When a family member is suffering from substance abuse, children may be especially susceptible to feelings of stress and anxiety. Wondering what may happen next, the family’s youngest members need reassurance as well as explanations that better help them understand exactly what it happening. To accomplish this, many treatment centers are now focusing on compassion-focused treatment, which involves the entire family. If you or someone you love is experiencing substance abuse, here are some ways children can benefit from compassion-focused treatment.
The Family Approach
Compassion-centered substance abuse programs often focus on the family approach. In these situations, it is critical you and your family, especially the children, be given the ability to talk about various issues in a safe and welcoming environment. By doing so through a compassion-focused treatment program, thoughts and feelings can be discussed and handled appropriately. This will allow children to be able to ask questions and get answers that they need.
Child and Behavioral Services
Since children are not simply smaller versions of adults, they often don’t know how to express what they are feeling. By becoming involved in compassion-focused treatment, children as young as age seven can have their physical and emotional needs handled by trained pediatric health experts who specialize in substance abuse and related issues. Children can also learn how to express their emotions in a safe environment, with adults who know how to understand them.
At-Risk Adolescent Programs
In many situations where families are dealing with substance abuse, children may find themselves not getting the attention they need. As a result, they may act out in various ways that put them at risk of developing substance abuse issues themselves later on. To address these concerns, your children can participate in weekly at-risk adolescent programs that not only allow them to be involved in meaningful activities, but also let them participate in group and individual therapy sessions to discuss their thoughts, feelings, and other concerns.
Despite what you may believe, completing a treatment program at a rehab facility is only part of the substance abuse battle for you and your family. To help you build on your success, it is crucial you and your children take advantage of follow-up services, which can include mental health assistance, stress management, family psycho-educational services, and much more. Since compassion-focused treatment emphasizes all family members, you can use these services as building blocks while you take life one day at a time.
While battling substance abuse may feel like an uphill struggle at times, compassion-focused treatment can make the journey much easier for you and your children. The sooner you commit to such a program, the more likely it is children will begin reaping the benefits.