Dr. Louise Stanger, one of the nation’s most prolific and experienced interventionists, is a published author and speaker. Her four decades of influence on behavioral health and addiction treatment recently earned her the 2018 Peggy Albrecht Friendly House Service Award for Clinical Excellence, one of the most prestigious in the industry. At Paradigm Malibu, Dr. Stanger trains staff in substance abuse disorders, process addictions, mental health disorders, and family issues.
Passionate about making a difference, Dr. Stanger is honored to consult with Paradigm Treatment Centers. Dr. Stanger knows the great courage it takes for families to reach out for help, and is dedicated to helping families find their way when mental health and substance abuse holds their loved ones hostage. The following information, provided by Dr. Stanger, offers three ways an intervention leads families from fear to hope.
3 Ways An Intervention Leads Families From Fear to Hope
As a licensed clinician and a professional interventionist, I have seen how addiction impacts the whole family. Whether it’s your birth family, your chosen family, or your work family, I know how painful it is to watch someone you love struggle with substance abuse or mental health disorders. I also understand how heartbreaking it can be to feel as though you are witnessing someone you love disappear before your very eyes.
Despair, grief, shame and outrage are all common emotions felt by friends and families of a loved one. Yet, what if there was a way to find relief? Imagine what it would be like at night not to have to worry. Imagine what it would be like to have hope replace fear.
My decades of experience with invitational interventions have shown families that together we can make a difference. A professional intervention can lead you and your loved one back to happier, healthier lives. Together, we can find a way back to optimism.
What Is An Intervention?
An intervention is an invitation to seek help and professional care. It is a carefully planned process that may include family and friends, or anyone else who has an interest in and cares for the identified loved one to become healthier and stronger as well. Here are three of the most common fears I encounter working with clients, and three ways an intervention helps overcome each fear and leads families back to hope.
Fear #1: My loved one will never get treatment. It’s a natural reaction when you love someone to want to help them when they need it most. However, most addicts have a strong sense of denial when it comes to their addiction. This makes approaching discussions around treatment all but impossible for family members and friends. Many times these conversations feel confrontational and become derailed by emotion, leaving everyone drained and frustrated.
An interventionist’s job is to help bring hope and acceptance to a difficult reality. By providing a new perspective, a professional creates an opening to facilitate a loved one getting help. With guidance in the conversation, emotional hot buttons are avoided and the sense of ambush is diminished. As a clinician and certified intervention professional I help ensure your loved one is respected, valued and cared for rather than threatened. I also guide you on the available treatment options and facilities that are the right fit for your loved one’s unique needs. Interventions have an incredible 90% success rate when led by a professional interventionist. Shockingly though, less than 10% of families will make the decision to seek professional help.
Fear #2: My family will be torn apart by addiction, disorders or mental illness. While it is true that addiction and mental health disorders affect the whole family, an intervention restores hope by providing education, tools and resources. As family and friends learn new ways of relating to one another, they are also gently invited to look at their own behaviors. They can then explore the intricacies of relationships and behaviors that have been built around the addiction and begin to take care of themselves in new ways -emotionally, physically and constant with their values. The intervention process diffuses tense relationships, improves communication and brings disparate people together to move a loved one to change. When I work with clients, I guarantee that families will uncover the hidden stories around the addiction and their loved one. This creates a more accurate picture of reality and everyone who has experienced this approach to intervention has expressed a sense of relief.
Fear #3: I can’t be healthy unless my loved one is. It is very easy to fall into the trap of codependency that comes with addiction or mental health disorders. All too often, family members and friends become so enmeshed with their identified loved ones that they too ride an emotional roller coaster. Each day becomes good or bad based on the behavior of another. An intervention team provides ways for family members and friends to become captains of their own well being. My team provides coaching support and guidance as family and friends learn to create healthy lifestyles and boundaries. Hope and resilience in recovery is also vital for family members and friends, who need support to promote their own health and well-being.
Are You Ready For Change? Deciding how and when to do an intervention is critical. I understand the fears that accompany addiction and mental illness, and I know firsthand how they impact those around them. You have the power to change your life and help your loved one. You can move from fear to hope. There is always a solution.
For more information about Dr. Stanger, call 619-507-1699; visit www.allaboutinterventions.com; or send her an email DrStanger@allaboutinterventions.com
Paradigm Malibu is an adolescent mental health and drug treatment center dedicated to identifying, understanding and properly treating the core issues that impact teens and their families.