Family Services

At Promises we believe that the mental health of a loved one affects the other individuals within their relationship circle. The family unit can be defined as parents, spouses, siblings, roommates, coworkers, friends, or any person or group of people that are in relationship together. Research shows that family involvement and care during the treatment process can have a positive impact on treatment outcomes. The interdependence of relationships makes it difficult to treat an individual without addressing their network and family as well.

It can be nerve-wracking to have a loved one in treatment, and even more so if they are still contemplating treatment. We here at Promises want to give you resources and support during these unsettling times.

While your loved one is in our care, you may hear from multiple team members (Admissions Coordinator, Primary Therapist, Care Coordinator, etc.).

Please note that discussion of your loved one can only take place if they have signed a Release of Information Form. While it is ultimately up to them to decide who we will speak with, we begin the conversation about including family from the very beginning of the treatment process.

You have spent time and energy helping your loved one, and you have come to the right place. They are in great hands at Promises. Now it is our chance to help you. The free webinars and resources on this page are a good start to your care. By taking care of yourself, you become the best aid in the recovery of both your loved one and yourselves.

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Please note that all meetings are listed in Central Standard Time

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Wendy Elliott MFT

Promises Behavioral Health Corporate Director of Family Services, Wendy Elliott MFT, aims to engage families and loved ones during the whole continuum of care. Patients in treatment for Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health do not need to wait until they complete treatment to connect with their families. As a Director of Family Services, she builds a network of education, support, and ways to engage with loved ones throughout the treatment process.

After spending most of her life in the Midwest, Wendy and her family relocated to Philadelphia.  Before working as a family therapist, Wendy spent time as a science teacher, business owner and small-scale farmer. It was the work on her farm that ignited her systems thinking… sparking an interest in the family system as a tool for connection and healing.  She has completed a master’s degree in Family Therapy from Drexel University and a certificate from the Opioid Workforce Expansion Program, Interdisciplinary training initiative. This education helped prepare Wendy for her work with those affected by SUD and other mental health struggles. In the last few years, she has had the opportunity to provide therapy and coaching for couples and families at each level of care. Wendy believes in the interconnected nature of human beings and the support we give to one another in relationships.  She is an educator, care provider and entrepreneur at heart and combines these skills to build a multi-faceted approach to support families and their loved ones.

Gwenn Swift, MFT

Gwenn Swift, Corporate Director of Family Services, was born and raised in Western Massachusetts and attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, studying Psychology and Spanish. She spent years living in California, working in the service industry as well as teaching people of all ages how to ride horses. Gwenn moved to Philadelphia, PA for her Master’s in Couple & Family Therapy and has been located there since. She is currently working on her Doctorate in Couple & Family Therapy.

Gwenn believes deeply that connection is an essential antidote to mental illness and substance use disorder. She views individuals in treatment for mental health struggles and substance use disorder as a part of a larger context. This relates to community, spiritual & religious affiliation, generational family patterns, value systems, and many more factors. Gwenn joins the team at Promises Behavioral Health with personal and professional experience in this field to support individuals, couples, and families in recovery. She hopes to provide education, resources, and space to people who have been impacted by their own or another person’s mental health struggle and/or substance use disorder. Gwenn takes a relational, trauma-informed approach to attend to culture and reciprocity in relationships. This includes supporting the connection between patients and their loved ones throughout the continuum of treatment care.

Person learning how to forgive an alcoholic parent while hugging them

Behavioral and mental health problems can cause family strife. When a family member experiences substance abuse or other mental health issues, it affects the whole family system. Call 844.875.5609 to speak with someone from Promises Behavioral Health about the mental health treatment programs we offer throughout the United States designed to help your entire family, including our family recovery program.

How Does Family Therapy Work?

Promises Behavioral Health provides comprehensive family therapy and other family-based programs to support you and your loved ones in repairing relationships. However, the family-based programs available may differ based on the inpatient treatment location.

Through comprehensive family therapy and our other family-based programs, families can learn essential skills and gain insights into supporting their loved ones in recovery while caring for themselves.

Recognizing Signs of Relapse

Promises Behavioral Health’s locations educate family members about recognizing signs of relapse, which is crucial for relapse prevention. Patients and their families also learn specific actions to take in case of a relapse risk.

Setting Healthy Boundaries

When dealing with drug addiction, alcohol abuse, or behavioral health issues, it can be difficult for families and friends to establish healthy boundaries. Supporting your recovery means that your loved ones should avoid enabling your destructive behaviors. In turn, you should learn how to set boundaries that promote your recovery and emotional health.

Learning to Communicate Better

During therapy, you will understand how family dynamics affect interactions and learn methods to manage them better. By learning new communication techniques, you can truly understand each other.

Getting Guidance from Licensed Professionals

Our therapists are trained in behavioral therapy treatments that teach healthy behavior and interaction among individuals and families. They can help guide you through tough conversations and give attention to repairing your relationships with loved ones.

Connecting with Others Who Understand

Our mental health and addiction treatment programs offer opportunities for families of clients to connect with each other. This helps them feel less isolated as they deal with their own struggles. Talking to others who are going through similar challenges can be reassuring and provide valuable perspectives to help families better understand their issues.

Learning About Useful Resources

Several recovery resources are available at Promises Behavioral Health locations to support the healing of the individual and their family. Depending on your needs, your personal recovery plan may include continuing care suggestions apart from family therapy, such as:

  • Mental health and addiction counseling
  • 12-step programs for you and your loved ones
  • Alternatives to the 12-step programming like Refuge Recovery or SMART Recovery
  • Sober-living or transitional housing
  • Medication management
  • Intensive outpatient programs or other extended care options
  • Alumni programs

Promises Behavioral Health offers family educational workshops and intensive programming. Families affected by substance use disorders, process addictions, eating disorders, and other behavioral or mental health issues can access resources that help them heal with their loved ones.

Benefits of Undergoing a Family Recovery Program

Promises Behavioral Health provides family recovery programs that are informative and therapeutic. These programs include activities and discussions that give families knowledge on addiction and mental health problems while allowing them to connect with others facing similar issues. In such a supportive environment, family members who are impacted by addiction and mental health problems can:

  • Begin to understand how communication patterns and interactions with their loved ones contribute to behavioral health issues
  • Develop healthy coping strategies, especially when feelings of anxiety and fear arise
  • Learn to effectively support their loved one in recovery while taking care of themselves
  • Recognize signs of relapse
  • Set healthy boundaries and expectations that support long-term recovery
  • Communicate honestly and effectively
  • Learn about the disease of addiction and co-occurring disorders that contribute to destructive behaviors

Family participation can improve the likelihood of patients completing treatment, enhance social and family connections, and even prevent relapse situations.

Find a Family Recovery Program with Promises Behavioral Health

Family members must also heal from the emotional aftermath of their loved ones’ behavioral and mental health issues. Contact Promises today at 844.875.5609 to learn how we can help people across the United States struggling with addiction or mood disorders and their families.

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