4 Common Myths About Intervention

  1. Intervention is a dramatic, emotionally charged, and stressful event.
  2. The addicted person is given an ultimatum to “get help or else!”
  3. The addicted person is whisked off to an out of state treatment center by the interventionist, who has been flown in from out of state.
  4. You should only do an intervention when things get really bad.

The truth about how I do an intervention:

  1. The intervention isn’t an “event” at all; it is a loving, caring, respectful process.  The family gathers with the person they are concerned about to express their concern and fears and to make an offer to help.  The addicted person is sometimes invited to this meeting, but when the element of surprise is determined to be valuable it is treated the same as if you were to stop by to visit a sick friend in need.  The intervention is well planned and calm.  No one is ever forced to do anything and everyone is free to leave at any time.  Everyone is treated with dignity and respect at all times, I do not allow any yelling, name calling, or blaming to occur at any time during the process.
  2. The addicted person is offered the opportunity to take control of his/her life by taking the first two steps toward recovery which are (1) to admit the need for help and (2) to accept the help being offered.  What comes next is not an ultimatum, but rather a vow for health.  Whether the addicted person chooses to accept help or not, the family members will take control of their lives by vowing not to continue to enable addiction.  Everyone involved in the intervention is taught how to heal themselves and reclaim their personal freedom.
  3. There are many different treatment options.  Not everyone needs 30, 60, or 90 days of residential treatment.  Those who do are offered the treatment program most clinically and geographically appropriate for their recovery needs.  Each situation is treated individually.  Sometimes the best treatment option is outpatient counseling linked with 12 step support.  No matter what treatment is offered, a family member always accompanies the IP to the treatment facility; I usually don’t go at all.I specialize in local intervention.  There are plenty of people who need my help right here.  The Network of Independent Interventionists provides a list by state of professional interventionists at www.independentinterventionists.com.  I recommend you consult this list to find an interventionist in your area.  There may be no reason to pay the additional travel costs to get an out of state interventionist to come to you when there may be a qualified interventionist close by.
  4. How bad is “bad enough”?  Please don’t sit around and wait for your loved one to “hit bottom”.  That’s downright cruel.  You should never feel guilty about speaking your truth and making an offer to help; it’s what healthy people do.  An intervention is fail proof because at a minimum the family members heal.  They break their dysfunctional code of silence and enabling behaviors and this ALWAYS has a healing effect on the disease process.

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