Some individuals do not find the motivation to put themselves through rehabilitation and recovery
until an external party stages an intervention that shows them the need to take action. Intercession may occur in a controlled environment with a professional trained in intervention psychology, or it may be done at home by a person’s loved ones. How it happens will depend on each individual’s circumstances and who is leading the call for intervention (e.g. friends, family members, or work associates).
Whether you have the personal experience of participating in an intervention as the person spearheading the call or as the person receiving it, or have no such experience at all, intervention is something that you must be prepared to encounter as a member of a sober living community.
Identifying With the Individual
A study conducted in 2014 by the Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation examined the ways in which staff members at mental health facilities interacted with individuals who required interventions for their behavior, including instances of substance abuse. They found that when the staff allowed themselves to see the individuals as people and identified with their position, the results were more positive regardless of how much intervention experience the professional had under their belt.
They reported: “Some staff illustrated their role in supporting recovery as having specialist knowledge, others recognized […] the need to understand that service users are people, where the most interesting quality is not their illness, and where service users are not viewed as fundamentally different to themselves. Participants who prioritized the working relationship and who shared a bit of themselves with service users recognized the value for service users to also see staff as people.”
Effective and Compassionate Intervention
The Boston University study mentioned above brings into stark focus the importance of both staff and clients seeing themselves as human, and seeing one another as part of the same community of people in need of support and acceptance. There are a few ways to bring compassion into your care for the people around you. Significant evidence supports the fact that when paired with medical and behavioral treatments and a reliable support system, interventions can seriously improve the chance of successful sobriety.
Regardless of your level of experience, it is crucial to understand the importance of creating a healthy, encouraging space where people can move through the process of recovery. For the majority of people, their intervention and subsequent treatment will follow a pattern that looks something like this:
Mental or behavioral intervention
Detox and rehabilitation, including psychological and physical treatments
Extended treatments and the gradual transition into less intensive care
Joining a sober living community or other local aftercare resources
Creating a Space for Recovery
You may not be an intervention specialist, but you can create a space for recovery support. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported in 2016 that numerous demographics can benefit from interventions, including veterans and incarcerated individuals who had been diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder. For example, they revealed that during a study of homeless veterans who had a dual diagnosis, the participants who “took part in a low-intensity wrap-around intervention showed improvements in a number of substance use, mental health, and behavioral health outcomes from the beginning of the study to follow-up 12 months later.”
The study participants made better progress compared to others who did not receive the same interventions. It was the holistic approach to their wellbeing that created the advantage. You have the opportunity to provide that advantage to the people in your sober living community. There is also the possibility that you will find yourself tasked with heading an intervention for a member of your sober living community. After rehabilitation, interventions are not uncommon; they usually involve counseling and, if necessary, outside therapy for the individual in need of the intervention.
Interventions Within Recovery
It can sometimes be necessary to facilitate an intervention within the sober living community due to problematic behaviors. This is made easier by the fact that the environment has counseling, peer groups, and sponsors to ease the process. Suppose you notice that someone is exhibiting signs of relapse or spiraling behavioral patterns. In that case, you can reach out to your fellow staff members and discuss the best way to address the situation based on the individuals involved and any relevant policies. Remember they are a person in need of help, and it is your responsibility to educate them and give resources. You have a team at your back. You can always get further training if you would like to become an intervention specialist. Coaching can increase your ability to handle unexpected situations where a person’s behaviors require you to intervene in specific ways.
Interventions can take place at any point during a person’s recovery. There are multiple reasons this may happen after someone has joined a sober living community. The men at Safety Net Recovery® are qualified to handle behavioral interventions, and have the resources necessary to get outside help from therapists or medical professionals if necessary. There is no situation that you cannot overcome with the support and dedication of your community members and professional team. Whether or not you have previous personal experience with interventions, as long as you empathize with your peers and follow proper protocols, you can always achieve a positive outcome for the good of the person you’re helping and the community as a whole. At Safety Net Recovery®, we pride ourselves in never giving up on our community members. We will be there to help you, and can provide additional training and education if you need it. To find out more, call us today at (770) 432-9774.