multi-family groups - young man giving testimony - family recovery institute

Join an intimate group of parents, partners, and offspring to address powerlessness and interrupt patterns of co-dependency.

The wounded family member’s pain thrives in isolation: Join a small group for a few days and begin building some allies in recovery.

“You can only be as happy as your unhappiest child,” the frustrated Mom declared, clutching her purse and dabbing at her tears. She was planning to cancel a trip to Europe due to her daughter’s recent relapse into alcohol abuse. “What if she’s willing to get help while I’m away,” Mom worried. “Who would take her? Plus, I don’t want to come back to some tragedy like last time.” She has now fully persuaded herself to stay home.

In multi-family workshops members learn about the disease-promoting effects of such thinking, consider less self-sacrificing options, and practice how to talk with our loved ones in ways that reduce exaggerated dependency. Attendees are guided to assemble a personalized tool kit of recovery actions and methods that can be used regardless of any other members’ behavior, mental health, or degree of recovery.

The Institute offers multi-day, multi-family workshops in attractive, easy to reach settings. These intensive bring together six to 12 families comprising parents, partners, and children (12 and up) experiencing mental illness or addiction in a loved one. Members gather to support each other and learn together while building relationships and alliances with members of others families that can last for years.

Attendees can use the workshop to launch a personal and systemic recovery practice to detach (in a kind way) from the detail or the drama of their problematic loved ones. They are encouraged never to cut people off, kick them out, or employ so-called “tough love” as the primary strategy. Instead, the FRI method promotes connection, closeness, sanity, and safety. One recovering Dad summed up the entire process by saying to his daughter: “I’m getting off the roller coaster, I hope you’ll join me soon.”

Workshop methods combine lecture/education, experiential methods, and small group work to promote system health.

Attendees will

  • See they are not alone. These conditions thrive in isolation.
  • Meet and learn from other parents, siblings, spouses, and offspring who can be allies in the process long after the workshop ends
  • Examine the current “family deal” and its toxic effects as well as the forces that sustain it in its current form
  • Examine patterns of impaired coping and distorted dependency
  • Practice ways to shift the family system toward wellness and hope for all members
  • Learn to set limits in a way that feels personally acceptable and supports the necessary recovery efforts of all family members
  • Review ways to remove obstacles to closeness
  • Launch an effort to rebuild trust and healthy inter-dependence

Workshop staff will collaborate with any clinical professionals working with any member of the family to best prepare and to provide feedback for ongoing care and follow up.