Family Program

Family counseling is a component of the treatment process at our center. We help family members understand addiction and how to behave in order to help their loved one recover.

At Sober Living by the Sea, we take the opportunity to create an experience that is both educational and positive. Our family program is truly for the family and loved ones of the alcoholic or addict. We take the time to educate the family about issues like “enabling” and how to react when the loved one is dishonest or in denial.

Our state-of-the-art family program also helps families understand the importance of getting help for themselves. The family will be given the opportunity to learn from Dr. Joseph Bradley and Dr. Jerry Brown that there is hope, and that while their family member is in treatment, they can be growing and changing and learning right along with them. The family members will also learn how they can give their loved one the best chance at overcoming addiction or an eating disorder permanently.

Here is the schedule:



8:30 am Continental Breakfast – Family Program Facility
9:00-10:30 The Disease Model of Addiction – Dr. Joseph Bradley
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-12:00 The First Year of Recovery –  Dr. Joseph Bradley
12:00-12:45 Lunch – Provided at Family Program Facility
12:45-1:15 Introduction and Continuing Care Presentation – Paige Willard
1:15-1:35 Experience Recovery – Heather Sulfaro
1:45-3:30 Boundary Setting – Dr. Jerry Brown
7:30 Al-Anon Meeting at the Main Center (Martindale Hall)


8:30 am Continental Breakfast at Family Program Facility
9:00-10:15 Powerlessness – Dr. Jerry Brown
10:15-10:30 Break
10:30-11:15 Powerlessness– Dr. Jerry Brown
11:15-12:00 Nutrition in Recovery – Michelle Smith, LVN
12:00-12:45 Lunch with Clients and their Families
12:45-330 Multi family Group – Dr. Jerry Bown & Kristine emry
12:45-330 Appointments with case managers, relaxation, dinner on your own
Suggested 12-Step Meetings
  Suggested 12-Step  Meetings
6:30pm Al-Anon –  Corona Del Mar Community Church
611 Heliotrope
(12 x 12 Step Study)
7:30pm AA Balboa Speaker Meeting
414 E. 32nd St., Newport Beach, 92663


8:30 AM Continental Breakfast at Family Program Facility
9:00-11:30 Dual Diagnosis/Questions – Dr. Jerry Brown
11:30 Closing Knot of Love – Heather Sulfaro

We hope that everyone takes the opportunity to grow with us and to have an experience that will truly bring your family together.

More Facts about the Damage Addiction Can Cause
to the Family

Alarming national statistics indicate that the entire family often suffers when one member is addicted to drugs or alcohol, or is actively suffering from an eating disorder:

  • More than half of all spouse and child abuse is directly tied to alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Alcohol and drug-addicted persons are seven times more likely to divorce.
  • More than 4 million women in this country, many of whom are mothers, abuse drugs.
  • More than half of all traffic fatalities are related to alcohol and other forms of drug abuse.
  • Non-alcoholic members of alcoholic families take considerably more sick leave than members of families in which alcoholism is not present.
  • Alcohol is implicated in 25 to 50 percent of cases of maltreatment of women, and in 20 percent of cases of maltreatment of children.
  • An estimated 6.6 million children under the age of 18 live in households with at least one alcoholic parent.

Sadly, even if the substance abuser is able to keep up appearances to the outside world, family life often becomes intolerable for his/her loved ones. Yet they may try to cover up what is really happening because it’s just too painful to admit their family is being torn apart by something they cannot control.

Desperate for change, family members may try to control events involving the substance abuser or his/her behavior. They may hide or throw out alcohol or drugs. They may repeatedly scold the addict or try to shame him/her into promising to never use again. They may call in sick for the chemically dependent person or lie to ensure the outside world doesn’t find out the truth. Often, families become drawn into the substance abuser’s sickness; they become co-dependent while trying desperately to make family life seem “normal.”

Unfortunately, ignoring the problem or helping to cover things up isn’t helping anyone. It certainly isn’t helping children who may be living in the home. While they may seem oblivious to daddy or mommy’s substance abuse, they are most certainly being affected – and not just temporarily.

If your family is being affected by drug or alcohol abuse, don’t give up hope. It is statistically proven that when family, friends, or co-workers come together to help the chemically dependent person face his/her addiction and realize the damage he/she is causing to loved ones, that person agrees to enter treatment more than 90 percent of the time.

To find out if you or a loved one may be chemically dependent, there are questions you need to ask. Please visit our Self Assessment page.

SpecProgram Contents

Letter for Families to Use to a Loved One Who is Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol

This is a letter that was crafted by our staff member Kelly K that may come in handy if you have a loved one who you are hoping to accept treatment. Of course, you can always call our treatment center to ask questions and get help from an interventionist.
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Food For Thought about the Sponsor and Sponsee Relationship in Recovery

Kelly weighs in with an article asking you some thought provoking questions about your relationship with a son or daughter who needs help for substance abuse or addiction.
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Answers For My Depressed, Addicted Daughter

This is a good read and Mothers of those who struggle with addiction might relate to it. “An increasing number of adolescents are being diagnosed with depression, and that drug abuse is a typical way of self-medicating depressed feelings.”
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