After the intervention is over, what happens next?
Family Recovery Coaching
Family First Intervention understands that the substance user is not the only one struggling, given that the family goes through as much if not more heartache themselves. We continually strive to provide as much help and closure to the family as we can. Somehow, many have been led to believe an intervention is an event in which a recovering person tells the family what not to do anymore and then talks your loved one into going to a treatment center. A professional intervention based on an understanding of addiction and its effect on family systems produces far better outcomes than an isolated event that includes a powerful speech.
The most humbling feedback we receive comes from the families we have assisted in addition to comments from other professionals who help substance users and their families. What makes us continue to provide these resources are the known effects they have on the substance user and his or her family. Nothing is more reassuring than when a professional with 30 years of experience assures us that we do more for a family than any other intervention company they have ever worked with. It is sad when a family tells us they hired interventionists who did little to help them after the intervention, and some wouldn’t even answer the phone. This style of intervention is often the norm and helps us understand why many people often think of an intervention as an event they can do themselves. A professional intervention includes as much if not more help for the family after the intervention than at any point during the process.
What We Do
The pre-intervention, otherwise known as family day, takes place before the face-to-face with the substance user. During this meeting, there is an in-depth discussion with extensive psychoeducation taking place between the professional interventionist and family. It is inevitable that during this process, the family will be overwhelmed and running high on emotions. No matter how hard the professional interventionist tries, the family will want to talk about what will happen the following day at the intervention. There are things family members are going to miss and forget during this process. It can be similar to watching a movie or reading a book; sometimes you have to read or see it again several times to capture more of the details. This same scenario occurs during the consultation and the logistics process, also prior to the pre-intervention. Much of what is discussed tends to be forgotten, likely due to anxiety, nervousness, and fear of the unknown journey the family is about to undertake. We understand this and have a solution.
After the intervention and regardless of the outcome, Family First Intervention provides ongoing Family Recovery Coaching. The training consists of a module system that gives families the opportunity to capture important information that was forgotten or perhaps never heard. During these modules and breakout groups, families are in a different position emotionally and mentally. As they grow and the anxiety decreases, they in turn become more teachable and understanding of the need for family recovery. Volatile emotions are going to be expressed after an intervention, and families are going to need assistance. Some will have to be talked off the ledge as their loved one calls them and stirs up emotions and controversy. There will be times when the substance user refuses help, and the family is going to need assistance. We provide guidance on how to address your loved one’s emotions and the overwhelming pressure arising from his or her continuing manipulations. The substance user often presses for things to go back to the way it was prior to the intervention. For those who accept help at the intervention, families will need our assistance when their loved ones inevitably call them, making accusations and wanting to leave treatment. Without support, a family may accede to the substance user’s demands and allow for a return home. Whichever scenario unfolds after the intervention, families can’t be left on their own. They need support.
There are many interventionists who are both professional and effective. The recurring theme we hear far too often is their unavailability to help after the intervention. They either do not have a team to assist them; or they are operating by themselves and can’t always be available when needed; or they see an intervention as an event with a speech accompanied by some do and don’t orders for families to follow.
When Helping Families, It often Requires a Village
The intervention is not just a process; it is also a bridge to the family’s recovery support network. As much as it takes a team to put together an effective intervention process, it takes a team to help substance users and families recover, too. As part of our family recovery coaching program, we encourage and assist you in building your own recovery network. We provide many different and effective resources for you and family members to take advantage of. Think about your loved one in a treatment center where more than one therapist is involved. Although your loved one may interact primarily with one therapist, an integrated treatment team discusses the substance user’s case and provides suggestions and input. This helps to ensure the substance user is benefiting as much as possible from the treatment. He or she is also encouraged and introduced to resources outside of treatment including doctors, psychiatrists, marriage counselors, additional therapists, and self-help groups. Access to a broad network of support is available to the family as well. If addicted individuals did nothing other than go to treatment, would they improve? If following treatment, they did not engage in any ongoing support groups or counseling, what are their chances for success? For successful healing of the family, a similar model needs to be in place.
A professional intervention can be thought of as a kind of treatment center for the family. As with the substance user, the treatment team helps family members understand the importance of ongoing recovery efforts to ensure forward progress. Think of it as the role played by a physical therapist after surgery. The surgery was necessary, and the efforts post-surgery for long-term healing are equally important.