Why Family Interventions Are Ineffective

There are instances when you and a family member are having an apparent ordinary conversation, but when triggers are mentioned, it can quickly spin into an argument. Things get heated, things are said that can be misconstrued, and feelings can get hurt. 

Imagine another person sitting at the table adding fuel to this growing fire, and suddenly the argument seems ten times worse. The fire is out of control, and another person is added to try and stop the fire from engulfing the table. There are too many people, too many voices, and too many opinions. This situation can overwhelm everyone and leave everyone exhausted by the time hands are thrown up in the air in surrender. 

An addiction can cause pain and anguish, growing and engulfing those sitting at the metaphorical table. Family-led interventions often do not work because there are way too many voices telling someone how to put this fire out. These opinions or voices can conflict and create confusion. This can lead to fresh wounds and deep hurt. The emotional investment in the person being engulfed can bring about feelings of desperation, frustration, and hopelessness. These are all counterproductive emotions when dealing with an intense and emotional situation such as addiction intervention.

Thoughts and Feelings

What do you feel when someone wedges into your life and tells you what to do? You may feel they do not respect you, your opinions, or your boundaries. Maybe you think they are not listening to you and making judgments without understanding you or your situation? This can be common theme with a family where somone is suffering from an addiction. While it may be confusing, while your loved one understands their addiction causes pain to those around them, the first thing that can come to their mind is how good they think their drug or alcohol use makes them feel. It can be very difficult to listen to someone in crisis due their substance use rationalize their use.

The Importance of Good Communication 

Addiction is complex, and effective communication is incredibly important when trying to heal and move forward in the recovery process. This is not just for the person with the illness, but for you and the rest of the family members who have been impacted by the person’s illness as well. 

Part of communication is listening. If you have strong opinions, you might inadvertently overshadow how the person struggling with their illness feels. This can cause friction between the person struggling with their addiction and those determined to help. The frustration can sometimes cause your loved one to lash out and worsen the situation.

It is okay to realize you need help conveying how you feel when things continue to spin out of control with one word. There are support systems available to help build stronger relationships and a stronger understanding between each person affected by the illness hurting the family. 

The Support of a Professional Interventionist

Interventionists should be present to support the family and address the hurt while facilitating productive communication. This should not be a biased, negative dialogue but one of positivity to promote hope and regain confidence in an otherwise hopeless and frightening place. 

A clinically trained interventionist understands that the family has been deeply hurt by the addiction that tore someone they love apart. This damage causes lasting pain, but the relationship is not irreparable. 

Working on communication in any situation can be challenging. As human beings, everyone is a work in progress. It can be easier to control your emotions in some situations compared to other situations that hit close to home. If you have a difficult time staying composed when it comes to topics you feel strongly about, you are less likely to maintain neutrality when listening to a controversial opinion. 

Now imagine how much more complex it can be for loved ones suffering from substance use or a mental health disorder. The key to building and maintaining relationships is communication. While you may know this, it is easy for those suffering from such disorders to dust various problems under the rug, isolate, and seek comfort in other things. 

Finding the Help You Need

When seeking accurate health information, you might be tempted to self-diagnose through searches on the internet. Unfortunately, the internet is filled with a pool of misinformation that can be harmful if not investigated wisely.

When it comes to making life-changing decisions like finding a professional interventionist to help with delicate family situations, it is important to carefully take your time researching and selecting the right guidance for your families. 

A well-trained interventionist will take the time to plan an effective intervention for your loved one using evidence-based motivational techniques, compassion, and patience. 

There are many reasons why individuals who are struggling with substance abuse do not receive treatment. For example, they may be unaware they need treatment or they’re in denial and are not ready to stop using. Many have never been told they have a substance use disorder (SUD) or do not consider their substance use a problem. 

This is when family involvement can provide the help needed to begin addressing the issue. Along with a person’s family’s support, an intervention specialist can offer the right individualized approach, optimizing the chances for success. 

A New Hope Recovery aims to heal – not only the person affected by the illness but the family as well. We understand there are co-occurring issues that need to be addressed from ongoing or past family issues. We also understand how important it is to get qualified, professional and ethical services and support. We are all works in progress and mental health and addiction are complex controversial topics that can lead to various misinformed opinions. With the guidance of an intervention specialist, a person and their family can effectively communicate complex issues in a safe environment. Are you frustrated trying to effectively communicate with a loved one struggling? Are you struggling to find the courage to admit you may need professional help? Finding professional help in a sea of misinformation can be overwhelming, but A New Hope Recovery Services is here to help. Call (407) 501-8490 or (888) 508-HOPE.