Embracing Resiliency Family Support Group: Healing and Hope for You and Your Family

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On the left - Cheryl Thomas, Outpatient Services Manager, listening to a couple.

There are still so many misconceptions about substance use disorder. It continues to be viewed by many as a moral failing, rather than a disease. “It’s just as treatable as any other illness or disease,” stated Cheryl Thomas, OneEighty Outpatient Services Manager. “We just use different methods of treatment. It’s very behavioral, and there’s an important spiritual aspect. Once that is strengthened, they are going to have a longer success.”

While dealing with a substance use disorder clearly has its own challenges, it can also have a serious impact on family and loved ones. At the same time, the active support of those family members and loved ones can be an important part of recovery. Under Cheryl’s guidance, the Embracing Resiliency Family Support Group that meets twice a month offers real hope. Each session involves a different topic to support and encourage family members dealing with a loved one who is struggling with addiction.

Often, we don’t consider the importance for family members and others to seek help and take care of themselves in order to take care of their loved one.

Recovery is a Family Journey

For family members of loved ones with substance use disorder, healing is a journey too. “Family members can get so disconnected and a lot of it is their own mental health,” Cheryl explains. “They are hurting too. It’s hard to sit and watch your loved one continue to hurt themselves. They’ve gotten so used to being in survival mode and rescue mode that it can make it difficult to have a relationship. Each family member has their own role. We play these parts automatically when we don’t know what else to do.”

Cheryl explained that support doesn’t take a cookie-cutter approach. While there’s a process of education and support for family members, every family has its own dynamic. And families can be complicated. “Families need to know that we want them to be involved in the treatment process. It’s important to identify family issues – including addressing judgmental attitudes, supporting effective communication, reconnecting and re-establishing relationships,” Cheryl offered.

A Positive, Supportive Approach

OneEighty offers a continuum of care for those battling issues of substance use, including support services for the family. Cheryl describes a positive, encouraging approach for all involved. For the loved one with substance use disorder, just experiencing a shift in attitude toward themselves and believing that people are here to care about them – and aren’t judging them based on a history of poor choices and broken promises – can be enough to move them to a place of willingness to receive help.

Re-Building Relationship

Cheryl explained that OneEighty supports family members at different levels – beyond the support group. Cheryl engages family members in therapy using a Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) model approach – a constructive and encouraging system for helping friends and family members change the way that they interact with someone they love who is drinking or using drugs. It’s a positive approach that has supported about 70% of families who receive CRAFT to get their loved ones into treatment within a year. “I work with families on how to get reconnected and heal the relationship,” Cheryl added. “Letting go of assumptions and expectations is part of the process. You must grieve that loss. Then, it involves re-building a relationship on brand new terms.”

Embracing Resiliency: Family Support Group (Evening)

WHEN: Every other Thursday, next session December 9th, 2021 – Morning: 9 am-10 pm or Evening: 5 pm to 6 pm

WHAT:  Each session will consist of a different topic to support and encourage family members dealing with a loved one who is struggling with addiction.

WHO: Open to everyone, no cost to attend.


ADDITIONAL INFO: Seating is limited due to social distancing so please arrive early. A face mask must be worn at all times. This is not an Al-Anon group nor a therapy group.

FUNDED BY: Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services State Opioid Response 2.0.

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Cheryl Thomas

Cheryl Thomas, OneEighty Outpatient Services Manager


Cheryl has been with OneEighty since 2007. She has a passion for helping both individuals that struggle with addiction and mental health concerns and the family members who also suffer as they see their loved one’s struggle. She excels at clinical supervision, mentoring and training clinicians – specifically training in the areas of substance use disorders and recovery. Cheryl facilitates the Embracing Resiliency Family Support Group, along with Abby Russell, MFT, LPCC, CDCA and Melissa Riskin, LSW.

We’re here to support you.

We help people change direction with programs for addiction, domestic violence, rape crisis, mental health, housing, and prevention and education. OneEighty strives to offer a safe and welcoming environment to the LGBTQIA+ community – offering a counseling staff with a wide range of backgrounds and specialties, including those that work with the LGBT community. At OneEighty, we actively support an evidence-based approach to sustainable recovery from trauma and addiction – restoring dignity and purpose, reimagining potential and rebuilding lives.

OneEighty Resources:

Addiction and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services

Mental Health Counseling

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