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

Stevenage every Wednesday 10.30am-12pm & 1pm-2.30pm

St Albans every Tuesday 10.30am-12pm & 1pm-2.30pm

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?

You will be assessed by a qualified and experienced addictions counsellor who has lived experience of addiction and recovery within families. You may attend our group therapy sessions which run all day Wednesdays in Stevenage and all day on Tuesdays in St Albans. You will have access to our small, 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 and strategies or ‘tools’ to deal with addiction in the family system. You will be able to share experiences safely, obtaining freedom from isolation among others with similar experiences. Attendees of this support group often start to build for themselves a positive lifestyle, regardless of whether the addict gains recovery.

Testimonial:

“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 TLR 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.”

Family and Carer group attendee, Barbara 2018