Intervention Tips

This page is dedicated to intervention tips.  If you haven't yet read the introduction to this topic, please visit the Addiction Intervention page to get the appropriate background in order for this section to make sense.  A family intervention is an extremely difficult process.  It's not that the actual theory or mechanics are very hard, but rather that deciding that one is needed, rallying the right people together, and staying committed to the process (i.e. going through with it!) requires a lot of emotional dedication and focus.  Particularly at a time when you're more than likely going through a lot of stress, uncertainty, and self-doubt in general, this can certainly be a taxing process.  The following intervention tips are meant to help you in your journey should you decide to take the addiction intervention approach.

  • When questioning yourself about whether or not to do an intervention, the fact that you're even thinking about it to this degree is a good indication that it's at least worth seriously investigating as an option.
  • When thinking about what friends and family to include, stay focused on people who you know love them, and who will be able to stay committed to the process.  Anyone who believes strongly that a gambler can just "snap out of it" is likely not going to be a productive member of the support group.
  • It's critical that the intervention be a surprise to have the best chance of success.  It will feel awful to have to conceal things from your loved one (the gambler) as that's the type of behavior that has likely caused so much hardship in your relationship already.  However, stay focused and know that it's ultimately for good and not evil.  i.e. Your motives are truly constructive and come from a rational and loving place.
  • Interview more than one treatment center or interventionist; the comparison will be extremely valuable.
  • Understand all of the costs, as well as what might be covered by health insurance.  Don't let the cost of an intervention be the reason not to pursue one.  In the long run it will be more valuable than anything else you've ever, or will ever spend money on.
  • Don't be too proud to ask for financial assistance if needed; now is not the time to be too proud to ask for help.
  • When selecting a location for the actual day of the intervention, don't do it at your house, or a location that is too familiar/comfortable for the gambler.  Hotels will often provide discounts on conference rooms, so don't hesitate to negotiate.
  • There's never going to be a good time to do the family intervention.  There will always be holidays, birthdays, and special events just around the corner, so just pick a date and stick to it.
  • Assume that your phone calls and emails can be monitored by the gambler, so take care during the planning process to ensure that it remains a surprise.
  • Make sure to have the treatment center plans arranged in advance, and follow their guidelines regarding packing.
  • If you have children, make arrangements in advance for someone to pick them up from school/daycare in case you're unable to make it back in time.
  • Remember that if your loved one doesn't agree to go to treatment that day, that doesn't mean that the intervention was not successful.  Everyone must implement the consequences as discussed and presented; if so, the success rate is said to be quite high.  It might take a number of days, weeks, or even months before they agree to go to treatment, but it's highly likely that they'll eventually go if the intervention was properly planned.

The list of intervention tips is potentially endless.  Hopefully these items will help you while you either think about doing a family intervention, or during the preparation process itself!  If you have any other intervention tips you'd like to see included here, please feel free to Contact me.

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