AT-A-GLANCE

  • 17 years professional experience 
  • Trained/Certified (LOVE FIRST, ARISE, JOHNSON, Family systems) 
  • Specializing in substance use, process addiction, eating disorder and mental health disorders
  • Travel across country working with family systems
  • Follow and abide by ethical standards
  • Help support individuals, families, employers out of crisis utilizing CARE*FRONTATION model of education, guidance, advocacy and validation
  • Involved with national and international conferences speaking about the importance of how interventions empower not only the individual but the entire system as a whole
  • Used for many cases, including: substance use, process addiction, eating disorders and mental health disorders
  • 6-month support, as this is a process, not an event 

IN-DEPTH

Can you intervene too early?

  • No, as with any disease, the earlier intervene happens the better. 
  • Many families feel more comfortable having a professional interventionist present.
  • In intervention is more complicated when a loved one is struggling with mental health, chemical dependency, eating disorders or process addictions. This is when a professional interventionist should be present. They assist in preparation, the family intervention meeting and the process afterwards.
  • Circumstances when families should consider using a professional include:
    • history of mental illness
    • abusive or violent behavior
    • a long-lasting deep depression
    • suspected use of illicit or prescription drugs
    • the alcoholic had previous treatment followed by relapse
    • evidence of serious emotional problems or brain damage
    • suicide attempts or threats of suicide
    • a history of physical or psychological trauma
    • the loved one is suffering from chronic pain
    • evidence of a cross-addiction such as gambling or sex addiction
    • family relationships have greatly deteriorated
  • Don’t wait for someone to hit bottom, intervention is an opportunity to raise a loved one’s bottom to a better place.
  • The reasoning behind the widely repeated phrase “hitting bottom” is that we must wait for negative consequences to overrun our loved one’s life before they will accept help. This comes with a big price tag. Hitting bottom often costs:
    • destruction of the family 
    • jail time
    • insanity 
    • death 
  • Intervention is a way of raising the bottom.
  • Intervening with love helps our loved one find recovery without going thru years of affliction and loss. The family too is saved from heartbreak and pain that can endure for decades. 
  • Intervention is not the end of the story it is just the beginning.
  • Intervention allows the entire family system to get invested in recovery. Family system recovery is crucial. Eating disorders, addiction and mental health problems are a family disease not an individual issue.
  • Intervention is often the first step in getting a loved one to agree to accept help, finding support services for the entire family system and changing direction toward healing. 
  • It is important to recognize that interventions are different for different disorders. For example, an eating disorder intervention differs from a substance use disorder intervention. There are different medical components, placement options, levels of care and types of transport requirements. 
  • A skilled, clinical professional interventionist will: gather extensive past and current psychiatric and behavior data, identify and manage symptoms displayed, remain vigilant of triggers and signs of dissociation, prepare and rehearse a family team before an actual intervention meeting, guide and assist the loved one and remain grounded.
  • The process begins with a clinical assessment call, followed by gathering data, building a loving family team, engaging the family, preparing and educating the family team, assisting with logistics around the designed meeting, facilitation of the family meeting, staying on for 6 months of continuing care and support.

What is an intervention?

An intervention (a.k.a. family meeting) is a forward moving process in which to disrupt the downward spiral of crisis within families or organizations caused by behavioral health related issues. The team will come together, usually led by a professional, in an effort to guide all persons involved out of crisis, with the more specific goal of providing immediate help and relief to the identified individual.

What is the goal of an intervention? And how successful are they?

The traditional goal of an intervention has been to provide solutions to individuals in crisis from addiction. However the more modern goal of an intervention/family meeting, takes a broader view of crisis caused by behavioral health related issues and attempts to provide solutions not only for the identified individual but for the family or system surrounding the individual as well, which is known as the “systemic model”. While making help available to the identified individual is an objective, it is not the only objective and it is not the way an intervention or family meeting determines its success. The success of an intervention is not determined just by the number of individuals that enter treatment, but more importantly, by how many families are able to move out of crisis.

How do you know if an Intervention is appropriate?

An intervention/family meeting is appropriate if you, as the friend/family/coworker, can no longer in good conscience sit by and watch the situation deteriorate. When you have decided that you have to do something to help or alter the situation then an intervention may be appropriate form of action.

What if the intervention makes the situation worse?
What if my loved one never speaks to me again?

The team will be guided in utilizing a “care-frontation” model verses the “confrontation” model and to proceed with a gentle, loving, factual, conversational approach with the individual. The intervention/ family meeting is not that of a showdown or a test of wills. The process is designed specifically to improve the lives, perceptions, and choices of all involved.

How long is the entire intervention process?

The process, from initial consultation to the actual intervention/family meeting can be as long as several weeks to as short as the next day. In certain crisis situations it is imperative to take immediate action to prevent the identified individual from harming him/ herself or others. When possible, more planning is always appropriate. As the facilitator, I will help guide those involved to get out of the problem and into the solution. Clients’ typically feel relief and hope from the moment they agree to move forward with the services of an interventionist and get into action. The actual intervention usually lasts no longer than an hour. All of the hard work of preparation by the team and the interventionist is done in advance.

Who should be part of the intervention team?

Family, friends, spiritual advisors, co-workers, supervisors or other supportive collateral are all appropriate. As the interventionist I will work with you to build a well-rounded and effectual team.