After we receive either positive or negative news, most of us turn immediately to our families to share our stories. Our families have an enormous influence on our lives and choices. The same is true for individuals who are participating in recovery services. As a result, it is critical to include families as an individual participates in behavioral health, brain injury, or addiction services.
On October 19th, 2017, New Vitae Wellness and Recovery hosted Ms. Baroness Martin and Mr. William Maroon to provide training on the value of family engagement in recovery services. Ms. Martin and Mr. Maroon, from Resources for Human Development (RHD) in Philadelphia, reviewed benefits and challenges of the full incorporation of families into individuals’ recovery plans. Breaking the audience into small groups, training participants identified ways to successfully include families in the recovery process based on past experiences. Our trainers reviewed a continuum of healthy engagement, offering ideas to avoid disengagement and controlling behaviors. Ms. Martin and Mr. Maroon also cautioned staff members against misinterpreting families’ behaviors.
Ms. Martin shared a personal story of a family member who accessed behavioral health supports and the difficulties her family encountered as a result. From indiscriminately increasing medications to identifying themselves as experts, Ms. Martin reviewed the challenges her family experienced as a result of one provider’s services. Ms. Martin stressed the need for service providers to get to know families, gradually build trust, and understand the dynamic and culture shared by each family.
The training session ended with a review of recommendations for working with families, including asking questions, validating perspectives, obtaining input, and engaging the whole family system. The training generated ideas to ensure active family participation throughout the course of an individual’s treatment. We wish to offer special thanks to both Ms. Martin and Mr. Maroon for their supportive ideas and encouragement! Contact New Vitae Wellness and Recovery for behavioral health support.