Brass Tacks Recovery Fundamentals: Healing
Part 1 of 2
Part 1 of 2
As a company that is committed to an ethical, extensive and intimate approach to recovery, we have identified a set of Fundamentals that we believe are at the core of our work with clients and families. The first of these Fundamentals that we will explore here is Healing.
We believe that the stigma around addiction or alcoholism can contribute to families’ enabling behaviors. This is a difficult concept for families to recognize and accept. The family members want to be supportive, yet on many occasions, they are also being driven by shame, and a fear of being judged. That shame frequently creates a sense of a “let’s hurry and get this handled before anyone finds out” reaction in the family.
In fact, because of that stigma, we often encounter families who are more concerned about what their peers or colleagues think about them than they are about the addiction. That doesn’t mean the family doesn’t care about the individual who’s struggling. It means that the stigma that comes with alcoholism or addiction is still very prevalent, even in 2017. We share a great deal of empathy with our families.
We believe that enmeshment, or a lack of boundaries, often results from a family struggling with managing their own anxiety. A parent’s unresolved childhood trauma, adult insecurities, or even fear of making a mistake as a parent, can be the driving forces for an enmeshment pattern in the family system.
In our personal and professional experience, parenting skills can be the result of unhealed wounds from a parent’s own childhood. Often, a parent’s unhealed pain is what is driving the family’s decision-making process. In order for the individual struggling with alcoholism or addiction to heal, Brass Tacks Recovery believes that parents and partners must be willing to be honest with themselves, get educated, and commit to their own growth. A child cannot admit having a problem when his or her parents continue to fix it.
In the case of spouses or partners, the partner can feel they’re betraying their loved one by asking for help. The spouse or significant other really struggles with the concept of not being true to their partner. This can make it difficult for him or her to follow through on the recovery suggestions we provide. It takes coaching and support to help them digest the fact that their asking for help is a loving act, not a betrayal.
In any circumstance, it can be difficult to let go of the enabling of a loved one or a situation that is terrifying, such as a addiction. We see parents and spouses internally battle with the feeling that if they set and and hold a boundary with their loved one, that the person may get “mad” at them.
However, we teach that boundaries are not an action of turning one’s back on someone, but rather, loving someone enough to say, “I care too much to emotionally and financially contribute to your self harm.” Through extensive coaching, we remind families that continuing to financially support their loved one’s addcition could lead to far worse consequences. Brass Tacks Recovery knows that the “letting go” process is a challenging and painful risk for a family. That’s why we hand hold families through that process as best we can.
We also realize that what we ask families to do is hard. Yet, our families and clients change, and our outcomes continue to prove our methodology. It seemingly goes against what they believe love is, but addiction and alcoholism do not care about love. It is a fatal disease. It is a fatal dysfunctional behavior.
One of the first things we say to parents is “we know you love your child.” We have not met a parent who does not feel somewhat responsible that their child is struggling with addiction. They share with us how they sit up at night wondering where they went wrong. Parents feel a tremendous amount of shame and guilt when their child is not doing well. Our focus as a company is to help families heal all dysfunctional behaviors. We do this by customizing a plan for each family member.
Brass Tacks Recovery believes that despite a family’s past, there can always be a better future. We believe in miracles. We have to. Families come to us when they are hopeless. We have to trust that something can always change.
CADC-II, IS, ICADC, CPC, NCAC-I | Founder & CEO
“Before focusing my professional skills and experience on families dealing with addiction recovery and treatment, I spent 15 years in the music industry managing and traveling with high profile clients such as Guns & Roses, Aly & AJ, Candlebox, Goldfinger, Van Halen, and Greenday. During this time my social use of alcohol and drugs gradually progressed and became a problem. Thankfully, my family intervened and we made the decision that I would enter a residential treatment program. As part of the intervention process, my family and I realized that their love for me resulted in behaviors that unknowingly created an unhealthy and enabling dynamic. At the request of my interventionist, my family sought professional support as well. Through this process they learned how their behaviors related to my challenges could positively and negatively affect our family system as a whole.”