How To Conduct A Family Intervention

When a family member is in obvious need of an intervention, it may be a painful decision whether or not to conduct a family intervention. However, because of the close ties between family members, they are often only ones who can help the person they love. Family ties are often times the only ones strong enough to break free through the cycle of addiction.

First, an intervention is when a group of people gather together to confront a loved one about a dangerous addiction that he has developed. They lay down ground rules about what behavior is no longer accepted. It is considered a wake-up call that forces the addict to understand how his addiction has affected those around him. Often times an interventionist helps provide guidelines for laying out consequences for the person if they refuse to seek treatment.

Family Interventions

Family interventions should not be taken lightly, and much thought and planning should go into how this is done. The ultimate goal is for the addict to seek treatment, and plans should be made to maximize the chances of this ultimate outcome. An expert should at least be consulted about how the intervention should happen.

Some of the questions family members have about interventions include:

  • Does it work?
  • Will it alienate me from the person I love?
  • What are the risks?
  • Will my family be torn apart?

These are all legitimate concerns and an expert should be able to answer them. To answer the first question, interventions should be considered on a case-by-case basis. For some families interventions may not be the best solution. However, for those who believe their loved ones are truly in danger, intervention may be their last option to get their loved one to seek help.

Alienation Is A Risk

Unfortunately, alienation may be one of the risks that happen with an intervention. The addict may feel cornered and surrounded and lash out as those who are trying to help him. However, if an intervention is not made, the addict may be alienated from their loved one anyways.

Besides alienation, one of the repercussions are that families are torn apart if the intervention fails to yield positive results. The emotional repercussions of interventions resonate for years and years. In addition, even if the addict does decide to attend rehab only to appease family members, he may leave rehab early or only go through the motions.

A Viable Solution

In the end, family interventions may be a viable solution to help someone lost in their addiction. However, the ultimate success of the intervention lies on the shoulders of the addict, and whether he is ready to embrace the difficult path of treatment. An intervention helps them realize the urgency of the situation and hopefully create the ultimate outcome of seeking treatment.

All the love and treatment in the world can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help himself. Howevre a family intervention can help an addict repriortize their life and begin to see what is imporant once again.

Ken Seeley is a board certified interventionist, as well as the founder of Intervention 911, a provider of young adult treatment.

family How To Conduct A Family Intervention

Photo Credit: Loren Kerns (CC BY 2.0)


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