Caring for a person with a substance use disorder (SUD) and/or mental health disorder (MHD) represents a significant burden for family members. The features of “carers/family members” experiences reflect trauma signatures. Consequently, working through this trauma for carers corresponds with psychological recovery, empowerment processes and intrapersonal/interpersonal needs. The purpose of this paper is to outline a framework called the “personal and relational empowerment (PRE)” framework which enables family support practitioners to help family members to be able to take control of their own lives, develop meaningful relationships and live purposeful and fulfilling lives, regardless of whether the person with the SUD and/or MHD is in recovery or not.
This paper critically reviews existing frameworks for carer recovery, through a systematic literature search, and proposes a “PRE” alternative to redress the shortfalls in these existing frameworks.
The PRE framework takes a multi-level needs-based approach to understand carer recovery. This framework links the concepts – psychological recovery, empowerment processes and intrapersonal/interpersonal needs.
The PRE framework recognises the importance of recovery support practitioners being able to balance the immediate carer crisis intervention needs responses with personal growth and well-being supporting interventions.
The PRE framework of family recovery attempts to answer the need to broaden the focus on the family journey to better reflect the principles and practices of contemporary SUD and/or MHD recovery-based support.