Intervention


Intervention

A serious proposition annexed by Hollywood for frivolity.

Do not turn on your set.

Intervention is not a drama.

Deciding to go further with one requires the utmost discernment.

And careful consideration of two words:

Comparison and Blame

Any individual saddled with substance disorder arrives in an intervention loaded with both. In fact, those arranging the intervention can count on the subject of the intervention to weaponize either in full fusillade as it proceeds.

Without doubt, she/he will attempt to compare themselves against someone they consider as bad, or worse in terms of substance disorder. This person may be in the room, or not. The former can be eliminated, as we will explain.

As for Blame, this approach needs no referent. The intervention subject is prepared to blame anyone, and anything, for his use of substances.

Understanding this inevitability enables the planning and the process of what amounts to a precisely choreographed mission that always strays into controlled chaos.

So, prepare to cater expectations to a loved one who is most definitely resistant, at best, to treatment.

Only then can we examine our organizing acronym, AARC, in greater depth.

The concerned parties--family, friends, co-workers-- are enacting benign coercion in the attempt to plant the seed of treatment. They ideally will be guided by a professional facilitator, an individual who will set firm rules around the conduct of the intervention, allowing, of course, for the malleability of a high-stakes and emotionally charged group discussion.

Whom to include and preclude from the intervention is paramount, particularly considering the first of our aforementioned two key lexical items--"compare."

Enter AARC-- Assess, Assemble, Rehearse, and Collaborate.

ASSESS

An intervention is never the first course of action. Matters have generally spiralled to a crisis bottom. Premature (and therefore bad) interventions can have long-lasting negative effects on a family system.

Before making a decision to, as the Latin root suggests, ”come between", intervene, all less intrusive mediation protocols should be exhausted, and any pretext of spontaneity eliminated.

To move forward, desperate times have arrived and delay is no longer indicated. Then, consider whether to use a professional interventionist, paraprofessional you trust, or a non-facilitated family intervention where someone takes the point role.

ASSEMBLE

Interventions are invitation-only events.

Folks struggling themselves with substance disorder must not be involved.

Folks willing to absorb some "Blame" should be included.

Folks uncomfortable with sharing concern 'one-at-a-time' may be excluded.

And, folks willing to speak in the first person, 'I, or first person plural, 'We throughout the intervention, are welcome.

REHEARSE

Potentially life or death situations--interventions--must never ride on spontaneous, E over I (Emotion over Intellect) foundations.

Once your intervention group is assembled, plan on several mock sessions, with each member taking turns as the substance disorder subject.

Limit the intervention to a predetermined one-hour maximum.

Practice with a one-speaker-at-a-time mentality, allowing for sufficient time for the intervention subject.

Notice, please, the corrosive effects of cross-talk, which will be mitigated for the actual intervention.

COLLABORATE

The message for treatment must be consistent, and collaborative. There is no room for mixed messages, as the subject will prey on any suggestion--intended or not--that treatment can wait.

The intervention team continues towards a goal of treatment whether or not the subject accepts it.

Pre-agreed upon stipulations to potential rejection of treatment are marshalled immediately.

Those could include court=ordered options(Section 35, in which a District Court Judge orders involuntary proceedings).

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