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Family Program

The Life Works Family Program is a non-residential program that Life Works runs for our clients once every three weeks. The goal is to provide space and support for clients and their families to come together and learn how to live with one another in recovery.

In the family program we work to help our clients and their families learn to communicate again. Mental illness can destroy or damage trust, friendship and the lines of communication. By providing a safe place to share, we can help families repair the broken bonds and begin to communicate effectively again. This helps to rebuild the relationships but also establishes new ways or relating to one another. This means tearing down things like withdrawal, fearful exchanges, unvoiced feelings or wishes and most of all, the feeling that you have not been heard. These problems are replaced with good communication and allow our clients to create a great support network for when they leave treatment.

Why we do this

When people leave treatment in recovery they are ready to start their new life, but reintegrating with family and friends can be tough. Loved ones are used to how someone behaved before treatment. They are used to the old structure and order of the relationship. That means when someone comes home after recovery, their expectations and the expectations of their family and friends can be very different.

At Life Works, our family program helps people understand and prepare for the new relationship dynamics. It also helps everyone involved address any fears or concerns they may have. This makes it easier when a person leaves treatment for them to have a happy healthy relationship with their loved ones.

  • Develop healthy ways of communicating feelings and needs
  • Understand, set and maintain healthy boundaries
  • Develop or renew intimacy in family relationships
  • Heal debilitating shame; nurturing the individual within the family
  • Overcome past pain that impedes family fulfilment

How To Take Part

The family program is available to anyone who is currently at treatment in Life Works so long as they Are:

  • Are staying for at least 4 weeks
  • Only family and friends over the age or 16 will be able to attend
  • Family and Friends must agree to attend the entire program

There may be other factors governing who can take part in the family program passed on individual client’s needs.

The family program has three elements.


In of lectures and presentations, people in the family program learn to spot the problems in their relationships. At the same time, Life Works staff teach them how to resolve these problems so they can have happier relationships.

Group Work

Families share their fears, anger and other problems with one another in a blame free environment. Each person gets a chance to share until all the problems are out on the table. Through the examination of these problems and past experiences, Life Works staff help clients and their families use past problems to put together future solutions. The group therapy dynamic helps everyone gain forgiveness, feel safe and allows each participant to build a foundation for a better future.


In the final portion of the family program, participants review their new communication and coping skills. Life Works staff then offer advice and information on how to implement what participants have learned. This helps families develop safe loving and healthy relationships.

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