It is Intervention day
The bag is packed. Treatment is booked. The Family Intervention group have learned, practiced, rehearsed all aspects of the Intervention. The history is taken. Every possible detail has been addressed. Bottom lines have been decided. The diagnostic and family experience has been poured over. The idea that addiction is a treatable disease has set the tone. The Family enabling, codependency behaviours have been identified. The progression of the addiction or alcoholism has been seen. The future is clear. It can only get worse, never better without professional treatment.
The family are at rock bottom and help is needed now.
The Intervention Letters are written, full of conviction that the addiction is at the root of all the deviant and troubling life destroying behaviours. Evidence abounds of days past when a loved person was loving. The letters offer one thing, effective help, today for a poorly person to start the road to recovery.
When a calm (on the outside) group of family and maybe friends sit down to deliver the Intervention letters it is the first time that the addict or alcoholic knows of the process. Well prepared, who goes first, who sits where, what to do if the person runs etc is all preplanned and rehearsed.
The only request is that they listen to what their loved ones want to say, and what they have to say is written, in the manner of a letter. Devoid of blame or confrontation, the letter is a simple effective message of love for the person, pain of the addiction and a heartfelt offer of help.
The Family is a group, one voice, mutual support. Addiction has to stand to one side, and a poorly person is met with love, help, compassion and purpose as they are asked a simple question.
“Will you accept the help we offer today?”
Objections have been pre-handled. Responses to fears, blame, anger and control have been practiced, and as the objections, the need for further information and support are voiced, the group supports each other by handling and repeating the offer of help to a poorly person.
“Will you accept the help we offer today?”
With a “yes”, the hugs and joy, the release, the magic of the moment is difficult to describe. Yet even now the preparation is keeping the process safe. The travel arrangements are already made, the bag really is already packed. Any reason to put off going in today has been addressed. Paperwork, payments, admission criteria. All of it addressed in advance. Who accompanies, who does not. In amongst all the high emotion, a preparation and good planning are everything for the safety of the Family Intervention, and it works.
The Johnson Intervention was one of several models that the family could use. The Johnson model is a direct and immediate way to free the family from the worst effects of addiction today. When a Johnson Model of Family Intervention is clearly the preferred method, then the addiction is clearly a hugely disruptive troublesome experience for the health of all concerned. A solution of residential treatment is clearly needed now. Family rock bottoms have come and gone, always getting worse, and the family collectively can no longer go on, and with that realisation comes change.
Leverage in a family group is mainly love. However, the family has also identified how love and helping has been hijacked by the alcoholism or addiction into enabling.
The Family commit to their own recovery. Family groups, Al-Anon etc. The family also commit to limits and boundaries for their homes, lives, wellbeing, safety, work and sanity.
Treatment is Refused
You all get the big “NO”, loud and clear in amongst the reasons, anger, fear, blame, empty promises, negotiations etc. All very familiar.
The Johnson Intervention is well prepared for this with the final part of the Intervention letter. Still totally focused on bringing the poorly person around to accepting treatment today, the group read out the final part, the limits, the bottom lines.
Simply, the group tell the truth. We can love you, offer you treatment but we can no longer enable your addiction. If you choose addiction you must let us choose not to have your addiction related problems any more for you. We have been poorly as well. We have tried to pick up your problems at every turn, and in doing so we probably allayed our deepest fears, yet we also trapped you and us into a stuck cycle of not helping, just keeping you stuck.
We have agreed that if you do not accept treatment today, we will respect that. We will be ready to take you to treatment the moment you choose, and in the meantime we will no longer enable your addiction and here is how.
Family Valued Living is now listed, not to punish or cause pain, rather to hand all the alcoholics or addicts problems over to them.
The whole tone of the bottom lines is to love the person, not the behaviour and to keep offering help whilst removing anything that prevents the person from feeling their own consequences.
Johnson Intervention Background
Vernon E. Johnson put his name to a book with a simple title, “Intervention”, the contents of which were revolutionary in the field of treatment.
He saw that good treatment works. Coerced, mandated or voluntary, all addicts and alcoholics were in the grip of an illness that can be treated. He saw the devastation on families that believed you can not help an alcoholic until they ask for help. Why did it take so long. He saw that that families ar so resilient, creative, willing to struggle and sacrifice that the addict was prevented from hitting rock bottom until the family finally gave way, collapsed, ran out of resources. The the alcoholic or addict became exposed to the true consequences of the addiction, hit rock bottom and became receptive to treatment.
Johnson saw that treating addiction like any other disease demanded that it be treated as soon as possible. Would you leave diphtheria, cancer, measles, malaria, diabetes to the care of the family. What other treatable yet progressive illness would everyone not only deny, but try to treat, hide and cover up? Modern medicine gives everyone a clear and simple choice.
Accept treatment or suffer the progression.
Alcoholism is just one of many forms of addiction that respond well to professional treatment. They do have one factor that is unique. Addiction in any form tells the person who has it, that they do not have it. The family, but its nature also spend along time in behaviours that reinforce the denial.
Johnson refused to accept that families and addicts/alcoholics had to suffer for even just one more day. Intervention puts alcoholics in treatment. That is its purpose and the Johnson method is the most direct and robust of all the methods we use. In many cases it is the only option to consider.
The Intervention Service works with the family, friends and all the concerned others to match the best intervention method for the situation. There are numerous factors in this assessment process.
Please Call 0800 530 0012 for an initial telephone Intervention consultation to see if Intervention is needed for your family, your friend or you work colleague.