/ By Recovery Expert

Addiction affects the whole family. It stands to reason, then, that recovery is often more effective when family support is part of the addiction recovery process.

Shame And Addiction

Oftentimes, people who struggle with addiction are using addictive substances or behaviors to avoid dealing with negative emotions, such as shame.

Jerri Jorgensen, co-founder and family liaison at Desert Solace, explained that addiction is “just another place to hide.”

Related: Addiction Rehab Officials Explain How Porn Addiction Can Lead To Intimacy Problems

“It’s another place to avoid, to escape, to numb the pain,” Jorgensen said. “It can be drugs, alcohol, food, shopping. There’s so many ways to avoid.”

Perceived Expectations And Shame

The shame at the root of many addictions is often a result of perceived familial expectations.

Oftentimes, these expectations were never actually put on the person, but only imagined. In fact, many times these expectations were set sometime during childhood and often relate to trauma from early life experiences.

“Usually addiction of all kinds is ‘I’m not enough,'” explained Jorgensen. “‘I’m not enough for my parents. I don’t measure up to my siblings. I’m not enough for my wife. I’m not enough at work. I’m not enough,’ over and over again.”

In order to overcome these perceived expectations, it can often be helpful to change the family dynamic by openly discussing what boundaries need to be set and what the expectations actually are for all family members.

Family Support For Addiction Recovery

Desert Solace staff provides support to parents and spouses, helping them learn to set healthy boundaries with their loved ones throughout the recovery process.

Healthy boundaries allow both parties to understand what the other person needs to feel safe. By discussing what each person actually needs and how those needs can be achieved, both parties can have realistic expectations of one another.

By discussing realistic expectations, setting clear boundaries and having ongoing conversations about emotional needs, shame around perceived expectations can be effectively managed, reducing the need to escape into maladaptive coping mechanisms like addictive substances and behaviors.

By focusing on how the family dynamic can change, allowing for personal growth for the whole family unit, Desert Solace aims to create an environment that allows family relationships to grow stronger in tandem with addiction recovery.

Ongoing Family Support

Desert Solace offers support to parents and spouses during their partner’s stay at the residential recovery center in the form of weekly support conference calls for parents of the client and separate calls for spouses.

Desert Solace officials describe these support calls as “a safe place to share, ask questions, and learn about self-care and boundaries for family members.”

This support continues after the residential program has ended. Both the client and their family members can keep in touch with Desert Solace staff, receiving ongoing support, via private group chat and ongoing telephone support.

“There’s a lot of aftercare that goes on, and we figure out the aftercare plan for them, because we want to stay connected,” Jorgensen said.

Reaching Out Is The First Step

Desert Solace’s focus on family support has helped bring families closer than ever, working with both those suffering from addiction and their loved ones to build a strong foundation for recovery.

Jorgensen explained that “coming out of our shame, having the courage to reach out and say, ‘This is what I’ve done, this is where I am, this is where I’ve been, and I’m going forward,'” can go a long way towards recovery.

“The days of isolating are over,” Jorgensen said. “Reach out for help … let’s move forward and the past is the past.”


Desert Solace is an inpatient addiction treatment center in St. George, Utah. Desert Solace specializes in the treatment of pornography and sex addictions. Additionally, they offer treatment programs for gaming, gambling and substance abuse. Their inpatient facility for porn, sex, gaming, gambling and substance addictions features professional, licensed counselors, a professional chef, equine therapy and more. With ongoing outpatient support for patients and their loved ones via phone calls and online messaging, Desert Solace believes in involving the client’s family in the pornography and sex addiction recovery process.

Desert Solace
451 N Meadow Dr.
Dammeron Valley, UT 84783, USA
info@desertsolace.com
(435) 817-1351

Note: Article contributed by KHTS AM 1220 & 98.1 FM


The Relationship Between Family Support And Addiction Recovery

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