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For The Families

For the families of those struggling with drug and alcohol abuse and mental health

Helping you understand the treatment process when your loved one enters rehabilitation

No matter if it’s the first time or something you are familiar with, it’s never easy for the family when someone you care about is admitted to treatment whether it be for drug addiction, alcohol abuse, eating disorders, trauma or other mental health concerns. You may wonder how to help them and where to go for help yourself. Here you will find information about how to support yourself and your loved one while they are in treatment and throughout the weeks and months that follow.

What the family need to know

One of the most challenging aspects of drug addiction, alcohol abuse, eating disorders, mental health and trauma related conditions, is the powerlessness that friends and family members feel as they watch problems unfold and escalate. Every member of the family and those around the person is impacted in some way and have often been suffering for a long time. It is not unusual for the individual, the family and those close to the person to feel lost, angry or have a sense of hopelessness regarding the issue. This is why it is crucial to seek some support as the only person you have the power to change is yourself! We understand that your financial, mental and emotional resources have gone into helping the person you love and in some cases your life has been put on hold. While this is an incredibly scary time, we assure you this can be a catalyst for the change the family so desperately needs. With the right support and resources this can be the platform for a new way of relating with your loved one and an opportunity to address the underlying issues often not being treated.

How do I get help?

“It isn’t the things that happen to us in our lives that cause us to suffer, it’s how we relate to the things that happen to us that cause us to suffer”. Pema Chodren


We can’t express enough how important it is for the family to do their own enquiry and work toward healing. Often families have a way of relating to the issue such as blaming the other for how they feel or what is being done to them or believe they it is something they have done wrong and work tirelessly to make it better, or fix the family member. What is evidenced from extensive studies into family systems and destructive behaviours is that when each party takes full responsibility for their reactions, experiences and needs true healing and recovery can occur. This is why we invite family members and loved ones to attend our family therapy program at Byron Private Treatment Centre. The transformation we see in families and clients after attending our family program is extraordinary. We witness first hand how a new understanding into the dynamics not serving the relationship brings new awareness and the issues and entanglements loose their energy and love can replace distrust, hurt, and anger.

Steps to Help Yourself

“Understanding the uselessness of trying to take on and fix a loved ones suffering is a major step from co-dependency to healthy love and care” David Godden, Clinical Director


Trying to understand what is going on for your family member can be exhausting and confusing. Byron Private Therapist Maria Dolenc has witnessed over the past thirty years in working with addictions and disorders the direct link between shame and the cycle of destructive behaviours. What you are witnessing when your loved one is in the throws of addiction and destructive behaviours is only the tip of the iceberg and underneath is huge pain, fear, loss and shame feelings. When the cycle of addiction and self-loathing are acted out without awareness the cycle can not be changed. However, when we work with you and your loved one through our family program we bring into awareness the underlying shame and suffering driving the behaviours to help families heal. We strongly recommend you start to develop you own support network prior to and beyond attending our family therapy program. The more you understand and discover about yourself and healthy relating the further ahead you will be when your loved one leaves our care. We recommend: It is a supportive and safe environment for families and loved ones of people struggling with addictions, disorders and other co-occurring conditions. We recommend you look at CODA; NARANON; ALANON. There are some truly inspiring stories and information available via TedX, You tube and other media platforms. Here are a select few to help you understand yourself and your family member. Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong The Power of Addiction by Gabor Mate Codependents Live In A State of Reactivity On Living with Mental Illness Esther Perel on Infidelity and Anyone who has Loved Some useful links to further information on addiction, eating disorders and other co-ocurring conditions. Drug Addiction Alcohol Addiction Eating Disorders Trauma / Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Depression Anxiety Sex Addiction

Who can I Call if I Need Support?

If you have any concerns, please call us on 02 6684 4145 or of hours we can be contacted on 0457 888 890. The clinical team from our addiction recovery program will be able to attend to your questions and address them where they can with respect to any confidentiality concerns. “Byron Private is a life saving facility. There was nothing in New Zealand that could offer us a therapy program for our daughter. The only option was to put her on a regime of strong drugs while we waited for another episode. There is still work to do but we now have hope of a recovery. She will return to Byron Private to do the workshops from time to time and is starting to see it as a safe place to do the hard work. Byron Private is caring and treats the person not the disease. By treating the person, they reduce the disease. Thank you Byron Private.” Patricia; Family Member  

Contact Us

If you’re struggling to break free of an addiction or mental health condition, Byron Private is here to help.

Use our anonymous contact form and we will be in touch.

“To know the world, first know yourself.
To change the world, first change yourself.”

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