Episode 3

Healing Family Shame and Blame

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Episode 3

We break down what family blame and shame may look like, and how both the individual struggling with addiction and the family can begin to heal.


  • When family members or an individual experience shame because a loved one is struggling with addiction
  • Dissolving the tension between the individual struggling with addiction and the family members
  • Building awareness around what trauma, discomfort, and shame truly are, and how to properly move forward from excusatory blame to healing within.

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Oftentimes family members in our program are looking to their family members to heal their wounds. With that blame comes to the need for, let’s say, an angry parent, to acknowledge the pain they caused, for the healing to occur. That’s the drive inside. But what I focus on in therapy is whether or not your angry family acknowledges your pain, you get to heal. He/she is not your healer, you’re your own healer. Doesn’t mean healing can’t come in those areas, but they aren’t the source of healing.
Jason Friesema MA, LPC, LAC, – Chief Clinical Officer
When I hear families express this amount of shame, to me, it speaks to the idea that addiction is somehow based on morality, or a lack thereof. So being able to inform families what addiction really is and where it comes from; isn’t a lack of morality or somehow a reflection of who you are, who you are as a parent, or as a spouse. Giving them the education on addiction being really a biopsychosocial disease that is motivated by so many factors, and trying to own that behavior for your family member doesn’t serve them or serve the family.
Clinton Nicholson, MA, LPC, NCC – Chief Operations Officer

Episode Transcripts