Addiction Treatment

What is Family Sculpting?

Written By:

Becky Babb

What is Family Sculpting?

Family therapy is part of rehab and recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. Addiction affects the entire family system therefore, recovery needs to be happy for the entire family, not just the person suffering from substance abuse. The use of psychodrama for the family is one tool people can use to grow in recovery from addiction.

What is Family Sculpting

The first step in family sculpting is to determine who is ready to do the work at this time. When someone steps forward to do the work is most likely ready to begin a deep, introspective process of looking inward at themselves and the family systems which created space for them to deal with the challenges they face. It starts with picking an event or occasion from childhood to present to the group in therapy. They may pick something or can receive help thinking about when they were around five years old. This is a pivotal time in children’s development and often where a lot of trauma and difficult circumstances lie in the memory. Later, in the sculpting scenario, they can pick from events at ages 10 and 15. The person experiencing sculpting is asked to choose a support person to be with them through the psychodrama. Through this, the person talks about who was there, what was involved, and the individuals involved will be introduced. Then, the person chooses someone to play the part or parts of those initially involved (much like a drama on stage).

Getting Real

Family sculpting is a very real scenario for people who are experiencing it because it brings back all the original feelings of the situation. Memories can flood back and all of a sudden it is like it is happening all over again. They begin to develop a sense of who might trigger the energy that people had in the original setting. Pay attention to who the person chooses because it reveals certain projections they also have towards members of the group at large. It is important to de-role with everyone so that they have a chance to debrief and walk through how they felt about it, including the chosen participants. The room is selected like it would be in a play (only from memory) and the scene is set with everyone in their place.

Final Act

Every person will have some bit of information about the person they are to play, so they play the roles and have a sense of what their character might say or do. They can ask questions until they feel comfortable. This may be where the person is assured they have a sense of their role. The person also plays the role of him or herself. This is determined through discussion between the person and leaders. The main focus is whether they feel prepared to emotionally connect with the pain or not. If they are not sure, it is better to move in the direction of not having a role for him or herself. The psychodrama is better done with others who are not emotionally connected to the other person. This allows them to see the impact of the traumatic event as an outsider so they can provide space to analyze it properly. The person who was harmed in the original scenario can walk through what happened with a trained therapist, work out all the details and start to figure out how all of it came to put them in the place they landed at this current moment in time. This process can be very effective as a tool in recovery but it is not something a person can do until they are ready to face some hard truths from their past. When they are ready, they are able to focus on what they need so they can be open and vulnerable to the reality of what it is they need from therapy and in recovery.

Nature is a great healer for people in recovery. Last Resort works hard to provide a safe space that focuses on healing from addiction. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery, feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Contact us now!

There is a Better Way to Live. It's Time to Get the Help You Deserve.

Take the first step in getting your life back. Speak with our admissions team today.
Contact Us