Personal boundaries are the physical, emotional, and mental limits we set for ourselves to safeguard our wellbeing. They allow us to form our sense of identity and separate who we are, what we think, and how we feel from the thoughts and feelings of those around us. We have different boundaries for different circumstances and relationships. Healthy boundaries help ensure that our relationships are safe, supportive, and respectful. Unhealthy boundaries are used to manipulate or control relationships and keep others away. When you or someone you love suffers from addiction, boundaries become unhealthy. Family therapy for addiction helps those in recovery and their loved ones reestablish the healthy boundaries needed for successful recovery.
The experts in the Westwind Recovery® family therapy program can teach family members the importance of healthy boundaries while helping them rebuild relationships damaged by addiction. To learn more about how family therapy can help you and your loved ones, call 855.340.8832.
The Importance of Setting Healthy Boundaries in Addiction Recovery
The family systems model works from the point of view that a family is an interconnected unit, and each member affects how the system functions. That is to say, changes in one family member influence change in the rest of the family, as individuals and as a collective group. From this perspective, it becomes easy to understand addiction as a family disease. As substance use disorders impact all family members, family dynamics influence the substance use disorder, creating a cycle of dysfunction.
In response to the stress and disruption caused by the substance use disorder, family members take on new roles and develop unhealthy boundaries to maintain a sense of routine and normalcy. Codependent and enabling behaviors are common in family members living with an individual who suffers from addiction and can unwittingly foster addiction and complicate recovery for all involved. In recovery, an essential early step for everyone is to begin work on establishing and maintaining clear and healthy boundaries with one another. Examples of healthy boundaries include:
- Expecting to be treated with kindness, respect, and dignity
- Prioritizing your values
- Not compromising your values to please others
- Not feeling guilty when you say “no”
- Speaking up when someone violates your boundaries
- Expressing your needs in a situation or relationship
- Accepting when someone tells you “no”
Recovery requires focus and commitment. By setting healthy family boundaries in addiction recovery, the dysfunctional relationships born out of the addiction can be reframed, and true, lasting healing can begin. The Westwind Recovery® family therapy program can help clients and their family members establish healthy boundaries.
Tips for Setting Healthy Family Boundaries in Addiction Recovery
For individuals in recovery, setting boundaries can help keep them on the right path and ensure that their relationships evolve. For family members of individuals in recovery, setting boundaries can help stop enabling or co-dependent behaviors and allow you to focus on your needs once again. And for all involved, boundaries help establish relationship expectations and provide the space needed to process your thoughts and feelings without falling into old behavior patterns.
Following are some tips for setting healthy family boundaries in addiction recovery:
- Say “no” when you do not want to do something
- Treat yourself with respect
- Clearly and respectfully state your needs and feelings
- Stand by your values and beliefs
- Allow trust to develop over time
- State your limits
- Respect the boundaries of others
Contact Westwind Recovery® to Learn About Setting Healthy Boundaries in Addiction Recovery
Addiction does not occur in a vacuum but impacts the lives of all involved, especially within families. The importance of family participation in recovery, where appropriate, cannot be overstated. The family therapy program for addiction at Westwind Recovery® provides clients and their families with education about addiction. It provides support in helping families replace unhealthy boundaries with healthy ones that promote the recovery process.
Contact us today at 855.340.8832 to learn more about how our family therapy program can help you and your loved ones set healthy family boundaries. We have a range of treatment options to help you find success on your path to recovery.
Dr. Deena is the Chief Clinical Officer of Westwind Recovery®, an award-winning outpatient treatment center in Los Angeles where she oversees the clinical and administrative program and treatment methods. Dr. Deena is a doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker since 1993. LCSW #20628. Originally from the East Coast, Dr. Deena has worked running treatment centers, worked as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals as well as school settings and currently has a thriving private practice in the LA area. Dr. Deena has appeared regularly on the Dr. Phil Show as an expert since 2003. She has also been featured on many other TV shows, podcasts and has contributed to written publications as well as podcasts.