How Josh Duggar’s ‘Long-Term Treatment’ Will Affect His Family

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“Yesterday Josh checked himself into a long-term treatment center,” Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar blogged about their son on Wednesday. “For him it will be a long journey toward wholeness and recovery.” Same goes for his kids, an expert tells Yahoo Parenting. (Photo: TLC/Facebook)/

In a move perhaps signaling the beginning of the end of Josh Duggar’s family drama, the reality star alum’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, announced on their blog Wednesday that the confessed molester and cheater has gone into treatment for his issues.

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“As parents we are so deeply grieved by our son’s decisions and actions,” the former 19 and Counting stars wrote, referring to the father of four’s recent scandals and addiction to pornography (which he admitted to in a statement that was later edited to remove that remark). “His wrong choices have deeply hurt his precious wife and children and have negatively affected so many others. He has also brought great insult to the values and faith we hold dear. Yesterday Josh checked himself into a long-term treatment center. For him it will be a long journey toward wholeness and recovery.”

STORY: How Josh Duggar’s Wife Should Explain Dad’s ‘Double Life’ to Their Kids

And while specifics on the location and duration were unspecified, reports surmise that the 27-year-old would likely return to the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) training center in Little Rock, where he sought counseling in 2003 after his parents learned that he’d sexually abused five girls, including his sisters.

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(Photo: Institute of Basic Life Principals/Yelp)

The nature of Josh’s treatment is also unknown, though the IBLP’s Comprehensive Course in Effective Counseling textbook suggests that a person who tries “to overcome immoral habits with his own willpower” is “doomed” to failure. “Even if he achieves a certain measure of success in one area, he will then experience new conflicts with pride, self-righteousness, and condemnation of others,” the tome expounds. “The only power capable of breaking this bondage is the power of the Lord Jesus Christ energizing the person from within.”

When devout individuals struggle with addiction, according to information on Recovery.org, “They face not only the struggles society places on them but also issues related to how their addiction issues affect their faith.” Traditional therapies don’t address the spiritual aspect of their lives, rendering them less effective, reports the organization, which calls out a study from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University that found 79 percent of Americans believe that faith is able to help addicted people recover from their addictions. “A faith-based recovery center can help those struggling with addiction find relief while supporting and strengthening their faith. For many, this combination leads to a better chance of full recovery.” Such programs consist of education about addiction, spiritual principles, religious study, prayer or meditation, counseling, and group therapy sessions.

The Duggars, meanwhile, “pray that in this [Josh] comes to complete repentance and sincere change,” adding on their blog, “We will be offering our love, care, and devoted support to Anna and our grandchildren as she also receives counsel and help for her own heart and future.”

Josh’s departure from his flock, reportedly now making a home in their former house in Siloam Springs, Ark. — more than three hours from the IBLP center in Little Rock — will make a big impact on them, after all, especially since children as young as Anna and Josh’s (daughter Mackynzie, 5, sons Michael, 4, and Marcus, 2, and daughter Meredith Grace, 1 month) don’t have a real grasp on time or distance. At typical “long-term” treatment programs — which range from 90-days to more for in-patient addiction therapy, according to Rehabs.com, a resource website offering information on substance abuse and behavioral addictions — patients will not see their family at all for the first 30 days.

“They use that first chunk of time to focus on themselves,” a representative from Rehabs.com, tells Yahoo Parenting. “After that most centers will allow the family to come visit a patient at the facility.” These reunions are important, she adds, because “treatment effects the family too,” she says. “Adult relatives will often use these visit to do family counseling and address the issues they may have within their family.”

It’s in the best interest of the children that Anna tell them something relatable, along the lines of, “Daddy’s gone away a while to camp because he has some issues he needs learning help with,” Fran Walfish, a Beverly Hills psychotherapist and WeTV Sex Box panelist, tells Yahoo Parenting. “She should explain that it’s a place where Dad will be treated well, so they don’t worry, and then reinforce all the things that will remain the same in their lives.” Continuity and consistency are key, she adds, because “they provide a feeling of security, especially to young children.”

A parent’s absence, in fact, is one of the causes of sex addiction, says Walfish. “Unexplained major separation or abandonment is felt as unresolved trauma,” she says. “It’s one of the common denominators in cheaters and sex addicts: They experienced unresolved abandonment when very young.” For that reason, among others, Walfish insists, “Dad being away is a very big deal.”

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