If your life has been impacted by the addiction of a loved one, then we can help you to regain some normality. The Living Room runs weekly specialist counselling groups for carers and family members of those living with addiction.

Consider support if you:

  • Begin losing control of your own behaviour and emotions. Shouting one moment, then feeling sorry and guilty the next. Having mood swings. Feeling constantly stressed, exhausted and even ill
  • Feel ashamed and embarrassed by your loved one’s behaviour
  • Self neglect, forget to look after yourself, losing sleep or staying up all night worrying about someone else
  • Get into debt or forego spending on yourself due to lending money to the addicted loved one or from bailing them out of financial difficulties
  • Start to adapt and change your own life or circumstances to try to manage another family member’s life and behaviour. Leave jobs, start extra work or don’t go for promotions, or move homes. Stop pursuing hobbies and interests of your own. Become isolated and lose social contact with other family members and friends
  • Find yourself compulsively using behaviours like shopping, the internet and eating or substances to suppress difficult emotions

With all your good intentions, attempts to cover up and to manage and control an addicted loved one’s using won’t ultimately help them to change. We recognise addiction as a family disease or dysfunction and know through our extensive experience that changed attitudes and behaviours in the family member can effect change and recovery throughout the family system. However, change can be difficult to maintain without regular support.

How can we help?

Once a referral has been made we will invite you in for an assessment with one of our counsellors who has experience of addiction and recovery within families. You will have access to our free and confidential groups, which offer non-judgmental support and understanding specific to the issues faced by family members, as well as practical advice, education, strategies and tools to effectively manage the effects of addiction in the family system. You will be able to share experiences safely, obtaining freedom from isolation among others with similar experiences. People who attend this support group often start to build for themselves a positive lifestyle, regardless of whether the person living with addiction gains recovery.


Group times:

Stevenage  - Wednesday, 10:30am - 2:30pm (one hour break at 12)
St Albans - Tuesday, 10:40am - 2:40pm (one hour break at 12) 
Watford(Virtual) Wednesday, 6pm - 7:30pm


To book an assessment call

0300 365 0304  (local call rate)    or    Get Help



Barbara's Story

“My son is addicted to alcohol which he had used to medicate his mental illness. He has suffered for over 20 years and had numerous attempts at suicide and self-harmed since a very young age.

It has been so desperate a situation that I have on numerous occasions planned his funeral, in my mind. I have been unable to help him and as a consequence become unable to express my emotions.

Initially I felt coming to The Living Room was not helping me, I could not relate to the others in the group.

However, after hearing the same emotions and situations from ‘Family and Friends’ group it unlocked something emotional in me. It’s still incredibly difficult for me to relate my feelings and express them without becoming a blubbing wreck. Belonging to a group with similar situations is very powerful and has made me realize that ‘standing back’ is a positive thing. That I’m in recovery too and it’s going to be a long journey.

I would recommend that a family or friend with someone with addictions seek help for themselves and group therapy is a very supportive and safe way to unlock all these emotions and see the situation more clearly.”