Philosophy of Helping A Loved-One Into Treatment
Early: The idea of the family taking the initiative to intervene in a loved-one’s alcohol/drug use (or other compulsive and self-destructive behavior) was first developed in the 1970s by Dr. Vernon Johnson. Similar to techniques used by large companies helping employees get into treatment, he framed his strategy around the presentation of clear concerns regarding the damage from alcohol or other drugs. A number of advances in the strategy have evolved.
Middle: To a small degree in 1986, but especially in 1987 the explicit expression of caring and love as fundamental to the process was more broadly recognized in the professional literature. Since then, most authors have echoed the necessity the process be imbued with the family’s expression of their profound love and care. Unfortunately, some counselors still place little emphasis on this essential ingredient. Out-of-town counselors providing overnight services are not able to support the development of the deep and enduring expression of love sufficient to transcend the moment; thus relapse and aborting treatment are more common.
Recent: Research has contributed to improving intervention in two major ways. First, some research has been done showing which strategies are effective. Other research of effective decision-making, communication for persuasion, and organizational change has contributed to establishing clear and concrete guiding principles applicable to helping someone enter treatment. Both bodies of research are critical in empowering the family in their doing what is best for them and their loved-one. Thus, there is no need to be harsh or abrupt or rely on guesswork. Most other interventionists do not know the research of what works and simply rely on what is familiar. With the confidence of research, we help family and friends bring their caring and concern to a gentle and specific focus on the problem behavior. Each person can be true to his or her heart and yet effective in what is said, motivating the person to enter treatment.
However, the most important element is the collaborative relationship between the counselor and family. Though the counselor is an expert in what works, the family has the expertise about their loved-one and the relationships. Together the counselor and family tailor the strategy to the needs of the individual family and loved-one. From this base, many adaptations of the traditional strategy are considered, such as: including the drug user early-on as a part of the solution, not confronting the drug user directly, addressing the historical family issues around drug use, etc.
Results: In almost all cases with Intervention Specialists, LLC, the recipient immediately goes into treatment. In rare cases he or she may go days, weeks, or up to three months later. In all cases, the process is successful in supporting the family and friends in caring for their needs in the relationship, and, this is the biggest factor in the person seeking treatment. We support the family until the person is in treatment and often continue to work with the family supporting recovery. Through our ISLLC Family-Centered Addiction Recovery Services, the family is supported in developing healthy communication, emotional management, and conflict-resolution skills. These skills empower families to grow closer together healing from the damage of the drug use.