The Family has a central role in treatment of any illness, mental health is no different. As a parent, partner, sibling or friend; we often wonder if we could do more. 

The Role of Families

The most important decision that you have made is to reach out for help. The gift of treatment for a young adult is often lifesaving. As a parent, partner, sibling or friend; we often wonder if we could do more. 

The involvement of the family is pivotal to effective treatment and long-term recovery. During assessment and admission, the information provided by the family helps to build a picture for both the clinical and medical teams. It provides not only an indication of past and current problems but indicated where strengths and support will shape the future. Family involvement and support during this early phase of treatment, shapes the remaining time in treatment. Positivity, support, strength and a commitment to change is essential. 


The importance of family in treatment and care plans

Caring for a family member with mental health or behavioural health concerns can be difficult at times. Families can feel a variety of feelings; grief, fear, disappointment, shame and failure. Deciding on a treatment program can also be a worrying experience for some families. At The Wave, we see families as our partners in the treatment process. Family support and the rebuilding of family relationships is an essential part of the process. We will work with the family to address old patterns of behavioural whilst providing coping skills and practical advice for post treatment family life. We explore the expectations of the whole family as we move from admission, stabilisation and into forward planning. The family are an essential part of our extended treatment team. Our families have explained to us how the support that they received during the treatment episode was invaluable in the healing process. Our Parent Advocates (family members who have completed a treatment episode) offer their time to new families, providing a family to family support network.

Inside The Wave Clinic


Will everything in therapy be shared with the family?

There are some things that you might wish to remain in the private space between you and your therapist. There may be others that in the interest of healing are better to be shared. This is a process that you will undertake with your therapist, who will support you in making informed decisions. When you arrive, you will be given an option to discuss who, if anyone that you would like us to share information with. You can also decide with your therapist, how you would like any information shared and the extent of sharing.

We believe in the right to confidentiality. There are a few occasions when we may need to discuss this with you further or when you may wish to change or update who we share information with. Prior to any family sessions we will carefully discuss with all family members the hopes and outcomes for the therapy sessions. We advocate for confidentiality, safe spaces and the involvement of the family where therapeutically beneficial. We will help to resolve family conflict, listening to differing viewpoints and give space to express all emotions in a sensitive way.

How families help Treatment Goals

We like to ensure that we are all working towards the same goals in treatment. Upon admission you will receive a patient questionnaire along with some essential homework for the family. It is helpful for the treatment team to have a good understanding of the problems that the family have faced and how the mental health, behavioural concerns, addiction or eating disorder have affected the family as a whole. We will invite the family to take part in family therapy sessions, when clinically appropriate, either in person or by video conferencing. We will also help you to readjust family dynamics; which may have become strained during the acute phase prior to admission. We value our families input throughout the process. The clinical team at The Wave and the family become partners in the clinical process. Together we can access the family strengths and look at the areas that need additional support or guidance.

What will we gain from joining the Family Therapy Program?

The wave Family Program has evolved as a result of many years of working with families from all over the world. Our clinical team have experience of producing programs and interventions that are both culturally appropriate and sensitive to the needs of our clients from all over the world. Each family has hopes, desires and expectations for treatment and beyond. We hope that our families will gain valuable insight and education, together with an opportunity to benefit from the experience of our clinical team in the therapy environment.

Many of our families choose to undertake personal therapy during the course of treatment, we can help you to locate a therapist that will be tuned to your family circumstances. Our international therapists will also be made available to you and your family when you return home following treatment. We will look at problem solving techniques, expand social and professional support systems and plan life and recovery after treatment ends. Our families tell us that they gained fellowship, friendship and knowledge, in fact we consider many of them as lifelong members of our extended family; welcoming them back for visits and special occasions.

Our Family Services

We believe in putting the family first in treatment.

Family Therapy and Family Workshops


Family Therapy and Family workshops are an integrative aspect of treatment at The Wave. The Family will have access to our international team of family and trauma experts, both in the centre and in their home location, when additional support and therapy is recommended. When appropriate the family will be invited to join us at The Wave for intensive family sessions, with plenty of time to reconnect and form new positive relationships.

Parent Advocates

Our Parent Advocates have experience of the treatment process. They understand the complexity of finding suitable treatment, the concerns and the fears.  They have first-hand knowledge of building a trusting relationship with the treatment team and have spent many days and hours at The Wave, in family sessions and have been involved in the care and treatment planning for their family members. 

Our Parent Advocates have pledged to help other families experiencing mental health, addiction on eating disorders. Each offering their time and guidance freely. As supporters of The Wave and providing guidance for others, they are part of The Wave extended family.  Watch the stories of two of our parents below:

We Can Help Today


We will ask you all to take an honest look at life and communication in the family. We are going to ask you to be brave and confront some of your own fears and be gently direct when working with other members of the family. We will ask you to prepare some pieces of homework prior to our first session. 

We are also really keen to hear from you. We would like to know what is important to you and the families shared goals for treatment. 

“Effective" means something very different to ever family that we meet, the goals for treatment are unique and every family has a slightly differing view on what success would mean for them. Studies showing numbers and percentages mean very little, when the person that you care about seems resistant to treatment or change.

Upon admission, we conduct a series of standardised psychological assessments and mental health evaluations. We use this as a baseline to measure symptom severity, trauma, hope for the future, self-efficacy, communication and ability to form and maintain relationships with others. We also look at areas such as depression and anxiety or insomnia. By creating a baseline, we are able to monitor self-reported change and progress and use daily clinical observations to support the pathway to lasting change and the effectiveness of clinical/medical interventions.

Try not to be nervous. We are on your ‘team’. We will spend some time gathering information on the areas that you as the family unit would like to focus on during your treatment. We will also have some ideas of our own following extensive work during our sessions whilst in treatment. We will balance thus with plenty of time to answer questions and provide information, insight and education. 

You will all be together for at least part of the family sessions, with other opportunities to split into subgroups or even meet the family therapist individually. We will help you to understand how the family interacts, the communication patterns and the roles assumed in the family dynamic. 

Most importantly, we are there to support you. 

The family can provide invaluable support and encouragement at this point. Positivity and actively encouraging engagement in the treatment process really helps young people to stay on track with their treatment goals. Lots of young adults will attempt to ‘divide and rule’; we ask that our family stay in close contact with the therapy team to keep treatment moving forwards. 

As one member of the family begins to change and take on a new role, there is a shift in the whole family. This is where we hope that our families will engage in family therapy weeks. Not only can wee resolve past issues but we can creatively plan for a brighter future together. We consider the family to be part of the team.

As treatment progresses we will ask for further input. We work to build and understand the family dynamics and we will request some homework to be completed by members of the family, we may suggest that family members engage in therapy at this point. 

For more FAQs, please refer to our FAQs page.

There's Always Hope

Recovery is not a journey that should be taken alone.

Do you have questions? Want to discuss your case?

Are you looking to start the path to healing?

We’d love to talk to you. 


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