When addiction knocked on my family's door and stole our son, I was in shock. I was a teacher and my husband was the soccer coach. We lived in a nice neighborhood, volunteered for the PTA and belonged to the local pool.
Shame and fear isolated us and I spent precious years yelling, crying and searching for help and answers. The traditional models of support were not helping. Our son was moving further away from change and I was becoming more and more desperate, entangled and hopeless in my attempts to fix the things that were wrong.
In a very rare moment of clarity and authentic vulnerability, I realized that I was the person with the power to begin the change process for our entire family. I could be the small pebble that could create the ripple in the water needed to provide connection and hope for myself and others. I became determined to regain control over my own life, rebuild the family relationships in jeopardy and love my son greatly - separate from his behavior and as the person who had lost himself in the disease of addiction.. In that moment I discovered that working on creating healthy boundaries, communicating with compassion and continuing to love my son where he was at - immersed in a disease that he could not control-was the only way out - for both of us. I could not help my son if I did not first save myself and become the person who I was proud to show up as.
I have hope that all families fighting the battle of addiction can regain peace and hope and learn to live their lives with intention, led by love and compassion-as we are only promised today.
A loved one's substance use affects the entire family and can consume every aspect of people's lives.
Relationships, career, physical and mental health all deteriorate when one family member is suffering from the disease of addiction. As my family navigated our loved one's resistance to help, we discovered that "rock bottom" and "tough love" were not philosophies that we believed in and instead turned to LOVE, COMPASSION, and CONNECTION amidst the disease. I learned to love him and hate the behavior.
My approach is to support you to communicate with love and rebuild relationships that don't center around the chaos and shame of substance use. I integrate several evidence based modalities that provide a holistic approach to moving forward and allow for you to begin to heal yourself in order to model recovery and ultimately have influence on your loved one.
Let me help you learn and implement tools modeled on the evidence based modalities of CRAFT, Invitation to Change, Motivational Interviewing and Internal Family Systems to effectively restore peace to your family and empower your loved one to seek positive change in their lives.
The Craft approach is a system for helping family members change the way that they interact with someone with substance use disorder. CRAFT is a skills based philosophy that helps families function better in multiple areas of their lives, including self care, involvement in pleasurable activities, problem solving, and goal setting. At the same time CRAFT addresses the loved one's resistance to change by teaching families behavioral and motivational strategies to communicate with their loved ones in a way that improves interactions and maximizes influence on positive behavior.
The Invitation to Change approach takes CRAFT a step further. You may be confused and losing hope about your loved one's behaviors or feel like your caring is actually making the problem worse. Research and evidence shows that you do have the power to help. A compassionate and skills-oriented outlook works towards reducing shame, guilt and stigma while providing tools to foster growth and promote and encourage change. ITC moves beyond the initial self-care model in CRAFT and invites you to dive deeper into identifying your own value system. Let me help guide you to become the person you want in your relationship and life. I understand how frightening it can feel to have lost yourself on this journey.
Motivational Interviewing is a goal-oriented style of communicating with the language of change at its center. It is designed to strengthen motivation and commitment towards a specific goal by exploring personal reasons and interests for change surrounded by compassion and acceptance. It is designed as a way to empower people to make positive changes based on their own meaning, importance and capacity. I teach communication tools and listening skills based on Motivational Interviewing so that you can step into your power of influence.
Internal Family Systems is a transformative tool that believes that a person has the ability to identify and be led by a core Self. Just like members of a family, inner parts are forced from their valuable states into extreme roles within us. Self is in everyone. It can’t be damaged. It knows how to heal. IFS creates inner and outer connectedness by helping people first access their Self and, from that core, come to understand and heal their parts. IFS takes the idea of personal values in Invitation to Change to a powerful level of self identification and empowerment. IFS is a way of understanding personal and intimate relationships and stepping into life with the 8 Cs: confidence, calm, compassion, courage, creativity, clarity, curiosity, and connectedness.