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.

Private or Secret? Activity Title: Family Bag: Activity Mode: Expressive Arts

Private or Secret? Activity Title: Family Bag: Activity Mode: Expressive Arts

Private or secret? Activity title: Family bag: Activity mode: Expressive arts


Families with substance abuse often have family secrets—secrets that are not talked about and that individuals collude (verbally or nonverbally) with other family members to keep secret. An example of this would be Dad's drinking not being talked about openly, and no one in the family bringing up the issue. Mom may call in to work for Dad in the morning, saying he is sick. Kids may make sure they are not around after dinner, since that is when Dad starts drinking heavily. The family silently works to avoid bringing up the issue and protect the family secret.

All families have issues that are private. ...

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