Help for the families of addicted people
No one should have to wait until their loved one “hits bottom” to start getting help. My name is Lara Okoloko, LICSW. I specialize in helping families who are hurting because of a family member’s substance use. You can get compassionate support for yourself, reduce conflict and preserve the relationship with your addicted loved one, and find ways to influence them to seek treatment for their substance use, all without shaming, blaming or ultimatums.
Maybe you have been told to “detach” from your family member who is wrestling with an addiction, to let them “hit bottom,” but that doesn’t feel quite right to you. Perhaps you have been advised to surprise them with an intervention and an ultimatum, but you aren’t convinced that it’s the right approach either.
I use a collaborative, respectful harm-reduction approach that seeks to empower instead of shame, and to encourage healthy relationship-building instead of detachment. I am certified in the Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) counseling approach, a positive relationship-based alternative to surprise interventions. I offer family support groups, one day workshops, as well as individual, couples or family counseling sessions.
You can be the one to lead healthy changes in your family.
“Things had gotten very bad. Our beautiful, smart, funny son had become a heroin and meth addict. He lied to us and stole from us. He dropped out of college and ran away from two rehab programs. He abused us verbally and threatened us physically.
Our son’s addiction counselor had recommended that we see Lara. She helped us stabilize our family dynamics and make appropriate decisions concerning our son’s addiction and his consequent behavior. We left each session with clearer insight, practical advice, and moral support.
Today our son is one year sober. He has matured immensely. He is thoughtful and loving. He is going back to school. He enjoys being with his family and his sober friends, and appreciates all of life’s many gifts. Our son continues to work hard every day on his sobriety and we have learned to support him appropriately on that journey.
We want other families and parents to know that there is hope.”
What is the best way that I could help you?
INDIVIDUAL OR FAMILY COUNSELING
Your addicted loved one does not need to be ready for change for you to start getting help for your family. This support is for YOU – the parent, partner or family member – and I invite anyone in the family who is ready for change to attend the first session.
“We all have our lives back and my daughter is 6 months sober. If she relapses I feel confident that we know what to do and it is just part of the process. I have a great relationship with my daughter now. Thank you for helping me to understand the disease of addiction.”
GROUP FOR PARENTS WHO LOVE SOMEONE WHO USES HEROIN
A monthly harm reduction support group for parents and other family caregivers of heroin/opiate users, to support each other as they struggle to stay connected with their children who are in trouble with opiates, while also struggling to take care of themselves. “Cross talk” encouraged!
This group is for any parent, grandparent, or other family caregiver of someone who is either currently using heroin or another opiate or establishing recovery through rehab, outpatient, or medication assisted treatment.
Group meets in the evening on the 1st Thursday of every month in Wallingford, North Seattle. Enroll anytime of the year, sliding scale cost. Print a flyer to read more about the group and then call or email me to enroll.
“When my husband and I discovered our daughter’s addiction, we had no idea how to cope. He was angry and I was scared. When we started sessions with Lara we were not only able to identify with other parents who were experiencing similar feelings, but we were taught skills so that we could communicate with our daughter to gain her trust and add sanity to our lives. Our anger was replaced with a sense of purpose – to take care of ourselves and support our daughter on her road to recovery. I’m so grateful for that!” -former group member
SATURDAY WORKSHOP FOR PEOPLE LOVING SOMEONE IN ADDICTION
Join other parents and partners loving someone with an addiction to learn new strategies for finding recovery from addiction for the whole family. These workshops teaches effective, research-proven elements of Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT). It is a positive and respectful approach that focuses on solutions and understanding instead of blame.
Whether your loved one is your child, spouse, or sibling, whether they are still using or in treatment, you are welcome to attend and be the leader of healthy change for your family. Attending a workshop is a cost-effective way to learn many of the CRAFT skills in convenient Saturday half-day workshops in the Seattle area.
Learn more on the Family Recovery page and then request an enrollment form from me to reserve your spot in the next workshop.
All families are welcomed and respected