Here are some great tips for families and supporters of people that are recovering from addiction, depression, chronic anxiety. We tried to make the list relatively short but failed. There is so much value in being a support to anyone coming out of a treatment environment.
- Initially, you may need to bury your non-progressive feelings from past incidents
- Be willing to invest your time, effort, patience and understanding
- Do not act too reserved (it creates doubt)
- Be calm, open, honest, clear, direct
- State your sincere reasons for offering help
- Do not act like you are making sacrifices
- Emphasise friendship, companionship
- Ask them not to put on false pretences
- Assist them, but do not control or stifle them
- Help find solutions to immediate problems
- Assist with transport, housing, similar issues
- Do not see frustration as an attack on you
- Respect their dignity, encourage self-esteem
- Allow talk about themselves and their situation
- Encourage open, honest, confidential talks
- Steer them away from blaming themselves
- Emphasise their responsibility for their future
- Ward off people who vex the person’s spirit
- Caution them about attending risky events
- Get rid of tempting substances in their vicinity
- Stay alert, but avoid overzealous suspicion
- Demonstrate your trust with small gestures
- Arrange walks or other physical exercises
- Take the person to shows that uplift the spirit
- Get them involved in a sport or hobby
- Get home entertainment to combat boredom.
- Introduce them to new, suitable friends.
- Find support groups and inspire them to join
- Do not over-focus on problems all the time
- Promote a strong, cheerful, determined spirit
- Get them talking about topics they enjoy
- Inspire them to practice cognitive thinking
- Just listening with empathy is good therapy
Spend some time reading up about Complex Trauma as it is frequently associated with addiction based behaviours. Many highly focused cognitive behaviour and mindfulness-based techniques are used in addiction recovery and learning to work with a person that needs support after rehab. There are a wealth of resources available on mindfulness which is a simple and effective strategy for maintaining direction changes. Have a look at our one-pager guide for more information and resources on helping a friend or family member after treatment.
Recovery Direct in Cape Town
Addiction does not need to be your life sentence. We understand what you are going through and are here to help you find new hope. Recovery Direct are specialists in inpatient and outpatient treatment from the Cape Town Therapy Centre.