At Sadaqat Clinic, the initial meeting between family and the patient of an addiction or psychiatric disorder holds a lot of value in the inpatient/indoor course of treatment. It allows family to connect emotionally with their loved one after a crisis intervention and gives professionals an opportunity to assess family’s emotional needs. The duration of the initial meeting is kept to 5 minutes and family is informed about this beforehand. Psychologists and counselors give specific instructions to family members regarding their conduct in the initial meeting and guide loved ones on how to avoid any provoking behaviours or dirty questions. Seeing their family complying to counselor’s instructions, patients also begin to build rapport with their counselor and abide by the treatment protocols.
During the initial meeting, counselors do not interact with the family or patient. Instead, they debrief with the family afterwards. However, to ensure best outcomes, counselors can intervene and conclude the meeting if any behavioural issues arise. They can also intercede if the family appears to be non-compliant with counselor’s instructions or is unable to remain emotionally strong during the meeting.