Systemic Treatment

The Seasons Systemic Family Treatment Program

“This is not your standard rehab “family week” deal. If you think it’s gonna be that easy good luck”

One of the main components of treating addiction systemically is treating the family systems. The Seasons Systemic Family Treatment Program actually approaches treating the entire family system while a patient is in primary care at our California drug treatment center.

This systemic treatment can come in a variety of modalities

  1. The family assessment. Each family is given an assessment to determine their individual needs and desires for treatment. This is often emailed to family members who are out of town and scored in the first few days of treatment to assess for issues of codependency, risk, pathology, trauma and abuse.
  2. The Systemic Family Intervention Program. Pioneered by treatment giant Wayne Raiter, the Systemic Family Intervention Program is a psycho educational program of 18 modules designed to change the paradigm of treatment from the “Identified Patient” model of the 20th Century to the “Family System “Model of current times. This program is executed in person, by phone or by computer video teleconference and is available to all family members.
  3. The family treatment plan. After the Systemic Intervention process begins and the family begins to see the need for their to be change all around, a treatment program is proscribed to the family members and for the family as a whole. Family members may engage in trauma treatment, co dependency treatment, psychodynamic therapy and relationship counseling. The family will also most often be prescribed a therapist and family process groups at our rehab in Malibu, California.
  4. Family medical assessments. Quite often in addiction there is underlying illness in the chemical dependent and it turns out there is often untreated medical issues in the codependent. A medical or psychiatric assessment of family members can be helpful way to make sure medical conditions are not exacerbating relationship issues in families.

“My dad came in for treatment of issues around compulsivity and money. Within a few minutes of meeting with the program director our entire family had a treatment plan and each member of the family, my father, mother sister and myself, had individual and family sessions scheduled. We thought he was going to get treatment and in reality we were all there at least as much as he. And it worked. My sister was in chemical addiction and in relapse, I was again gambling and not sharing with anyone, my mother was working through lifelong issues of character disorder and trauma she had not addressed. Everyone benefited from this and without it, I do not think anyone would have gotten better”

The Ongoing Family Weekend Program.

“In the intervention process we often see just how much the pathology of addiction is not in one person but in the entire family system. Addiction treatment cries out for better family treatment.
I consider the Seasons program to be most intensive and successful family program in the country. The authors have offers to train other treatment centers in this program and are booked up to do so through much of the next year I will send my referrals to the place that trains the treatment centers. This is not your momma’s rehab family week”
—SF, Chicago, Interventionist, BRI ii

Each weekend on our Malibu rehab campus from 11am until 5pm Saturday and Sunday, the Seasons staff conduct the most through and ongoing family treatment program in the country. Each Saturday there is a psycho educational group, a multi family process group, and an experiential family therapy group. Each Sunday there is a group on Family and Spiritual community, a psycho educational lecture and an experiential family group.

These weekend programs combined with the individual family Systemic Family intervention process and there assigned family therapist and weekly 1 ½ hours of treatment combines for a family being eligible to participate in more than 64 hours per month of family program. Before any recommended family member individual therapies. Quite often a family member is getting as much treatment time as the member in residence.

The family program is not an “add on” to the treatment in the hope of having the family help out the person in addiction, we have realized the family system is the patient here and we need to give that patient the best rehab treatment that we possibly can if we want to have success.

“The family is the system here—when we treat the family we get success. This is where the rubber meets the road.” Christopher Bathum, Seasons Program founder

The Three Day Systemic Family Intensive.

In addition to this offering, the Seasons In Malibu team saw the need to engage individual families with as much intensity as possible in a short period of time, working to and achieving a breakthrough result that allows the family to really change from a system of addiction into something more supportive while the inpatient client is still in residence.

For this a three day breakthrough program has been developed that allows individual families of up to ten members participate on the campus in a concentrated and focused 3 day program of more than 25 hours of treatment with the staff at the highest level of skill.

“This program changed our family entirely. First, whatever that old thing was—it wasn’t really a family—we just blew it up. We walked away from it. And right there in front of us was this incredibly healthy and strong group of people who were ready to form something more integrated and healthy that we could call a family. How exciting. We showed up thinking we were there to help Uncle Brian, and left feeling for the first time our family stood for something, we knew what is stood for and we were feeling the incredible power of a family on fire with a shared intention.” Ally, 20, San Jose, CA

The three day intensive program schedule fills up quickly and requires booking at the time of inpatient intake at most times.

Ongoing Systemic Family Treatment after residential care is completed.

As with the individuals in treatment, we believe families will benefit from treatment at least a year in length. Regular process therapy, ongoing Systemic Family Intervention, Relationship therapy and returns to the Seasons campus for days or weekends are all ways that families continue to participate in treatment throughout the year.

Learn more about Seasons in Malibu at


Seasons In Malibu

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