Does the Thought of An Intervention Terrify You?

Your loved one is displaying destructive, even dangerous, behavior, and you’re trying to figure out what to do. You have finally admitted to yourself that there’s a problem. You’ve seen interventions on TV, and the thought of it terrifies you. It can all be very overwhelming, but at the same time, you’re scared for your loved one. The good news is that admitting there’s a problem is the first step towards a solution.

To many families, the thought of an intervention is terrifying. There’s the shame in admitting that there’s a problem, and, as bad as things are, you hope something will happen to change it on its own. You know in your gut that your loved one is in trouble, and perhaps you’ve been conditioned to deny it. The truth is this isn’t something that will go away on its own. In fact, it usually gets worse over time without some interruption.

Do you need an intervention? Get the PDF to help your family make an informed decision.

An Intervention is about communication

Most people see an intervention as process that mainly involves conflict or confrontation. They worry that if they confront their loved one, their worst fears might come true. They worry their loved one might get angry and cut them off entirely. They might feel like they are betraying their loved one, almost like they’re “outing” them. Or they are afraid that they are doing something behind their back. These are all responses that come from a place of fear.

An Intervention is about interrupting someone’s unhealthy behavior. It may be an addiction intervention; it may be a drinking, alcohol, or substance use intervention; it may be a drug intervention, another kind of crisis intervention. We do this mainly through communication. It’s about communicating your fears, the things you have seen and experienced, your hope, and a direct ask for them to accept help. It’s a forum for you to say things you haven’t been able to say so that the individual can see themselves and their situation in a way that they haven’t been able to before. The important thing is that this is done in a caring and loving way, so the process is respectful and dignified. We never want to guilt or shame your loved one. We don’t want this to feel like an indictment but an invitation to something bigger and better for themselves. We believe this type of experience is created through authentic connection and communication. 

Our process does not begin with an Intervention

At Feinberg Consulting, we don’t always start immediately with an intervention. Our process involves working closely with the family and strategizing with them to find different ways to connect with their loved one first. Maybe we can coach the family in conversing with their loved one? We will recommend an intervention when it is determined that their loved one is entirely resistant and there appears to be no other way. What’s important is that their loved one gets help. That’s the overall objective and focus. We can be flexible with how we achieve that.

Why there is so much chaos and confusion

Addiction or mental health conditions thrive in chaos and confusion. The identified loved one may have created unhealthy dynamics in their relationships through lying, manipulation, avoidance, and secrecy. This strains relationships and makes talking to them about their problem difficult. If this sort of thing is going on, it can be hard to imagine having any type of communication with them that is connecting, loving, dignified, and effective. Especially if, in the past, when you have tried, it escalates with finger-pointing, blaming, shaming, anger, or whatever strategy the person uses to distract, deflect, and dismiss.

With a formal family intervention or peer intervention, everyone involved has already prepared what they want to say. Their communication is intentional and thought out. This prevents emotions from taking over and things from escalating. Also, the person leading is skilled at managing the environment and energy so that things stay calm and collected. It’s in this type of environment that people can speak, listen, and be heard.

Do you need an intervention? Get the PDF to help your family make an informed decision.

Interventions work

Interventions do work. They are effective at getting individuals to accept help and moving families to a better place. The overall intervention process can be healing for families because they often feel closer by coming together with a common goal and becoming unified through the same mission.

But keep in mind that it’s a process, not an event. If the loved one doesn’t say yes that day, the family can continue on the same path with the same message, and the person often accepts help a few days later. Feinberg Consulting would continue to stay involved as part of our role, supporting the family in responding and navigating the days after the intervention.

Where do you start?

Where do you start if you feel a friend or family member needs an intervention? Reaching out is the first step. Having a conversation with a professional to explore the situation is a great way to begin the process. Together, we can determine if an intervention would support all involved. We have put together a PDF that you can download and share with your family or those involved. It will help you determine if a professional intervention is in the right direction.

Similar Posts