This treatment option is the equivalent of holding a little surprise party for the substance abuser, which is orchestrated by the hands of a therapist or professional interventionist. Information is compiled weeks prior to the surprise, and each family member is instructed to confront the habitual behaviorist in a speech littered with shame and guilt! All taking place while the white treatment center van is parked outside, motor running ready to whisk the person off to therapy, after they break down into a sobbing mess! Many proponents describe family intervention as an open, respectful process that is highly effective in motivating the chemically dependent person to seek help and is a wonderful first step in healing the family. Well, let’s think about this for a minute! We know that the root cause of addiction stems from emotional issues caused by none other than Family dysfunction. So, the intervention allows some of the very perpetrators to lambaste the substance abuser with a barrage of guilt and shame! So, in what way is the intervention respectful? Is it in fact respectful for the addicted person who has a battered self-esteem and has allowed his or her family to strip them of their self-respect and personal power? Common sense would dictate that this treatment option only exacerbates the emotional scars that are at the root of the addiction, and in many cases will worsen the addictive behavior. Addiction by nature is a self-esteem issue, so why would you blast the addicted person with additional shame and guilt? Addiction recovery requires liberation and empowerment not powerlessness and self-incrimination. Therefore, in my opinion, family intervention is not only counterproductive, but it is also dangerous! Furthermore, even if the person agrees to treatment following the intervention, the likelihood of permanent success is slim since the root cause still remains and has not been dealt with in the appropriate manner.
If the parents of the habitual user truly wish to intervene, and want to help their child or adult child, then I would offer the following recommendation; Begin by examining your own actions and the actions of your spouse. How have these actions caused the emotional pain that has resulted in the habitual behavior to mask it? In other words, locate the root cause!
The Addiction Freedom Coach
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