MULTIPLE FAMILY GROUP THERAPY
WORK WITH CHEMICALLY DEPENDENT
AND OTHER AT-RISK FAMILIES?
©1993 Lewis N. Foster
Because, "Example is not the main thing in influencing
others; it is the only thing." Albert Schweitzer
1. "In this setting the group comes to resemble a small tribe bonded together in their collective intention to transcend
their generally restricted individual family environments." Betty Byfield Paul, LICSW & Norman L. Paul, MD (BBP & NLP)
2. Through other families' pain, individual families catch glimpses of their pain and recognize they are not alone.
3. Addiction is social "dis-ease", therefore, recovery must take place in a social setting for the family.
4. Families can get support from other families as they work towards enlightenment and recovery.
5. Families learn from each other (spontaneous insights).
6. Shame seems to lose its' hold on families in MFT. "The group creates an automatic de-stigmatizing atmosphere." (BBP & NLP)
7. Families can see where they are (or have been) by being involved with other dependent or at-risk families.
8. MFGT requires less staff and more families are provided therapy at a lower cost.
9. Individual family members identify with other family members who have the same roles in the family, and see reflections of their own attitude and behavior.
10. Family members are validated by other group members and have chances to trust and be trusted.
11. Rules of the at-risk family system surface and can be challenged by other families.
12. Models of more appropriate behavior can be observed and emulated.
13. "Objectivity is another advantage of having several families present. Seeing one family alone, a single professional can easily get caught up in the family's psychopathology. In MFT more than one professional is usually present and the rest of the group provides valuable input. In fact, other family members are encouraged to become "co-therapists." "MFGT is a very efficient modality for training professionals." John W. Raasoch, M.D.
14. Denial can be observed and confronted by group members as well as the therapist's.
15. "We attend groups to grow closer to the power for healing which lies within us." Marianne Williamson
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