How Can I Communicate Better With My Loved Ones?

Communication is the cornerstone of any successful working relationship. The majority of all disagreements stem from some form of miscommunication. Individuals mishear one another, intentions are misconstrued, and body language can be misinterpreted. Communication, which is meant to bridge the gap between separate people, can easily head off the rails as complications abound through misunderstandings, mainly misunderstood intentions. For individuals in addiction recovery, developing better communication skills will prove vital to their recovery efforts and significantly reduce their risks for relapse. It will also improve their ability to maintain sobriety in the long-term. 

 

One of the most critical aspects of developing good communication skills involves a better understanding of communicating with the inner self, a skill which arguably many in addiction recovery are severely lacking in as far as depth and empathy are concerned. Traditionally in Western Culture and through no fault of their own, men have been hard-wired and conditioned to be less in-tune with the self. This lack of emotional intelligence in combination with the negative stigma that still surrounds much of the conversation about mental health and addictive disorders creates an overall ignorance about the inner self and its attempts to resolve emotional trauma. 

 

As a result, reactions persist in the form of substance misuse as failed attempts are made to quiet any conversation on their emotional inadequacies. This lack of knowledge about addictive disorders combined with the social context of low emotional intelligence among males creates a bit of a perfect storm for ignoring emotional conflicts and a refusal to ask for help with their addictive disorders. However, addiction recovery treatment will help these men learn the language of their inner self, which will allow them to share or communicate their wants, needs, and desires with the outside world.

 

Aside from abstaining from substance misuse and achieving initial sobriety, addiction recovery is about further developing existing skill sets and learning new life skills to help better manage long-term sobriety. Developing communication skills will ultimately help individuals in addiction recovery to better self identify potential triggers and recognize rising conflicts within themselves. They will be more attuned to what is going on emotionally and physically in the recovery process and respond accordingly. These communication skills can help those in addiction recovery repair potentially damaged relationships and maintain healthier relationships in the future. 

 

Good communication skills will also help those in addiction recovery become better at navigating their wants and needs when asking for help. The request for help has begun for many individuals who are seeking treatment. With the further development of their communication skills, addiction recovery patients will become better at knowing both when and what type of help they may need. This directness in communicating particular needs and wants is especially important when asking others for help while in recovery. Frustrations can abound when a failure to communicate occurs, which can easily trigger a relapse and being capable of asking for help will absolve any potential frustrations from misunderstandings.

 

Learning How to Communicate in Group and One-on-One Sessions

 

Developing better communication skills sounds like a great tool, but how exactly will addiction recovery patients begin that process while in recovery? 

 

Addiction recovery patients will be on the receiving end of a crash course on communicating through moderated group and individual one-on-one therapy sessions. Group sessions will allow patients to begin to express themselves in conversations with fellow recovery patients while maintaining an open and honest dialogue from a sober frame of mind. For many addiction recovery patients, communicating with a sober mindset will be a new experience. These group sessions can act as a set of training wheels for developing better ways of communicating. The group session setting allows participants to run through scenarios of conversations, permitting them to stumble, fail, and even succeed while in the safe confines of recovery treatment. This can also serve as a good practice run for the many conversations about addiction recovery topics that patients will have to confront and discuss with loved ones once they leave the rehab facility. 


Individual therapy sessions will help those in addiction recovery form better relationships with themselves, which can improve communication with close loved ones. Since most of these one-on-one sessions will involve attempting to unearth a better understanding of the inner self and the personal motivators fueling an addictive disorder, these sessions will also help individuals start a meaningful conversation with the self by listening to what their minds and bodies are telling them. The more personal approach of one-on-one sessions will also replicate much of the dialogue that will need to occur between addiction recovery patients and their support network. These individual sessions will be good practice for repairing any potentially damaged relationships and developing healthier ones in the future. 

 

Both group and individual sessions are moderated and provide a safe atmosphere for addiction recovery patients to develop sober social skills. These skills will help them better communicate their needs and wants once they re-enter their independent lives as sober individuals. 

 

How to Improve Communication Skills in Addiction Recovery 

 

Aside from these crash courses in communicating as sober individuals, there are also some important guides listed below that will help addiction recovery patients in the development of better communication skills.

  • Listening
  • Understanding Others Perceptions of You
  • Not Taking Things Personally
  • Compromising
  • Creating an Open and Honest Dialogue
  • Learning to Be Assertive

 

A failure to communicate can exacerbate substance misuse for individuals struggling with addictive disorders and co-occurring mental health issues. If you or someone you love needs treatment for an addictive disorder, then Choice House has dual-diagnosis addiction recovery treatment services that can help. We offer men the chance to achieve initial sobriety as we teach them the necessary life skills to maintain sobriety in the long-term. Our addiction recovery treatment services include a 90-day inpatient program, intensive outpatient programs, as well as the opportunity to take up residency at our sober living campus. Being able to communicate both needs and wants is vital to each patient’s recovery efforts. Choice House utilizes various therapeutic techniques in both group and one-on-one sessions that will help men better communicate with themselves and others from their newfound sober mindset. We are located in the Rocky Mountain National Park’s foothills, which allows us to offer a unique outdoor wilderness therapy. Men learn about sober communication through activities like hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking. This form of outdoor therapy allows men to reconnect with themselves and begin to form lasting relationships with fellow recovery patients that will prove vital to their recovery efforts long after leaving our facilities. For more information regarding Choice House’s treatment services and facilities, please give us a call at (720) 577-4422.

 

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