Signs You Are Enabling Your Loved One; And How to Stop
Recovery Boot Camp Offers Free Webinar for Families of Addicts in Partnership with Schnellenberger Family Foundation
By: Recovery Boot Camp
· Enabling is defined as "giving someone or something the authority or means to do something." Enabling behaviors can very simply be depicted as doing something for another person that he or she could do for themselves.
· Codependency is the process of allowing another person's behavior to affect oneself and also feelings of being obsessed with controlling another's behaviors.
Well intentioned family members, who enable, will attempt to solve the problems of the addict/alcoholic which impedes the addicted individual's ability to take responsibility for their actions, face their consequences, and potentially even develop motivation to change.
Examples of such enabling behaviors include:
• protecting someone from experiencing negative emotions or natural consequences of their behaviors
• keeping secrets about the addict/alcoholic's behavior
• avoiding discussions of obvious issues in order to keep the peace
• making excuses for the addict/alcoholic's behaviors
• financially providing resources to keep the addict/alcoholic out of trouble
• shifting blame onto others for the addict/alcoholic's problems
• seeing the problem as a result of something else but not addiction/alcoholism
• giving money that is unnecessary and/or unearned
• not following through with threats to instill boundaries
• doing things to avoid an emotional blow up from the addict/alcoholic
So how do we avoid such enabling behaviors?
At Recovery Boot Camp, a men's treatment center in Delray Beach, Lauren Tynes, LCSW, Clinical Director, suggests that family members do not do for the addict/alcoholic what he is capable of doing for himself. Yes, it sounds so easy…but it's not. Tynes and her team work with the families to help them with their feelings of guilt over not helping/rescuing, having to say 'no,' and other behaviors that are reflective of enabling.
If you or a family member need help understanding how you are enabling your loved one…please sign up for this Free Educational Webinar for Families of Addicts (https://register.gotowebinar.com/
(Video link to NBC's West Palm Beach, FL affiliate here (https://www.youtube.com/
Melissa Perlman, BlueIvy Communications