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Family video counseling aids in substance abuse treatment

February 1, 2013
by Shannon Brys, Associate Editor
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Recognizing that family involvement is an integral aspect that provides both immediate and long-term benefits to individuals in recovery, Gateway Foundation Lake Villa has added a service to its Family Program to assist families that live at a distance through online video counseling.

"At Gateway Foundation, we know substance abuse treatment that engages family members in the treatment process is helpful. We know that a positive and supportive recovery environment helps improve and maintain recovery. That is why we are integrating video technology to make family involvement as convenient as possible," explains Gateway Foundation Clinical Director Phil Welches, PhD.

Currently available for families of individuals in Residential Treatment at Gateway Foundation Lake Villa with broadband Internet access and a computer, Gateway Foundation's Family Video Counseling sessions are conducted via a secure video conferencing software application that is fully compliant with federal health regulations to ensure privacy. During the sessions, family situations related to substance abuse issues are discussed in an open and respectful manner. In addition, family members can learn coping skills, increase understanding of how to support a chemically dependent individual and gain insight into what to expect in recovery.

"Based on the encouraging results and positive feedback from families who participate in video counseling sessions, we plan to roll out Family Video Counseling to other Gateway Foundation residential substance abuse treatment centers this year," says Welches.

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