What to Say When a Loved One Comes Home from Rehab

2 min read · 4 sections

If you have a loved one preparing to come home from rehab, you may be filled with mixed emotions. Completing rehab is a monumental step, and while you are likely excited and proud of your loved one, you may also be worried about them leaving the safe environment of a rehab facility. You could also be wondering how things will go between the two of you when your loved one is home from rehab. It may take time to adjust to the new schedule with them home again. You may wonder what to say when a loved one comes home from rehab. These are all normal emotions and questions. With the right direction, you can make this transition smoother for them. These 3 tips can help you find the right approach to talking with your loved one after rehab.

Use Reflective Listening

Sometimes the best type of talk starts with the right kind of listening. Many people may not take enough time to really hear what the other person is expressing. Sure, you may listen to the words, but what is the sentiment behind the words? What emotions is your loved one expressing? More than anything, they need to be heard and understood. By using the reflective listening technique, you can help your loved one continue their healing journey.person coming home from rehab opening front door

Reflective listening involves both listening to the other person and then “reflecting” back on what you thought you heard. The first part, listening, involves hearing their words and looking for cues in their nonverbal communication. Listen and look for the tone of voice, body posture, gestures, and so on when hearing their words. What are they expressing non-verbally?

The second part is to relay back what you think they are saying by what you hear and see. You want to be careful not to be accusatory about your loved one’s words or tone, but start by saying, “it sounds like you’re saying …” and “it sounds like you feel…” This allows the other person to know that you are trying to understand their feelings and what they are expressing. It also allows them to correct any misunderstandings about their intended meaning. Finally, reflective listening encourages the person to keep talking and confide in you, which helps the healing process.

Practice Praising

Your loved one may be on cloud nine when they first get out of rehab because of their accomplishments, but this could take a swift turn when they return home. So, it’s essential to practice praising the positive things your loved one is doing. Encourage them by acknowledging the steps they have taken, and continue to take, as they continue on their path to sobriety. Even noticing the small things your loved one does will uplift them and keep their minds on a positive trajectory.

Be Honest but Wise

As your loved one continues on the recovery path, they may have triggers that cause them to relapse. It’s important to be honest about triggering events, places, and emotions. You don’t want your loved one to feel pushed, harassed, or mistrusted. Offering to attend outpatient therapy is an example of being honest about the ongoing need, yet you can do so in a gentle manner. When they come home from rehab, most people will be signed up for outpatient therapy, and many places offer family therapy sessions. This will show your loved one that you are committed to helping them with recovery too.man home from rehab hugging daughter

Next Steps

If your loved one is getting ready to come home from rehab, reach out for assistance now. Take advantage of the resources and tools available through American Addiction Centers. Get in touch with us today for more information.

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