Turning Point’s first-ever two-day workshop for family members of substance abusers is earning high praise. “I have told everyone it was the best two days we have spent, and was worth every penny,” wrote the parents of a young man, who has now successfully completed the Turning Point detoxification and recovery program.
Another parent said she was a little nervous at first, but was quickly put at ease by Turning Point’s workshop leaders. “I have been feeling empowered by all that I learned and all the activities that we did. I realize now that I did the best I could for my son, and gave him so much of me that I almost had nothing left. Now I know that I have to let go of all my feelings of shame and guilt over his addiction and take care of myself. The workshop has given me a new lease on life that I thought I had lost forever.”
Karima Habibali, co-leader of the workshop along with Sonya Sethi-Rankin, says the program is designed to be hands-on, involving participants directly in role playing and exercises to work through feelings that are common among family members of addicts. “We want to normalize the feelings associated with addiction, and to help family members connect with and support others who are experiencing the same feelings,” says Karima.
Sonya explains that family members often don’t understand the role they are playing in their loved one’s addictive behaviours (See Are you an enabler?, at left). “We take people through exercises to help them understand how they might be enabling the behaviours, and to learn ways of setting boundaries.”
Turning Point co-founder Tammy Francoeur says the two-day workshop is unlike anything else available for family members. “We understand what families go through when a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol. The range of feelings is unbelievable, and it is comforting to know you are not alone.”
The workshop is held in a home-like rural setting with a comforting environment and home-cooked meals. It is open to parents, spouses, siblings and friends of addicts. Participants receive a full 16 hours of ‘YOU’ time designed to help family members understand what behaviours enable addiction, gain awareness of self and learn alternative ways of increasing self support.
The next workshop is scheduled March 27-28 and is limited to a maximum of eight participants. For further information, please call Turning Point or visit our web site at www.turningpointdetox.com. Register before March 10 to receive a $50 discount.