Supporting Family Members and Loved Ones in Treatment: What to Expect
How do you know if your loved one is making progress in treatment?
If your loved one is in our child and adolescent programming for patients under the age of 18, you will be involved in weekly family sessions. We will regularly review both their progress and challenges. If your loved one is an adult, we will also keep you updated on their progress — as long as they have chosen to have you involved in the process.
Our family therapy program is an essential part of treatment. In family therapy, we address family dynamics, communication patterns, stressors within the family and other experiences that affect you, your loved one or other family members.
Family therapy helps caregivers who will support the patient after discharge. Goals include delivering education, learning new skills and teaching families how to best support recovery.
For children, family therapy will include custodial parents or guardians and other adults they may identify. Family therapy is scheduled at least once weekly for children in our care and their parent(s).
Adults and their families can also have a weekly family session; this may include a life partner, spouse, friend, adult children and the person or people who will support their care post-discharge.
Your loved one’s primary therapist will run family therapy sessions. This person is the liaison between the family support members and your loved one’s treatment team. The primary therapist will provide you with updates on progress and challenges and can help arrange times to talk to other team members, if needed.
Mental health conditions often stem from issues within the family and can have effects that impact other family members. For this reason, among others, our family programming is a crucial aspect of treatment.
Family Support and Education
We provide ongoing support and education to families, caregivers, support people and friends. If your loved one is in residential or PHP level of care, there will be family support programming scheduled. Intensive outpatient levels of care may have family education offered. Our Virtual Family & Friends Education Series is open and available to all family members, friends, caregivers and support systems of Pathlight patients: whether you have a loved one in treatment or are simply seeking more information. Family members, caregivers, and support people are also welcome to join the Mood & Anxiety Family and Caregiver Support Group at any stage of their loved one’s treatment.
Multi Family Groups
These support and educational groups are designed to provide you with the information needed to be an effective recovery support for your loved one. Multi family groups are facilitated by our highly trained staff, offering you the chance to gain understanding, support and validation from other family members who are working to understand and support their loved one’s recovery. While some groups may include your loved one, most frequently, we seek to set up a safe, supportive space for you to share and discuss concerns.
Pathlight Virtual Family & Friends Education Series
Every family member, caregiver, friend, and support person of current or past patients of Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center are welcome to attend the Virtual Family & Friends Education Series. This complimentary series is delivered in a virtual format in the comfort of your home on the same day, at the same time, every week. We offer education about treatment and discuss issues related to helping a loved one with a mental health condition. There are two different sessions, one for loved ones of child and adolescent patients and one for loved ones of adult patients, so the information is tailored to each audience. Although these sessions are not mandatory, our families consistently tell us they find information and education transformative and help them better understand and learn to support their loved ones.
A Special Note for Parents
We sometimes recommend that parents take a break from visiting as your child embarks on their recovery journey. These breaks can help foster independence and allow you to focus on yourself by practicing self-care, and focusing on other family members. If you have questions about visits, please consult with your treatment team.
Working Together to Achieve Recovery
Mood, anxiety and trauma-related disorders don’t just affect patients — they also impact family members and friends. This means that you play a very important role in your loved one’s treatment: you are an integral part of their recovery.
As you support your loved one — validating, listening to and emphasizing with them — we will validate, listen to and empathize with you, too. Let us know if you have any questions or needs while your loved one is in treatment.