Cultural Group Brief interventions and therapies provide mental health care

Cultural Group Brief interventions and therapies provide mental health care services while addressing issues linked to substance abuse. Counselors, clinicians, and therapists within substance abuse fields have to rely on up-to-date information to apply innovative and short forms of treatments in treating people with substance abuse disorders.
They should also focus on persons at risk of developing substance abuse disorders. Health care workers and social service caregivers are often called to intervene with people who have substance abuse issues.
Thus, brief interventions and brief therapies are increasingly being applied in treating persons with substance abuse issues. The interventions and therapies, however, vary depending on the substance used, the severity of the problem, and the desired outcomes.
Substance use disorder family-centered therapy is adapted to meet the needs of a particular cultural group (Werner, Young, Dennis, & Amatetti, 2007). A focus on family therapy will prove substance abuse disorders do not develop in isolation; hence, should ensure cultural factors are considered during treatment
Family-Centered Therapy in Treating Substance Abuse Disorders Several people suffer from substance abuse disorders. Therapists believe family background and current family settings determine the patterns and dynamics of the disorders and issues associated with substance abuse. Family members interact differently with a person abusing substances. Thus, they can either aggravate or perpetuate the substance abuse disorder depending on how they will offer assistance in addressing and resolving the problem. Therapists check for signs of a substance abuser to determine if family members strongly influence the clients’ behavioral issues. More so, the therapist has to determine if the client also has family members suffering from the same problem. Consequently, the therapist has to determine if the family setting is conducive for a recovering person as violent settings can aggravate the problem. Thus, family-centered therapy is offered to persons with substance abuse problems to determine factors facilitating the habit (Lawton, 1999).
Cultural Issues in Family-Centered Therapy Therapists providing family-centered therapy should consider the clients’ families, as well as structural elements contributing to substance abuse. Such elements include the family’s power hierarchies, rules, alignments, roles, communication patterns, and the cultural background. It helps the therapist or clinician in assisting the family to identify dysfunctional areas and provide applicable and sustainable solutions. For example, most family settings are based on a cultural belief that the husband is more likely to develop a substance abuse disorder than the wife is. Thus, in case the wife acquires a substance abuse disorder, the husband suffers either cultural humiliation or condemnation. These cultural expectations have led several husbands to deny their wives the right to resume their duties in the family (Lawton, 1999).
Others have unwillingly accepted their wives after recovering from substance abuse by forbidding them from undertaking various roles they were capable of in the past as the trust has been broken. For example, some husbands deny their wives the opportunity to share the control power in determining the family budget as the cultural beliefs dictate the husband is the ultimate leader. Thus, if a wife is a recovered from substance abuse she can neither influence nor make a decision regarding the family budget as the trust is broken and cultural expectations violated. As a result, the whole family should be involved in therapy for a clinician to help every member in understanding they have a role to play in building a support system. The support system is crucial as it helps a recovered client from going back to old habits and redeveloping a substance abuse issue (Lawton, 1999).
Most cultures believe persons abusing substances do not maintain close ties with their family members. However, this belief according to research findings by Lawton is misguided as persons dealing with substance abuse issues are often closer to their families than the general public. Thus, providing family-centered therapy can produce better outcomes than applying non-family methods. For examples, husbands suffering from alcoholism seek love, support, and affection from their wives and children. The family should, therefore, accompany such husbands in therapy to offer support and show their dedication in assuring them that they are keen to see them get better (Jolley, & Shields, 2009).
For brief family-centered therapy to be effective within the context of treating substance abuse, some traditional cultural approaches should be applied. Traditionally, clinicians and therapists had to encourage clients to work on themselves by isolating them from their friends, family members, and the community at large.
This was a cultural expectation as clinicians and therapists believed the isolation would keep the clients clean as they did not have to deal with day-to-day pressures leading them to abuse substances.
However, the support and love from family members have been acknowledged as vital in treating substance abuse. Thus, clinicians and therapists are currently encouraged to work with clients’ families for a few sessions as this is beneficial.
In case a client’s family is acknowledged as violent or unable to provide emotional, psychological, and physical support, family-centered therapy should be ruled out. However, the therapist should ascertain the family provides the permission required to delve into family matters and determine the appropriate changes or adjustments to make in treating substance abuse within the family unit (Lawton, 1999).
Importance of Family-Centered Therapy Family-centered therapy provides various opportunities crucial in treating persons suffering from substance abuse disorders and problems. Foremost, it focuses on the expectation to change. The clients should change their behaviors prompting them to abuse substances. Consequently, their families should change or make adjustments to encourage and support their efforts to stop abusing substances. The family-centered therapy also tests new patterns of behaviors clients can adopt and embrace to address issues linked to substance abuse (Stange, Nutting, Miller, Jaen, Crabtree, Flocke, et al, 2010).
Family members should also accept the new or adjusted patterns of behavior as they play a vital role in ensuring a treated client recovers fully. Family-centered therapy also teaches how family systems work and provide support to clients seeking and receiving treatment to address substance abuse disorders. Thus, clinicians should emphasize that the family members can either aggravate or resolve the substance abuse disorder. This will encourage clients’ families always to focus on symptoms associated with substance abuse to seek treatment immediately. More so, the family members should maintain needed roles in treating substance abuse disorders. Consequently, the strengths of each family member in ensuring a client recovers from substance abuse disorder are highlighted. More importantly, the meaning, consequences, and issues linked to substance abuse within the family are addressed and resolved (Jolley, & Shields, 2009).
Family systems and models focusing on individuals’ personality disorders should regard substance and dependence as symptoms of dysfunctional interpersonal dynamics in a family. The persons abusing substances should seek therapeutic treatments from clinicians acknowledging they need some level of family support to recover. The specific roles of family level adaptive function facilitating substance abuse should be identified. Consequently, appropriate family-centered roles in ensuring a client seeks treatment for abusing substances and recovers fully can be identified and applied (Lawton, 1999). Strategic, contextual, and structural family-centered therapy should target positive interpersonal aspects of substance abuse for families and clients to change. However, the family therapist should understand the family’s cultural and ethnic backgrounds for the treatment to be effective.

Author: Barry Holmes