iseffective in facilitating increased abstinence from drugs(Moonat, Pandey, 2012).However, in Robert case, this method might not help him to fullyabstain from alcohol since his tied problem is tied with familyissues.

MultidimensionalFamily Therapy

Aftertherehabilitation program, it is important that Robert’s familyconsider a multidimensional family therapy for Robert.Multidimensional Therapy is effective in covering all aspects ofindividual’s social situations that leads to the exacerbation ofalcoholism. For instance, Robert drinking problem increased after hisretirement since he possibly felt lonely and had plenty of time toengage in drinking. Secondly, Robert problem was exacerbated by hiswife nagging behavior and this could have increased Robert stress andconsequently his drinking problem. To this end, while Robert drinkingbehavior is individual problem, the family members have a stake insupporting Robert through positive behaviors in order to abstain fromdrink inking. The case study explains that even the children were notsupportive to their father and instead alienated themselves as wellas their children. In this case therefore, a multidimensional familytherapy is the best strategy of reducing Robert’s drinking problem,behaviors and mental health (Liddle,2010).

Underthe multidimensional therapy the counselor helps the family membersestablish meaningful therapeutic goals, enhance motivation and helpRobert develop concrete individual strategies of solving hisproblems. Multidimensional therapy fosters family relationships andprovides enormous opportunity for emotional support that is requiredby the alcoholic. In addition, family therapy helps identify issuesand individuals who could be triggering the drug addiction problemespecially the wife and children. During the counseling sessions thecounselor has the opportunity to demand that all family members adoptbehaviors that support the recovery of the patient. In part, familytherapy encourages family members to provide social, psychologicaland physical support to the victim. As the family members continue toprovide social, physical and psychological support, the patient feelloved and supported and hence less urge to engage in drinking(Miller,Meyers and Hiller-Sturmhöfel, 1999).

Familytherapy can also be supported by community efforts in whichindividuals within the local are encouraged to support the patient.In addition, family there pay session helps individuals to sharesolutions that would positively impact on the patient’s lifeespecially keeping the victim busy (Miller,Meyers and Hiller-Sturmhöfel, 1999).Furthermore, family members help the patient adapt to positivebehaviors thereby abstaining from alcohol. MDFT is conducted insessions that last several months or weeks and this is important inensuring that patients recover fully from addiction (Moonat,Pandey, 2012).

Followup sessions helps to assess and avoid relapse to addiction especiallywhen the patient has stayed for long without drug. It is during thefollow-up sessions that the counselor and the family members shouldarranged for continued medication treatment to detoxificationpatients. Therefore, as argued earlier, an intervention approach fordrug addiction is unique to each patient and requires adequateunderstanding on all aspects that contributes to addiction. There isno single approach that can be used successful in facilitatingcomplete change or abstinence from drug abuse(Liddle, 2010).

Mostly,multiple intervention programs and treatment methods are used. Forinstance, MDFT is not enough if the patient is not given medicationto detoxify the harmful alcoholic substances in the body since thebiological part of the patient is not addressed. The point is thatany approach used in intervention against drug abuse should addressthe psychological, biological, social and physical aspects of drugaddiction. In this case, the use of diverse approaches such asmedication, CBT and MDFT goes a long way in facilitating easier andeffective recovery from drug abuse(Miller, Meyers and Hiller-Sturmhöfel, 1999).


AngresDH, Bettinardi-Angres K (October 2008). &quotThe disease ofaddiction: origins, treatment, and recovery&quot. DisMon54(10): 696–721.

Liddle,H.A. (2010), “Treating adolescent substance abuse usingMultidimensional Family” Therapy. In J. Weisz and A. Kazdin (Eds.)Evidence-based Psychotherapiesfor Children and Adolescents(2nd ed.), New York: Guilford Press, pp. 416–432.

Miller,William R. Meyers, Robert J. Hiller-Sturmhöfel, Susanne (1999).&quotTheCommunity-Reinforcement Approach&quot(pdf). AlcoholResearch and Health(NationalInstitute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)23(2).p.119.

Moonat,S Pandey, SC (2012). &quotStress, epigenetic, and alcoholism.”Alcoholresearch: current reviews34(4): 495–505