Group Activities for Families in Recovery offers therapists a wealth of activities designed to help families struggling with addiction address problem areas of functioning, and ultimately shift from dysfunctional patterns to healthy living. Written by expert practitioners in family-oriented substance abuse treatment programs, this text focuses on group therapy as a key component to treatment.

Beginning with a brief overview of the issues involved in working from a systemic family therapy perspective of addiction, the text discusses practical guidelines for working with families in groups and how to best utilize the exercise in the book. The collection of 30 group activities are suitable for a variety of family-oriented substance abuse treatment groups. They are divided into seven sections covering the key issues of:

1. Family Structure; 2. Family Identity; 3. Sober Fun; 4. Toward Health; 5. Anger Management; 6. Healthy Communication; 7. Parenting

The activities are varied and include topics presented through expressive arts (drawing, writing, acting), game-playing, problem solving, enactments, worksheets, and roleplaying. The activities can be used individually, incorporated into another program, or stand alone as a 16-week (or longer) program. They can also be adapted for use in groups where children or present, or for adult-family groups.


The purpose of this source book is to provide structured activities for families that are involved in substance abuse treatment. When considering substance abuse treatment, we must consider contextual issues. First, we must be concerned with the context in which the substance abuse takes place. An important component of the development and maintenance of substance abuse is that people with addiction live in families that also have significant issues. This is not to blame the family for the addict's difficulties or blame the addict for the family issues. Both co-occur, and both need to change for lasting change in addicts and their families.

Second, we must consider the context in which treatment takes place. In our experience, removing the addict from the family for treatment ...

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