While there is just one person at the center of a substance abuse or mental health diagnosis, the effects of these concerns spread far beyond the diagnosed individual. If you regularly interact with or depend on someone who struggles with addiction or an unmanaged mental health concern, you have likely experienced your own difficulties as a result of their actions. Both personal and professional relationships can be deeply damaged, particularly when healthy boundaries aren’t set or aren’t enforced. There can be lingering psychological effects on all those involved — trust issues can arise, guilt can set in, neglect might take a toll or anxiety can build up. Whether these issues stem from loved ones unintentionally enabling an affected individual, from the affected individual’s inability to put their responsibilities before their addiction, or otherwise, the situation can quickly spiral out of control and cause lasting harm.
The best — and perhaps only — way to ensure that one individual’s diagnosis doesn’t become a problem in the lives of many is to establish strong and healthy coping mechanisms on both sides of their relationships. But knowing what these coping mechanisms should look like is challenging; it requires a deep understanding of the affected individual’s situation and finding a balance between their needs and the needs of those around them. Ideating and enforcing boundaries, dealing with crises and holding an affected individual accountable can feel like a full-time job — and it shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of someone like a family member or employer. These close personal and professional relationships aren’t meant to bear the brunt of responsibility in the face of addiction or mental illness.
If you know that someone close to you is dealing with substance abuse or a mental health disorder, and you are concerned that their actions are causing problems in your own life, it might be time to seek the help of an objective, professional third party. O’Connor Professional Group is here to offer a solution. We provide recovery support services for all those affected by addiction or mental health disorders, including specialized family and employer support services.
Our Family and Employer Services
When you choose to work with OPG, you gain access to a variety of services provided by top-quality professionals. Our psychologists, social workers, counselors, coaches and case managers are available to work with you in person or remotely, and are trained specifically to provide the kind of support you need. We work closely with each client to create a customized plan that addresses their concerns and the needs of all those involved. If you are a family member or employer, you can choose to use our programming either as part of an affected individual’s case management plan or as a separate service when the individual is not ready to engage in treatment.
The stresses of living or working with someone whose behavior is controlled by an addiction or a mental health disorder build up quickly. Family members and employers deal with these stresses as best they can, but it’s immensely helpful for them to speak with addiction counselors or therapists to understand that they are not alone. The comfort of knowing that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed, that it’s not anyone’s fault or that they aren’t responsible for anyone else’s actions or choices can make a world of difference in their own mental state. Working with OPG to find the right individual therapist and treatment team for you to process your own emotions about the situation can provide the relief you need to keep yourself feeling healthy, happy and positive.
A case manager helps track and arrange logistical elements of an individual’s treatment or care from finding local resources that fit your individual needs. Often, it falls to a family member or personal assistant to worry about these details, and they can easily become overwhelmed or stressed, especially if the affected individual often acts unpredictably or is difficult to work with. A professional case manager is better equipped to anticipate an individual’s needs and to take care of the very specific concerns that arise in the presence of substance abuse or mental health concerns.
Our coaches have a wide array of backgrounds and provide psychoeducation about relevant diagnoses and guidance about being empathetic, while still implementing limits and boundaries. They also provide support during crises. Coaching is an ongoing process that helps you learn how to process and handle the day-to-day difficulties of interacting with someone affected by substance abuse or mental illness. Coaching can be done in person, via phone or through a secure web portal, and can be tailored to apply to family members, employers, advisors, and other professionals.
A comprehensive list of possible services includes:
- Psychoeducation about addiction, eating disorders, mood and personality disorders, or other mental health issues
- Referrals to family-focused therapeutic resources and groups
- Strategies for setting boundaries/using therapeutic leverage to encourage behavior change
- Tracking engagement of the identified person in treatment and reporting of progress
- Assistance in managing crisis situations (e.g., relapse), with after-hours support
- Facilitating communication within the family, business, or advisor system
- Assistance with problem-solving when approaching high-risk situations (e.g., family/ social events, holidays, returning to work/school)
- Support for daily logistics (e.g., insurance interface, funds disbursement)
- Strategies for resource allocation for a person with a behavioral health issue (e.g., advising on governance language for trust documents)
- Development of family, employer or advisor behavior contracts, with clear expectations for all parties
- Guidance for employers or advisors about a range of topics, including starting difficult conversations, developing realistic return-to-work expectations or managing someone with a behavioral health issue
To determine which of our services might make the most sense for you, please contact us to schedule a consultation meeting or phone call. One of our staff members will get you started and connect you with the right resources in our programming.
We also offer tailored workshops when a family member, advisor or employer wants to open a group dialogue with the affected individual or with others affected by their actions. These workshops can range from PowerPoint presentations on diagnostic risk within a specific family system to experiential, prevention-based activity sessions. They can be used on a proactive basis to encourage communication between parties, or after a crisis as a planning tool for the future.
Possible workshop topics include:
- Struggles with Launching the Next Generation and Strategies to Support Families
- Psychological Costs of Affluence
- Teenage Behaviors: What’s Normal, What’s Not
- Parenting: Overcoming Hurdles and Maintaining a Close-Knit Family System
- Proactive Parenting: What to Know About Addiction, Mental Health, and Eating Disorders and Your Child
- Preserving Family Assets and Relationships: Addressing Addiction and other Behavioral Health Issues as an Advisor
Contact O’Connor Professional Group
If you want to learn more about the programs and services we provide, please don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule your consultation. Our full-service approach means that we can help with anything you need, from keeping your family on the same page to helping the affected individual get the treatment they need. Contact us today at 617-910-3940 to get started.
- From Mother to Mother, Having a Child with Substance Use Disorder
- Addiction – Alcoholism, Drug and Substance Abuse in the Workplace: Considerations and Solutions
- Parents and Their Role in Addiction Treatment and Recovery