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How To Facilitate A Family Intervention

An intervention can be a motivating factor for an individual for seeking help in dealing with the problem of alcohol or drug abuse, and other addictive behaviors. It is, however, necessary to understand when to conduct the intervention and how to make it successful.

Helping a loved one may be struggling with an addiction of some type can be challenging. The path to recovery can sometimes begin with a direct conversation with the affected individual. However when the matter relates to an addiction the individual often denies the problem and refuses to acknowledge it. It will require a focused approach and the family will have joined forces with others when taking action through a formal intervention.

Early intervention programs enrich adverse family environments. The largest effects of the early intervention programs are on noncognitive traits. Now, what do I mean by that? I mean perseverance, motivation, self-esteem, and hard work. James Heckman

When can family intervention prove beneficial?

Family intervention can prove beneficial when a member of the family is addicted to the following substances:

  • Alcoholism.
  • Prescription and street drug abuse.
  • Compulsive eating.
  • Compulsive gambling.

People struggling with addictions often remain in denial and are unwilling to seek treatment. They do not recognize the negative aspects of their behavior on themselves and other members of the family.

A family intervention can present the addicted individual a structured opportunity to change his or her life before things worsen and can also motivate them to seek help.

What is the definition of a family intervention?

A family intervention is a carefully planned process that may be conducted by the family by themselves or along with the assistance of friends after consulting a doctor or a professional who can be a licensed alcohol and drug counselor or an intervention specialist. On occasions, it also involves coworkers, members of the clergy and people who care about the person who is struggling with the addiction.

The objective of the intervention is to provide the following:

  • Specific examples of destructive behaviors and the impact they can have on the addicted individual and members of the family.
  • Offer a treatment plan which is arranged and provides clear steps, goals, and guidelines.
  • Spell out the actions that could be taken by every member of the family if the addicted individual differences to accept treatment.

The functioning of a typical family intervention

An intervention generally the following steps:

  • Making a plan. A member of the family proposes an intervention by forming a planning group. The family member proposing the intervention should have consultations with a professional counselor or an interventionist for the assistance needed for organizing an effective intervention. An intervention can be a charged situation with the potential to cause anger and resentment in the addicted individual.
  • Gathering information. The member of the family will be required to understand the extent of the problem faced by the addicted individual and conduct research on the treatment programs that may be available.
  • Forming a team for the intervention. The planning group needs to form a team which will participate in the intervention personally. Team members should be working together to present a consistent and a well-rehearsed plan keeping in mind the best interests of the addicted individual. Non-family members can also participate in the discussions and offer solutions rather than illicit emotional responses that are strong. This information must be kept away from the addicted individual until the day of the intervention.
  • Decide on specific consequences if the addicted individual refuses to accept treatment family members are required to decide on the type of actions they will be taking.
  • Making notes on the statements to be made. Family members must be prepared with notes to describe specific incidents of the addiction which may have caused problems with the home. They must also have information about the kind of harm the addicted individual is causing while expressing a desire to care for the individual. The addicted individual will not be able to argue with facts especially when they are given by close members of the family.
  • Holding the intervention meeting. The addicted individual should be invited to the intervention site without revealing the reasons and members of the family can express their concerns and provide the treatment option. The addicted individual must be instructed to accept the treatment option instantly even as every member of the family provides information about the changes that can be expected if the treatment option is refused. It is advised that threats should not be used during the intervention meeting but attempts should be made to convince the individual with relevant facts.

Successful interventions can be planned carefully to work as intended. Consulting an addiction professional, a psychologist, psychiatrist, a social worker will also help because they can help the family organize a successful intervention. When all things work according to plan the chances of the addicted individual recovering from the addiction become significantly higher.

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