Lifetime Family Care and Addiction
Counselling in Toronto

The Canadian Centre for Addictions provides specialized family support services in Ontario.
Contact us now to learn more about our various support groups designed for addicts' families.

Lifetime Family Care and Addiction 
Counselling in Toronto

The impact of addiction typically extends beyond the addicted individual to others closest to them, such as parents, siblings, partners, kids, children, friends, and colleagues. Addiction is considered a family disease because everyone living with an addict suffers one way or another. Loved ones of addicts often feel angry, confused, guilty, and lost, not knowing what to do in the face of the addiction. The issues arising from having an addicted loved one can lead to misunderstandings, resentment, and estrangements among family members. 

Family addiction counselling programs are designed to help family members dealing with these issues get the education required to navigate this challenging phase. These programs provide resources that family members need for their recovery and that of the addicted loved one. They also improve treatment outcomes for addicts and loved ones dealing with the effects of addiction. At our drug rehab centre, we offer specialized family support services and programs to help our clients and their family recover from addiction and its consequences.

What is Family Addiction Counselling?

Family addiction counselling is an addiction treatment program involving a therapist and an addict’s family members. This type of counselling aims to resolve issues arising from a loved one’s addiction. Family addiction therapy can be an integral part of recovery for an addict and family members. Therapy sessions aim to restore harmony and balance in the family, thus providing a conducive environment for the addict’s recovery. 

Despite their best intentions, family members may cause an addict to slide further into drug or alcohol addiction by enabling their actions or acting aggressively due to the anger, shame, or confusion they feel. However, with appropriate knowledge and resources, family members can learn better ways of dealing with difficult emotions in a safe therapeutic environment. 

Our Approach to Family Addiction Counselling

The Canadian Centre for Addictions has an appointed Family Support Services coordinator who will give updates on their loved one’s treatment, provide individual counselling to families, and lead a weekly Family Support Group with other families. Families can join this Family Support Group for life!

What is the Purpose of Family Addiction Counselling

The main purpose of family addiction counselling is to help family members of addicts deal with the fallout of their loved one’s drug or alcohol addiction. Family addiction counselling teaches family members ways to handle emotions by providing the required knowledge and resources to facilitate recovery for everyone affected by the addiction. 

You should consider family addiction counselling if you observe that a loved one’s addiction negatively impacts other family members. Family addiction therapy not only aims to reverse the effects of drug or alcohol addiction; it also helps to mend broken relationships and builds stronger bonds among family members. Family addiction counselling can transform negative emotions like anger, resentment, guilt, and shame into love, understanding, and tolerance. 

Family addiction counselling can also help resolve family issues like: 

  • Parenting
  • Divorce or marital strain
  • Trauma
  • Financial difficulties
  • Infidelity
  • Stigma
  • Lack of communication
  • Physical and mental health concerns

Why it’s Essential that You Seek “Experienced Help” for Family Therapy

Some family members may object to family therapy, believing they can handle issues themselves or feel uncomfortable at the prospect of airing “dirty laundry” to a stranger. However, a therapist is a neutral third party without biases and not invested in one outcome over another. They will also handle issues in confidence, so you don’t need to worry about spilling family “secrets.”
Getting experienced help allows the family to get through addiction-related issues from an unbiased perspective, getting expert recommendations on how to turn the situation into something positive. 

Give Us a Call and Let Us Guide You

If a loved one’s addiction is having a negative impact on your family, you can contact the Canadian Center for help. We offer lifetime family care and addiction counselling services for family members of addicts and also provide comprehensive addiction treatment, therapy and mediation options in our serene and luxurious treatment centres in Toronto, Ontario. Call us today at 1-855-499-9446. 

What are the Benefits of Family Addiction Counselling?

Offers Education and Resources to Deal with Addiction-Related Issues

Most people still consider addiction the result of moral failure and not the disease that it is. Family addiction counselling can help family members come to terms with the physical and psychological aspects of addiction. They learn about addiction and what they can do to improve their family situation. 

Get to the Root of Addiction

In some cases, a loved one’s addiction may be caused by a dysfunctional family relationship. Family addiction counselling helps to identify family behavioural patterns that can be improved to facilitate recovery.

Everyone Gets a Chance to Talk

Family members tend to bottle up their feelings about their addicted loved one. Addiction counselling allows family members to say what they feel in a safe, non-judgmental, and productive setting, making it easier for all involved to heal.

Reduces Chances of Relapse

Relapse is something every recovering addict has to plan against. Family addiction counselling creates a support system of loved ones that the addict can easily reach out to if they encounter triggers and other challenges. 

Trust Building

A loved one’s addiction can lead to a loss of trust among family members. Addiction counselling sessions offer an opportunity to rebuild trust and commence discussions that can help everyone heal.

The Different Types of Family Therapy

There is a range of family addiction counselling techniques for recovering addicts and their family members:

Structural Family Therapy

Structural therapy enhances family dynamics by keeping parents or guardians in a position of authority.
A structural therapist focuses on the interaction between individuals rather than their mental states. This type of therapy aims to help the family break out of constraining patterns so it becomes a stronger unit.

Strategic Family Therapy

Strategic family therapy sessions employ a direct approach where participants receive growth resources and tasks. This type of therapy consists of five stages, including:

  • Social stage
  • Problem stage
  • Interactive stage
  • Goal-setting stage
  • Task-setting stage

Bowenian Family Therapy

Bowenian family therapy aims to foster healthy communication between family members, break harmful patterns, and develop healthy autonomy among individuals within the family unit. It is ideal for people who do not want direct family involvement in their addiction recovery process. 

Systemic Family Therapy

Systemic therapy examines unconscious communication and its underlying meaning to get to the root of the addiction. The therapist adopts a distant approach while observing how family members relate with each other. The goal of this therapy is to help family members use the strengths of their relationships to resolve substance use addiction-related issues.

Narrative Family Therapy

Narrative family therapy encourages each family member to tell their stories and how their experiences have shaped their lives. This type of therapy allows individuals to view their problems more objectively and helps them see that they have the necessary tools to navigate their lives accurately. 

What is the Process of Family Addiction Counselling?

The process of family addiction counselling depends on the addicted person, the therapist and the method they intend to employ. Generally, a family addiction counselling session will involve the entire family meeting with the person in a safe, welcoming setting. For some types of therapy, each family member will meet individually with the therapist. 

Each session lasts about an hour, depending on the unique needs of family members. Some sessions will be about personal feelings, while others may be about effective communication and building trust among participants. Ultimately, the aim of any family addiction counselling process is to get family members to a point where they can handle the consequences of their loved one’s addiction and contribute to their recovery efforts.

Dos and Don’ts of Family Addiction Counselling

Addiction recovery is usually hard for all involved, and it’s not unusual for people to lose control of their emotions. To get the best out of family addiction counselling, here are some dos and don’ts to keep everyone on track 


  • Listen and Learn

Addiction recovery is usually hard for all involved, and it’s not unusual for people to lose control of their emotions. To get the best out of family addiction counselling, here are some dos and don’ts to keep everyone on track

  • Contribute

Everyone is affected in one way or another by a loved one’s addiction, so it’s essential that every family member is committed to the process. Contribute as much as possible during sessions, and always let the addict see you’re invested in their wellbeing.

  • Consider Your Wellbeing

Family members can lose themselves trying to help an addicted loved one. Pay attention to your physical and mental welling throughout the process. Eat, exercise, socialize, and do all you love to do. You have to be healthy in body and mind to care for someone else effectively.


  • Don’t Blame Yourself

It’s tempting to want to take responsibility for a loved one’s addiction. However, you must realize that your loved one’s addiction is down to their choices and not your fault. Blaming yourself achieves nothing and will only hinder you from being able to help the addict effectively. 

  • Don’t Lose Control

You mustn’t allow your emotions to get the best of you during therapy sessions. Avoid shaming or reminding your addicted loved one of their shortcomings, as this will only push them further into addiction.

  • Don’t Enable the Addict

Your addicted loved one needs to take the most responsibility for their situation, and you shouldn’t let your support become an enablement. Allow them to be responsible for their lives and activities whenever possible.


How effective is family therapy?

Family therapy has proven to be effective in many cases. About 90% of people who participate in family therapy report an improvement in their emotional health, while 66% report an improvement in their overall physical health. 

What is the role of family in preventing drug abuse?

The family is most affected by drug abuse but is also one of the most potent forces for drug abuse prevention. Families can prevent drug abuse by providing an environment of unconditional love and openness that encourages everyone to talk about their challenges instead of bottling them or turning to drugs. Having open and non-judgmental conversations about drugs and other sensitive topics can also help to prevent drug abuse. 

Is family therapy more effective than individual therapy?

Research shows that family therapy is more effective for people in recovery than individual therapy. Family therapy allows family members to engage one another using strategies learned during the therapy sessions.

Is counselling better than therapy?

Broadly speaking, counselling focuses on a specific issue and is usually a short-term treatment. Therapy is long-term and focuses on the individual, their thoughts, and the underlying reasons for their actions. Every client has a unique experience with addiction, and what is better between counselling and therapy for an individual depends on the specifics of their situation. 

What are family influences in addiction psychology?

Family influences are one of the risk factors in addiction development, and their effects can be seen in parenting practices, emotional family climate, and learning experiences. Children who grow up with an addicted family member have a higher chance of turning to drugs in the future.

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