Intervention 101: What If Other Family Members Aren’t in Agreement?

Preoccupied parents

Even as a professional interventionist with a long-standing track record of success with other people’s families, when it came to intervening on one of my own family members, I found myself in the same position you might be in, trying to wrench other family members around to my viewpoint which I was certain was the correct one—lol.

Different people have different viewpoints, different personal truths about how they see reality. What I try to do is find some common ground for everyone. For example, not everyone may agree that Johnny has a heroin addiction, or they may not agree that it’s as bad as you say it is, or that it warrants treatment, but any family member of Johnny’s would be hard pressed to disagree with the fact that overall, if you took a big slice of Johnny’s life and looked at it, that Johnny has lost his way. Drug addiction or not, does Johnny live a life of purpose? Is he happy? Does he operate well? Is he ethical? Is he a man of integrity? Can he be trusted?

This argument is not that difficult to make when it comes to a program like Narconon. The program doesn’t actually address any specific drug, it addresses the person; an honest man who has integrity will not use drugs, so educating a dishonest man about the evils of drugs won’t solve anything, but if you can get the person’s responsibility level to come up, and then get him to look at some very basic questions about his own identity, like who and what he really is, and then educate him on the basics of ethics and integrity, honor and responsibility, and then give him the means to achieve those things, what you have on the other side is a person who will make better choices, not using drugs being among them.

The last thing I’ll say on this is directed entirely at you, the reader; don’t let someone else talk you into compromising your own integrity. Simply because you respect someone doesn’t mean they’re able to confront the problem. Parents often have difficulty seeing what’s right in front of them because admitting their child is off the rails means their parenting was inadequate, or that they failed in some way. So whoever it is you’re trying to help, don’t fail them.

“Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.”
—From the movie, Vanilla Sky

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