Intervention 101: Hiring a Professional Interventionist
“If you think hiring a professional is expensive,
just wait until you hire an amateur.”
A lot of families ask me, “if we can’t get our loved one to go to treatment, why should we believe a stranger would do any better?”
It’s a valid question, and it represents one of the great ironies about addiction and alcoholism.
The fact is, most family members do poorly with an intervention because they are family members. The minefields of emotional history, the family secrets, the destructive habits families have developed over the years, in many cases, can all add up to disaster. The irony, of course, is that you love the person. You want to help him. You’ve loved him all your life, and now the time has come when he needs help, but your emotional history, not only with the addict but with other family members, gets in the way. Bringing in a seasoned professional solves this problem. Having an objective observer and somebody everyone can bounce ideas off of can help avoid a lot of the emotional baggage family members have with each other.
The other major aspect I bring to the table as an interventionist is the fact that I was an addict for many years. My struggles with drugs, alcohol, depression and with my family enable me to share a certain reality with the addict. And while there may be family members who have a similar history and may even be in recovery, the fact that they are family members puts them at a disadvantage. The fact that they’re in recovery may actually be an affront to the addict.
One simple way to gauge whether or not you need to hire a professional is to ask yourself one question—what do you believe your chances are of succeeding on your own? If you’re honest with yourself and you find yourself fumbling with numbers like 20 to 50%, hiring a professional interventionist can factually raise your chances to about 90%. So why gamble with your loved one’s life? Why experiment on your own when you can have somebody working with you side-by-side who has successfully gotten unwilling addicts to arrive at a treatment facility literally hundreds of times?
If you’re strongly considering hiring a professional, I would not recommend trying things on your own first if you’ve already tried and failed. Interventionists work best when they have a full deck of cards to play with—when they don’t have to clean up a huge mess made by the family just prior to their arrival on the scene.
If you need help, get help. Contact the Narconon Helpline for assistance in arranging an interventionist.