Alcohol and substance use doesn’t only affect a person who’s using drugs–it’s a family disease. Active addictions have consequences that affect family dynamics, particularly between couples.

Fortunately, there are treatments and therapies available that can help restore trust and help couples and families regain a healthy way of living together. Couples therapy is a beneficial addition to our substance use treatment in Portland and can speed up the recovery process and make abstinence easier.

What Is Substance Use Therapy?

 couples addiction therapy in portlandSubstance use therapy is a method of addiction treatment and rehabilitation that helps people who struggle with drug abuse or alcohol dependency. This therapy helps patients change their thought patterns, behaviors, and feelings related to substance use. It also teaches healthy coping and management skills to prevent relapse. Substance use therapy often addresses existing or developing mental health issues, as well as any other problems that may trigger or contribute to addiction.

Various types of substance use therapy exist, such as family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management, motivational interviewing, and group therapy. Each therapy method has its own methods and goals, but its primary focus is always on overcoming addiction, coping with cravings, and improving quality of life and well-being. The level of care patients receive during substance use therapy often depends on its setting. Common types include outpatient rehab, detoxification, inpatient or residential rehab, or rehab aftercare program in Portland.

The intensity and duration of the treatment will vary from person to person, depending on their specific needs and preferences.

Couples therapy is a form of treatment that applies to people in a committed relationship and requires participation from each partner. This therapy focuses on conflicts between these partners as well as the relationship itself. Couples counseling is used to resolve or treat mental health issues, addiction, communication barriers, and other problems that hinder the normal functioning of a relationship.

Both partners in a relationship receive equal treatment as a client during this type of therapy. Each session requires both parties to be present, though certain situations may call for a few one-on-one sessions as needed.

Couples therapy focuses on creating a safe space for partners to voice their feelings, resolve conflicts, and discuss issues. The counselor helps patients recognize and change behavioral and thought patterns that lead to deception, disconnection, and stress in the relationship. These sessions can help partners build a more understanding, respectful, and intimate relationship.

Counselors often organize couples therapy sessions to follow a specific schedule. The therapist or counselor uses each session to:

  1. Examine relationship issues and substance use.
  2. Introduce new concepts and skills.
  3. Allocate homework that contains skills application.
  4. Review the previous homework.

During couples therapy, a therapist or counselor may implement one or more of the below techniques as a part of a patient’s substance use disorder treatment plan. This helps the partners and counselor set goals for the recovery journey. Once patients set these goals, the counselor may implement substance-focused interventions to bolster abstinence, followed by relationship-based interventions.

Several types of couples therapy techniques exist, such as:

  • Reflective listening: Reflective listening is a process where both partners take turns listening to each other actively and repeating what their partner said and how they’re feeling. This helps both partners learn to show empathy and validation and avoid misinterpretations or misunderstandings.
  • Emotionally focused therapy (EFT): EFT concentrates on building stronger bonds and deeper attachments between partners. The counselor works with the couple to identify feelings of discontent. EFT can help partners develop feelings of love, security, and support in their relationship.
  • Gottman method: The Gottman method focuses on addressing conflict areas and teaching couples healthy conflict resolution and problem-solving skills, leading to increased intimacy levels and improved friendship between partners. This method can help partners develop respect, admiration, and trust for one another.
  • Psychodynamic therapy: This approach analyzes the core fears and dreams that motivate couples, which helps them understand each other better. Psychodynamic therapy helps partners understand how their past experiences and trauma impact their present behavior and teaches them how to overcome negative patterns and behaviors.
  • Behavioral therapy: This method helps reshape behavior by strengthening positive behaviors that encourage stability and satisfaction while eradicating behaviors that promote negativity. Behavioral therapy helps couples build healthy routines, habits, and boundaries in their relationships.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT focuses on a person’s thought patterns and how these patterns influence their actions. CBT helps partners recognize and change irrational assumptions, beliefs, and expectations that infuse conflict or distress into their relationship.

How Does Addiction Impact a Relationship?

Addiction, no matter which form it takes, causes compound issues in relationships that affect each partner’s physical, psychological, and emotional health. Our guide for dating someone with an addiction may help navigate these issues.

Substance use disorders negatively affect a person’s physical and mental health and can impede their sexual performance, intimacy, and functioning. Heavy alcohol use can cause permanent damage to a man’s sexual health and performance, even after long periods of abstinence.

As sexual functioning and performance decrease, so does the emotional bond between partners that builds feelings of desire and closeness. Feelings of resentment and disgust can stem from prolonged addictions. Couples therapy is important for resolving negative feelings and helping partners reignite the spark of desire and intimacy that they once held for each other.

Being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol reduces a person’s judgment, which could lead to impaired decision-making. This can enable someone to engage in relationships and situations that they would never be involved in if they were sober.

Infidelity between partners is often a by-product of deeper problems. This breaks the trust and proper functioning of relationships, which can take a lot of time and effort to repair. Couples therapy works to build healthier boundaries and promote healthier relationships built on honesty and trust.

What Issues Can Addiction Cause for Partners?

Partners in relationships overshadowed by substance addictions face many issues that may hamper attempts at withdrawal and recovery. Some of those issues are:

  • Lack of trust: Addiction can lead to deception and betrayal, which affect the trust in a relationship. Secrecy may also work to undermine recovery attempts.
  • Emotional distress: When one or more partners struggle with addiction, they may experience mood swings. Feelings of shame, guilt, anger, helplessness, and frustration can lead to one or both partners developing anxiety, depression, or loneliness and bring down both parties’ self-esteem.
  • Codependency: Codependency is a dysfunctional relationship aspect where one partner relies on the other for their psychological, emotional, and physical well-being. Codependent partners may neglect their self-care and needs and prioritize their partner’s needs, which can prevent both partners from progressing and healing.
  • Abuse: Drugs and alcohol change the brain’s chemistry, and this can make a person become more abusive toward their partner. A person going through withdrawal may turn to taking out their frustrations and lashing out at their loved ones. Abusive relationships leave physical and psychological scars on both parties and can damage a relationship’s integrity.
  • Financial problems: An addiction can push a person to mismanage their finances.This combined with reduced work performance and attendance can cause a person to lose their job and accumulate debts. This directly contributes to stress between couples and reduces their quality of life and well-being.
  • Isolation: Addiction can create rifts between a couple and their friends, community, and family. People with an addiction may become withdrawn and shun social interactions with people who do not support their behaviors. Addicts may estrange their partners, which increases the sense of isolation and hampers the chances of making a full recovery.

Why Is Couples Therapy Important?

couples addiction treatment center

Couples therapy is more vital to a person’s recovery efforts than you may think. Relationships have been known to lead to addictions and substance use, whether through joint experimentation or drugs and alcohol being used as coping mechanisms for stressful relationships. Working through relationship struggles together with the help of a professional counselor is important for healing relationships and recovery because it:

  • Encourages partners to start and complete substance use treatment
  • Helps create motivation to maintain abstinence
  • Assists partners with reducing substance use
  • Helps couples develop healthy problem-solving and communication skills
  • Addresses addiction-related relationship issues
  • Assists couples with restoring healthy boundaries and healing relationships with other family members and loved ones

What are the Benefits of Couples Therapy?

Couples therapy in addiction recovery has several benefits which include:

  • Improving problem-solving skills within the relationship.
  • Improving communication skills, such as learning empathy, learning how to compromise effectively, and learning how to express emotions in a healthy manner
  • Learning to recognize enabling behaviors and working to replace them with adaptive behaviors
  • Relapse mitigation
  • Bolstering abstinence and sobriety efforts
  • Improving the results of substance addiction treatment

Call Crestview Recovery Today for Couples Therapy

If your relationship is under strain from the effects of addiction, help is available to you right now at Crestview Recovery. We offer outpatient and residential treatment modalities that are custom-tailored for each person to effect optimal recovery results.

Contact our compassionate admissions team today for more information about inpatient addiction treatment, rehab enrollment, and the different modalities of addiction treatment available to you.