Intervention Services

Family Intervention Services

One of the most difficult and painful things to experience is when a loved one is battling addiction. This type of experience is particularly challenging for several reasons. First, the hallmark of addiction is denial, making it very difficult to motivate your loved one to want help and accept help. Second, the way substances cloud the user’s thinking makes it a challenge to get him or her to discuss options and consequences reasonably. Third, this type of problem is such a drain on significant others, there is often a lack of resources available to reverse this problem.

Because of the complex nature of addictive disorders and their effects on others, an intervention is often necessary to begin the process of healing. When loved ones are at the point of considering intervention services, they are often at their own “rock bottom”; feeling terrified, confused, overwhelmed, and drained. The intervention services provided by Dr. Suzanne Robison are designed not only to assist the addicted individual in receiving treatment, but also to support his/her loved ones in stabilizing and returning to normalcy. While there are many options available to significant others, the mission here is to provide affordable, individualized intervention services that are proven to work; delivered by a professional who is educated and experienced (both professionally and personally), in addictive diseases. As a certified intervention professional and a certified co-occurring disorder professional, Dr Robison has the wealth of knowledge that it takes to guide an intervention appropriately, and to properly assess the types of strategies that will fit your family and your loved one.

Below is a brief outline of what to expect at each stage of the intervention process:

Pre-intervention stage: A successful intervention requires careful and deliberate preparation. While addiction is very variable in the way it progresses and manifests itself symptomatically, at the same time it is a very predictable disease that evolves similarly across individuals. Proper screening and assessment of individual and significant other’s needs is balanced with assessment of barriers to treatment. Psycho-education is provided to significant others about the nature of addiction, treatment options, recovery strategies, and the role of enabling. A pre-intervention plan is drafted to assist loved ones in gaining clarity about what is expected from themselves, each other, and their loved one. Intervention goals are set to proactively problem solve, establish crisis intervention strategies, emotionally prepare loved ones for their roles within the intervention, and to anticipate and reduce barriers as much as possible.

Intervention stage: After proper planning, an intervention is carried out based on assessment findings. This stage includes identifying where the intervention will take place, who will be involved, what the goals are, and what follow up will occur. Strategies used during the intervention include well established and evidence-based tools such as:

  • The Systemic Family Intervention Model: This model focuses on engaging as many members of the addicted individual’s support group as possible, in an effort to achieve and maintain long-term goals at home, work, and within the community. The assumption here is that without enablers addiction cannot be sustained, and with active addiction, a system cannot function in a healthy way.
  • Motivational Enhancement/Stages of Change Models: These models are used to ascertain what, if any, help the addicted individual wants, and to guide the person toward recovery at a pace that is likely to help the individual succeed. The Stage of Change Scale is used to assess what stage of change the individual is currently in, and Motivational Enhancement strategies are used to gently move the person forward in his/her own desire for treatment and recovery.
  • The Johnson Model: While the previous models are considered more encouraging, supportive, and gentle models of intervention used to help empower individuals to want change, the Johnson Model of intervention is a more traditional intervention model. This model focuses on helping the individual reduce his or her level of denial, using confrontation when appropriate to challenge the distorted thinking and defensiveness that may be acting as a barrier to care. This is particularly necessary when the individual’s addiction has progressed in the risk of lethality to self or others.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/Contingency Management: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy strategies are proven to be beneficial in the management of many life issues, and techniques such as contingency management, challenging distorted beliefs, and shaping behavior are helpful in moving families toward their goals. Dr. Robison has extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral therapies, and in a specific form of Cognitive Behavioral approaches known as Dialectical Behavior therapy.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Although DBT has been traditionally used to reduce symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder, many symptoms of that disorder overlap with addictive disorders. In addition, DBT integrates practices such as meditation and validation, as well as Eastern Philosophies such as acceptance into it’s approach. With intensive training and experience in DBT, Dr. Robison can assist families and addicted individuals in feeling validated in their need for help, and use these strategies to move toward healing of self and families.

Post-Intervention stage: Although the goal of an intervention is to convince an individual to enter into treatment, follow up is an important part of helping a family maintain the progress made after the intervention is over. Upon completion of the intervention, an individualized follow up plan begins. This includes linking involved parties to local resources, and the use of periodic consultation to assist with ongoing needs.

Dr. Robison has made it her life’s work to help individuals and families recover from addictive diseases. Click here if you would like to contact Dr. Robison about Intervention services.