Structured Family Recovery®


From Sue:

When I experienced the despair of addiction, watching my son destroying his world, I wanted and needed to do something that would bring peace and order back to our lives.  He had agreed to go to treatment for 90 days, so we knew he was safe and starting a journey of recovery.  We needed a program too! 

I received a reading list from the treatment center and I went out to gather as many of the books as I could find.  I started reading! When I read the book, “It Takes A Family,” a light went off and I found the answer I was looking for – a way for the family to get involved and begin their recovery.

I called Love First, the core company and they gave me the outline for the “family program” and how to proceed. I spoke to several members of our family, individually, and asked them to read the first thirty pages of “It Takes A Family,” and decide if it was something they could commit to doing, once a week, with a trained therapist to lead us in our weekly meetings.  Six family members made the commitment.

We are in week 32 of SFR and the growth experienced by each of us has been amazing.  This program, coupled with weekly Al Anon meetings, has taught me more about myself than I ever thought possible.  Working through the SFR process has revealed tools, a roadmap, a compass, trusted companions, a changed mind and a changed heart and it has also restored serenity and faith to my life. 

I made an SFR notebook containing our weekly lessons, notes, schedules, etc.  This compilation of all our work together is a treasured resource.  This book and the SFR program, in my opinion, has been essential to my family’s recovery.  I look forward to the lessons we have yet to complete.  I admire each of our SFR member’s dedication and honesty.  Our therapist is equally dedicated to this program and to our weekly meetings. She brings an understanding and insight that we need and appreciate. 

I encourage those families suffering through addiction to seriously consider implementing the SFR program in their lives.  It has been a positive and rewarding experience for me and it can be for you and your family too!

From Dave:

When I learned that a Structured Family Recovery program could help improve the odds of my sons staying sober for 12 months from 30% in patient treatment only to 70% adding the SFR program after inpatient treatment was completed, I was willing to give it a try.

It has been everything I had hoped for as my youngest son got his 12 month chip at his home group last month, and my other son is using principles of the program to help him get through his recovery.  It’s been a big part of helping the whole family get healthy and have peace despite both of our sons suffering from addiction.  Our facilitator has been great guiding us through the weekly lessons and encouraging us to work the 12 Steps of our own program.

I would highly recommend the SFR program to anyone that is considering it!

From Linda:

This past year my family and I have been seriously working in a Structured Family Recovery program with our SFR counselor from Love First. I want to say that it has been an outstanding experience and has helped our family greatly. 

Our son is an alcoholic and had been in treatment last year. After reading the book “It Takes a Family” we began our program before he got out out of treatment and then asked him to join our team at the recommended time, which he did. Our team consists of my husband and I, my daughter and her husband, and our son. 

From our perspective it has been a very worthwhile experience. It has kept us in communication with one another about our recovery programs and has provided us with the opportunity to be accountable to one another. That is one of the strongest components in my opinion because it is the only arena where accountability is discussed and promoted. 

Our counselor began meeting with us weekly over this past year. She has been an outstanding guide and resource for us as we worked through the recovery process as a group. She has also been available to us, and has worked with us many times in that capacity, on an individual basis to work through our own issues when the need was there.  The fact that she was trained in the SFR program has helped us tremendously throughout the process. 

I think that having an SFR counselor has been very important to the success of our program.   It takes a while to develop the team and to understand how it works best. Plus when there are issues that arise the counselor handles them on a professional basis.  

As with anything in the addiction and recovery world, nothing is as predicted and, as always, it is a process of progress, not perfection. I am very grateful that my family has had the opportunity to participate in the SFR program and I wish that others could as well. It has made a difference on a personal and on a family basis for me. 

From Sarah:

I am so grateful for the Structured Family Recovery Program. The SFR Program has been a huge success for our family. It has not only brought our family closer together but it has taught me that we all have a separate path on this journey even though it is the same highway. It has provided us with guidance on the boundaries that need to be set and the role we each have to take in the process. It has helped us get through some very difficult times. The program gives us the direction we needed to conquer our fears as a team rather than try to do it alone. Addiction is a lonely disease!

When our son returned home from the treatment center my family needed the guidance, direction, accountability and structure that the Program offered. It was the best thing I could have possibly signed on for…and we all benefited. We all chose to continue the Program even after the fourth quarter of our recovery work. Yes, we started back at the beginning of the book!

As an alcoholic in recovery I never thought that my recovery program would also benefit by working an Al Anon program. It has been the best choice I have ever made since I surrendered to the disease of addiction. As the mother of addicts, I wanted to pick up my boys and coddle them, make everything all right, make the fear disappear, inflict joy and happiness in them. Make everything O.K. I was finding it impossible and that affected my serenity. The SFR Program has helped me see that I am not responsible for that task, I can only be responsible for me. I find that when I am in a good place and achieve some serenity it can transmit to those around me, even with a smile. The program has really helped me as a mother not to be or become an enabler. Very hard to make that line.

As a family, we all have a part in the recovery process that we are not even aware of. The SFR Program sheds light on the group members and suggests ways to working a good recovery program. Thank God there is a way! It can be a tough row to hoe when I try to go it alone. SFR has eased that “trudging” of the road to a happy destiny. Asking for help is NOT a weakness but a strength. It takes courage, it is hard, and it is uncomfortable at first but the rewards of the Program far outweigh any of the discomfort of asking for help.

The SFR Program should be available to EVERYONE! 

From Karrie:

The SFR program has given me and my family such an amazing gift.  In the beginning, I wanted to join our family group to show support for the addict, but I soon found that I stayed with the program for me.  SFR is an amazing structured program filled with equal parts information and hope.  It is allowing us the chance to heal and strengthen our family one conference call at a time.  I feel that my fears and uncertainties for the future are being replaced with the tools for me to make the choices for a better tomorrow.  I will forever be grateful for the SFR program.

From Janine:

At first, I wasn’t totally on board about getting involved with the SFR program but I was willing to learn about the program and hoped that it might help alleviate the pain, anger and blame going on in our family.  After reading Part One of “It Takes A Family,” I learned a lot about alcoholics and alcoholism.  I learned that alcoholism becomes a family disease and all members need recovery…not just the alcoholic.  

Learning about alcoholism helped me to see that alcoholics have a disease:  They are ill, not bad.  From working the SFR program (and going to Al-Anon) I learned what is and is not reasonable to expect when dealing with an alcoholic.  I’ve learned that I can adjust my expectations so that I no longer set myself up for constant disappointment.  

SFR has helped bring our family back together.  We enjoy each other’s company again, we have respect for one another, we appreciate each other’s successes and we, as a family group, show the alcoholic that we support and love him.  We are also showing the alcoholic that we too are working a program to improve ourselves.  

I have become a happier and more peaceful person.  I no longer spend sleepless nights trying to figure out how to fix the alcoholic and those in the family that threw around blame and shame – or just being in a state of anger so strong that I couldn’t sleep.  I don’t know what the future will bring but I am now more equipped to deal with it and I no longer waste time worrying about it.  “I suspect that if I reclaimed all the minutes, hours, and days I’ve sacrificed to worry and fear, I’d add years to my life.” 

From Ryan:

“Alcoholism is a family disease.”  I had heard that, but didn’t really understand the magnitude or depth of what that meant.  I thought alcoholism just affected the alcoholic, and that the key was to get the person to stop using and start rehabbing for recovery.  Little did I know that I needed to recover as well.  Through the SFR program, I have a new understanding of not just what the disease is, but what recovery is.  It has helped me to look at what I can do to help myself work through this to be the best me that I can be.  The program has given me hope, reconnected my family, and equipped me with new tools that I can apply to my recovery, as well as other aspects of my life.

For details on working with a Structured Family Recovery® counselor 

call: 888-220-4400

It Takes a Family by Debra Jay

Available from amazon

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