Family Addiction Recovery: A Blog
An effort to assist parents who had not been able to get a child into treatment for substance use issues was one of the reasons that led to the creation of an online/over the phone training course designed to teach, among other things, parents skills for effective interactions with their substance-using children.
The availability of The B.A.L.M. to the general public and treatment centers was been made possible by Beverly Buncher, the founder and creator.
We believe treatment professionals currently working with adolescent or young-adult patients should steer their clients' parents to the course in order to help them improve family communication skills and in turn improve treatment outcomes.
“Probably the most important component of The B.A.L.M. is communication training,” says Timothy Harrington, Chief Empowerment Officer, director & founder of Family Recovery of Colorado. “In families affected by a young person's substance use, relationships become strained, and there is often a lot of tension or confrontation in interactions. In The B.A.L.M. there is a focus on the way the parent communicates with the child, offering a way that is less confrontational.”
The professionally facilitated training, available to up to four people at a cost of $1,800 for one year of access, uses live coaching calls, recorded industry experts and role-playing exercises to help parents understand their child's drug-using behaviors, improve communication skills, develop methods for behavior management, and learn mini-intervention strategies for suggesting that their child enter treatment. The B.A.L.M. approach has shown that as the family recovers so does the addicted loved one.
Tim says The B.A.L.M. teaches parents how to lend support, while at the same time avoiding unintentionally reinforcing negative behaviors. He says parents often mistakenly conclude that they can never do anything to help their substance-using child. They learn that through proper communication training and learning to self-care they actually become their addicted loved one's best chance at recovery.
“You do want your kid to develop some independence,” he says, “but to help them achieve autonomy you have to stop obsessing about everything they are doing wrong and reinforce their efforts, however insignificant they may seem. Recovery is a game of inches, not big giant gains.”
Tim adds that The B.A.L.M. is designed to teach parents to think more mindfully about their interactions with their child. “Parents come in with conceptions about how to control behaviors, and those just do not work most of the time,” he said. “But, if we can get a family member to take back their power and look at their own lives, and start to own that life then soon the relationship between the parent and the child shifts. Now they actually have something to talk about; things they have in common like feelings. Every conversation doesn't have to be coming off a clip board, like what are you doing today to take care of yourself, rather they can empathize with the common struggle of recovery and that helps shift the family. They start connecting at a deeper, more loving level.”
Some parents who experience The B.A.L.M. approach say they in turn apply it to communication with their other children, their spouses and others in their lives, Tim says.
If you're interested in how to connect to The B.A.L.M. please send me an email me or call.
All my details are on the website.
Timothy Harrington is passionate about helping family members of the addicted loved one awaken to their own power and purpose.