"To save a life is to save the world."

THE INVITATION

 

When you are contacting friends and family members, I encourage you not to use the term intervention.  I suggest you use the phrase, "we've hired a professional that works with families like ours to help our son, daughter, etc."  People usually don't want to be apart of an intervention, because its perceived as confrontational and hypocritical to some.  You could just as well ask them to help you come get a poisonous snake out of your house.  The truth is, that having a poisonous snake in your house is very similar to having addiction in the house.  They are both harmful and need to be removed asap, and yes you will probably need help doing both.  Let's call this process what it really is.  Its a discussion with friends and family members about our CONCERNS, FEARS and HOPES for a loved one that is experiencing addiction, chemical dependency, eating disorder, etc.  We are going to invite them to help create change and willingness.


The message

Our message needs to be genuine, accurate and honest when presenting to our loved one while acknowledging where the family truly is because of the addiction, dependency, disorder, etc.  What most families can agree on is, that whats happening is not sustainable for the family members or the addicted individual for similar reasons.  More than likely there is financial loss, family relationships including marriage have been damaged, loss of work, physical and emotional health is at risk.  So if a family can agree that what they're doing will not last, then they can be in a position to make different decisions moving forward getting the buy in that we wan't sustainability.  

The addicted loved one will continue to lose if they don't make different decisions.  Unfortunately the drinking, drug use, eating disorder will come to an fatal end.  A successful outcome happens when a family and the loved one agree they both want sustainability and agree to move forward.  But if the family wants sustainability, they can create that even if the loved one does not want to make changes at this time. 

Genuine - This says you truly want the loved one to benefit and there is no other motive for you to be doing this.  "I want this for YOU".

Accurate - When confronting addiction or a disorder, you have to be accurate.  An addicted individual will argue, "it wasn't 10 drinks, it was 6".  More importantly we don't try and diagnose by telling them they are an alcoholic or addict.  Instead you would state that alcohol and drugs have caused them problems.  

Honest - We are here for you and I truly feel this way.  What we are saying today is honest.  Being honest also means that what you say will be doing to support recovery and no longer support addiction is true.  

 

The Meeting

Once all the friends and family members have accepted the invitation to create change by sharing their message to the loved one, we will schedule a time, date and location to ALL meet in person.  For those who can't be there in person, they can be available by phone or video or simply have their message present.  We would then invite the loved one to attend the meeting with me as the facilitator.  If the loved one is not willing to participate in a discussion at this time, everyone who is willing to meet will still meet and we will put the strategy for change in action.  I will help you get the loved one to be willing to hear the message either in a group setting, letter, phone call, etc.  THEY WILL HEAR IT!  Their unwillingness will not interfere with the families commitment to sustainability, because the family will be responding in a different way by making supportive decisions.  Instead of ultimatums, I ask families to commit to saying, "that we are no longer supporting the addiction, we are only supporting sustainability".  The addiction will now be the addicted individual's problem not the families.