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.

When Daddy Drinks: Activity Title: Functional Analysis: Activity Mode: Psycho-Education

When Daddy Drinks: Activity Title: Functional Analysis: Activity Mode: Psycho-Education

When daddy drinks: Activity title: Functional analysis: Activity mode: Psycho-education


This activity is a psycho-educational activity that addresses the fact that in families with substance abuse, all family members are impacted—not just the person abusing substances. We normalize the idea that family members often adopt unhealthy behaviors in order to cope with the substance abuse in the family. For example, Mom learns to protect Dad from the consequences of his drinking by calling in sick for him in the morning after a night of drinking. These behaviors are adopted as the individuals in the family seek to find ways of coping with the difficult situations that arise when substance abuse increases in the family.

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