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Family Interventions - Getting Everyone on the Same Page

answered 10:31 AM EST, Fri May 17, 2013
anonymous anonymous
Lets say there are 11 people in a family. One of those people is an alcoholic and that leaves 10. 6 of those people realize the severity of the situation and want the alcoholic to go to treatment and they are prepared to do what it takes to see that happen. 4 of these people would rather stick their heads in the sand and pretend like there is no problem. So if we have an intervention, which is something we are talking about doing…we have 4 very obvious empty chairs where family members should be sitting. Given this situation, is an intervention practical or recommended?

Jim LaPierre Says...

Thanks for your question and it's awesome that you're concerned enough to take action!

Getting a big family on the same page...I'm thinking of the expression "herding cats." It's uncomfortable for folks to acknowledge the truth when the truth is painful. It's easy to resent them for not supporting a course of action. Ultimately, this just creates further divide in a family. I urge you to bring together those of you who agree that intervention is necessary and to do so as soon as possible. I encourage you to get on the same page regarding not the specifics of what will be shared but rather what you want the tone to be. The most successful interventions I have seen were ones in which concern was conveyed without shame, without ultimatums, without being hurtful. We can hold loved ones accountable without being hurtful. Express what you see and how you feel about it and please bear in mind that you may only be planting seeds that grow later. We tend to judge our efforts by the outcomes but we have no control over the outcomes when others are involved. Your efforts and your expressions of love matter. Good luck!

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Page last updated May 17, 2013

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