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Family in Mental Health Treatment

November 20, 2017

The Role of Family in Mental Health Treatment

We all struggle with relationship issues at different times throughout our lives. What most people don’t know is that healthy relationships can be a significant protective factor when dealing with the adversity of life. Did you know that we live longer, heal faster and are more productive when we have healthy supportive relationships?

In terms of mental health, strong relationships are one of the biggest predictors of happiness. Research shows that the benefits of healthy relationships are profound and affect our lives in a myriad of ways. Healthy relationships can help buttress us from the stresses of life.

However, these relationships can be negatively impacted when a loved one suffers from mental health challenges or substance misuse. This not only affects the individual but also impacts their closest relationships. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of shame and stigma associated with these conditions, making it challenging to talk about with loved ones, let alone reach out for help. In fact, many wait too long to get help because they do not want to be a burden or they feel they should be able to get better on their own.

It’s often difficult for a person whose loved one is struggling to know when and how to help. Dealing with a loved one’s crises and ongoing struggles can sometimes lead to an over-involvement and focus on the person who is suffering, leaving other areas and other relationships in one’s life neglected. PCH Treatment Center is very aware of this risk and is in a unique position to address the family dynamics surrounding a person with mental health issues.

PCH understands that when someone we love suffers, it impacts us profoundly. While mental health issues need targeted, professional assessment and treatment, PCH believes that mental health does not stop there. In order to optimize outcomes, we invite the client’s primary support system into the treatment process.

Each month we offer a family intensive weekend, a program designed specifically for our clients and their families. Throughout the weekend, we provide in-depth psycho-education along with practical tools and individualized therapeutic support. Clients and family members benefit from interactive learning, group work and individualized family therapy sessions with their own assigned family therapist.

What makes PCH so uniquely qualified to help clients and their loved ones together are the vast resources that a team of over 50 licensed, specialized doctoral and master’s level therapists can bring. Our family program draws from a dedicated pool of over 25 licensed professionals who specialize in couples and family work. In addition, some of our family therapists have advanced training in Mentalization (MBT), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Gottman Method, OCD, trauma work and mindfulness, which enables us to select the therapist who is the best fit for the client and their family. Colleen Kelly, MFT and Louise Bale, MFT, LPCC are the co-directors of PCH’s Family Program.

We want our clients and their families to know that they are not alone. Regardless of differing backgrounds, ages and situations, families who attend our monthly program realize there are others who are dealing with very similar issues. We hear from families month after month just how beneficial the weekend has been for them. It allows family members a chance to experience how their loved one is progressing and learning at PCH. We are proud that our clients have the opportunity to bring their newfound learning back to their family members. Our entire group learns from each other as therapists support the participants to boldly step out into new territory. In time, the deeper understanding gained through weekends like this opens up new ways to move through the healing and change process together.

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