Support groups are well known for helping us cope with our addictions and mental health issues. Family members can also benefit tremendously from attending support groups, and there are ones specifically designed for the loved ones of addicts. There are particular issues unique to their specific experiences, and they can be struggling with difficult emotions just like the addicts in their lives are. Feeling heard, supported and understood can make all the difference to them as they continue to try to be there for us and support us through our recovery.
Addicts’ family members can be suffering from mental health issues, just as the addicts in their lives often are. Their depression and anxiety can be exacerbated by their worry for their loved ones. Their stress might be reaching dangerous levels as they try to intervene on behalf of the addict in their family. They might have spent countless years and unlimited amounts of money trying to help us quit. They might have done everything they could think of trying to get us the help we need. They’ve tried endlessly to convince us that we have a problem, when we often aren’t ready yet to confront the severity of our addiction. They might have been so exhausted, depleted and disheartened by our worsening condition that they eventually were forced to give up. They may have felt that all of their attempts to help us were in vain. They can struggle to hold onto hope. They’re desperately afraid we will hurt ourselves, or worse, overlapse. They live in fear of this very real possibility. This can take quite a toll not only on their mental health, but also on the rest of their lives. They might miss work or school, just like anyone with mental illness might. They may start losing interest in their passions or work, common signs of depression and anxiety. They might start losing faith and optimism in their daily lives, feeling like they’re fighting a losing battle against our addictions.
When addicts’ family members are in this situation, watching us self-destruct, they too can feel lost, confused, alone, overwhelmed, and panic-stricken. They might be feeling all of the conflict from the family dynamic and from their relationships with the addict in their lives, along with all of their own inner turmoil. This can be too much for anyone to bear. They can feel themselves entirely overwhelmed and overpowered, not only by our addictions but also by the mental health issues affecting all of us.
Support groups like Al-Anon are designed specifically for addicts’ loved ones, to provide them with the support and care they need to face the very difficult issues and circumstances that addiction can cause for everyone involved.
Corner Canyon Health Centers’s treatment programs offer family assessment, family therapy, communication skill building and family weekends, to help our loved ones to cope with the challenges of our addictions and to heal alongside us. Call 1-866-399-3469 today for more information.
Cheryl has a 24-year history of founding and managing treatment programs for adolescents, in addition to providing therapy for them and is now excited to work with adults at Corner Canyon Health Centers. Her own treatment experiences informed the development and implementation of the foundational components of Corner Canyon, and she looks forward to directing a program that meets all the expectations she had while in treatment and includes all the therapeutic practices that she has found to be effective throughout her career.
In 1998 Cheryl co-founded Second Nature Wilderness Program, which grew to be the largest private wilderness therapeutic program in the United States and included 5 separate locations. Cheryl also helped found Gateway Academy, a pre-eminent residential treatment program for adolescent boys, and looks forward to working with the Gateway Academy owners at Corner Canyon.
In 2003, Cheryl was elected by her colleagues throughout the United States to serve as a board member for the National Association for Therapeutic Schools and Programs. Cheryl works clinically with addiction, mood disorders, anxiety, trauma, family systems problems, and other co-occurring issues. She loves working with clients the most out of all the different roles she has played. Cheryl completed her education at Brigham Young University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology in 1991 and her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1993. Her clinical training included CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Assertive Communication, and providing individual, family, group therapy and marriage counseling.
Cheryl is the oldest of ten children and has two adult children, a daughter and a son. Her interests include water sports, photography, interior design, household projects, and spending time with her family and friends. She loves house boating on Lake Powell, but her favorite pastime is spending time with her 5 wonderful grandchildren.