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.

How I See My Family: Activity Title: Circle Drawing: Activity Mode: Expressive Arts

How I See My Family: Activity Title: Circle Drawing: Activity Mode: Expressive Arts

How i see my family: Activity title: Circle drawing: Activity mode: Expressive arts


It is common that though family members are raised and live in the same family, they each have very different experiences of how their families are. In families with substance abuse, this can be even more pronounced. This activity can serve to help each individual clarify how he/she experiences the various relationships in the family. When family members are present, the exercise can help with communication that bridges those diverse experiences.

The Circle Drawing (Edwards, 2003) is a simple activity that can help group members become more aware of how they experience their families and how other family members experience the ...

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