The kindest and most
loving thing family and friends can do
Anytime someone needs help but refuses to accept
it, a family intervention is appropriate.
A family intervention can be used for people engaged
in any self-destructive behavior:
- a person drinking too much: alcohol abuse, alcohol addiciton
- drug abuse, drug addiction
- eating disorders: an anorexic
- gambling addiction, sex addiction
- computer addiction, internet addiction
- a senior needing assisted living
Intervention is the most loving, powerful and
successful method yet for helping people accept help.
A family intervention can be done with love and
respect in a non-confrontational, non-judgmental manner.
A family intervention is often the answer, the
only answer. It can be done. It can be done now.
Family Intervention works.
A common scenario is as follows:
Family and friends may initially be apprehensive
and confused. They may be ambivalent about whether or not to do the intervention.
Some may be afraid of the person, others may be angry.
The goal is to move from this disorganized and
chaotic state to a cohesive, focused group.
To do this, the participants meet with the leader
beforehand to educate themselves about the dysfunction, to determine how
to best help themselves, and to prepare for Intervention Day. This includes
identifying others who should be involved , exploring appropriate treatment
options, and preparing what they are going to say.
This preparation often involves several meetings,
telephone calls, and culminates in a practice session immediately prior
to the Intervention Day.
The time varies, but the process is usually contained
within one to two weeks. Sometimes it can be shortened to a weekend.
Family Intervention Day
Imagine family, friends, work colleagues and an
intervention leader entering a man's home or office.
As the leader ensures the process is orderly and
safe, the man hears how much he means to everyone there, how he affects
them with his behavior, and what they want their relationship with him
to be in the future.
Then the man is asked to accept help now; appropriate
arrangements are already in place. The tone is loving, respectful and supportive,
but firm; there is no debate.
Seeing his many loved ones, friends and colleagues
together, the man hears what they say and knows he can no longer hide his
problem. Nor does he want to.
In a short time he is receiving
Following Family Intervention Day
Much remains to be done. The education process
continues. Participants follow through on their plans for helping themselves.
It is never business as usual
Family Interventions Vary
Because each family situation is different, the
scope and approach to each intervention must vary accordingly. What may
be practical and appropriate for one family may not be for another.
For example, some family interventions require
several weeks of preparation, others can be done in a few hours or days. Some have a designated "intervention day" on which a formal intervention occurs, others not. Some family interventions have a professional leader present, others not. Often a family intervention occurs in the person's home, others in the leader's office. Some are a surprise, others are not. Sometimes a great
deal of family education takes place before the intervention, in others it takes place afterward.
A Word of Caution:
Family interventions are difficult and delicate
matters and it is important that they be done properly.
No family intervention should be undertaken
without advice and counsel of a professional experienced in the intervention
Furthermore, since people embarking on an intervention
often feel ambivalent and apprehensive, it is important that they trust
the interventionist. Should you ever feel uneasy with your interventionist,
that you are being asked to do something you do not understand or agree
with, you would be wise to stop the process and go elsewhere.