It is extremely painful to see a loved one struggling with addiction. Without a doubt you desperately want to help rid them of their sickness and get their life back on track. Sometimes these ones are completely unaware of how far they have strayed and the danger they are in. You may wonder what you can do, if anything, to help them get help. Some have found that confronting a loved one via an intervention has worked to guide them towards the path to recovery.
An intervention is an attempt by an individual or a group to convince someone to seek professional help, in this case for their struggle with addiction. Many choose to have a professional addiction counselor present at the intervention, even hosting it in their office. For a number of reasons, though, you may not feel this is the best strategy for you. The person you are trying to reach may have an aversion to counselors or strangers. You may want to keep the initial conversation intimate, or you may feel it is better to be in a comfortable setting. Whatever the reason, a trained counselor is not always needed to have a successful intervention. When well prepared and equipped with the right tools you can help your loved one get help.
Make A Plan
Staging an intervention will require careful planning to ensure the experience is productive and ends with little hostility.
- Think of the person and how you want to approach them. Some find it helpful to write impact statements in advance. These statements can be used to express your feelings and highlight any negative experiences between the two of you since their abuse started.
- Decide if you want to involve others and if so who. Think of people who are aware of the situation and love the person too. Get their opinions on when and how to approach this person.
- Pick a time and place that feels appropriate and comfortable for all. Get a final count of who will be present. Everyone there should be willing and able to contribute to the conversation peacefully and with a uniform approach.
Though a counselor will not be present it is still wise to look for resources and even consult a professional. Addiction can be deeply rooted and have many nuances. Research their type of addiction, common motivating factors for addicts, and the effects it has on their thinking. Gaining perspective on what may be happening to your loved one will help you understand their point of view and prepare to confront them.
Decide on Any Consequences
All actions have consequences. Setting clear consequences for your loved one if they don’t change can add weight to your words. Everyone involved should be on the same page about what to do going forward. This could be altered relationships or changes in financial support. Working together to stick to these clear consequences can help them make a change down the road.
An intervention is a taxing experience for everyone involved. This is why you must mentally prepare yourself in advance. This goes beyond the game plan you have with the group. This has been an emotional process for you, so sort through those emotions on your own so you can host the conversation with loving but firm conviction. If you have feelings of anger or resentment you may benefit from writing an angry letter to the person that you don’t intend to send. This will help you release resentment before the conversation. Remember that your loving concern will stick with them more than a shouting match.
Work on developing patience. You may need to repeat and rephrase some things. Try not to assume they are not listening. Remember they are not themselves. If they are reluctant to talk, be okay with moments of silence. If they do open up, be prepared to hear some potentially hurtful things. Set boundaries for yourself. Know when things are becoming too much and plan opportunities to take a moment to regroup.
As much as you want your beloved to change remember that it is ultimately up to them to do so. By staging the intervention you open the door for them to feel your love and get access to help. With careful planning, it can help everyone involved heal and work towards a happier life. If you need additional help for yourself or your loved one, our professionals are available 24/7 at 833-762-3739.