Gooden Center
A residential drug treatment center for men located in Pasadena, CA. The Gooden Center is a proud member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).

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191 North El Molino Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101 US

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Posts Tagged ‘intervention’

Intervention Letter Writing 101

Posted on: February 25th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Intervention Letter Writing 101

There are a lot of complex emotions and interactions that can take place during an intervention for drug and alcohol addiction. In order to minimize some of the intensity and organize thoughts or feelings it can be helpful to have those involved in the intervention write a letter. This letter will give them time to reflect on their experience of this person’s addiction and decide in advance what they want to say to them.

There are several steps involved in putting together an intervention and writing a letter is part of the preparation and planning of the gathering. Once a certain group of concerned family members and friends decide that they want to confront or talk to someone about their addiction then they need to figure out how to address it. If each member of the group writes a letter before the intervention takes place it can prevent any unplanned conflict or heated discussions that could derail the event.

Interventions can be unpredictable so it is important to have the meeting planned as carefully as possible. If things happen too spontaneously it can lead to problems and cause the addict to distance themselves from loved ones, going further into their addiction. Having prepared statements in the form of letters helps everyone feel mentally prepared and allows them to avoid saying something they will later regret.

Understanding the Purpose of the Letter

Before getting started on writing a letter to read during an intervention, it is important to consider why the letter matters and what it will help to accomplish. The letter is helpful for both the addict who is being spoken to and the person reading the letter because it allows everyone to stay grounded and focused. Reading letters will keep everyone on track so that the intervention doesn’t stray from the original purpose of expressing feelings of concern.

Letters have a tone that reflects a more relaxed state of mind that a person has when they are writing and tapping into deeper feelings. The tone is less likely to sound accusatory and angry but instead more supportive and positive. People at the intervention will also be less likely to feel confused about their feelings or blank out and not know what to say.

In the preparation for the intervention, the group can also use the letters as a way to rehearse the whole event and practice reading them. They can receive feedback from other members of the group and possibly edit the letters if there is anything that needs changing. That way everyone can agree on what should be said at the intervention and the best strategy and overall tone that will get the addict into treatment.

How to Write a Letter

The process of writing an intervention can be cathartic for people who have been witnessing a loved one abuse drugs. It is a chance for them to reflect on how the drug abuse affects them and everyone involved. It also gives the writer time to consider how they feel and how the addict might be feeling as well.

An important aspect of writing an intervention letter is to allow yourself to feel compassion for the addict and think about what it is about their behavior that truly bothers you. While you are brainstorming an intervention letter, put yourself in the addict’s shoes and reflect on what they must be going through. Even though you might have some feelings of resentment or anger, try to focus more on the pain that they must feel.

While there are many different ways to write an intervention letter, it is a good idea to read it over and make sure that the overall tone is loving and compassionate. Your message should be that you love this person in spite of what they’ve done and you want them to get healthy because you care about them. Being loving but non-confrontational is the key to writing an effective intervention letter.

You can always include personal feelings about the loved one, talk about your relationship and the times they have been there for you. Starting off on a positive note can help prevent the loved one from becoming defensive right away or from feeling attacked. They will understand that the intervention is more about love and care rather than anger or disappointment.

The rest of the letter can include some specific examples of how their addiction affected you and discuss your desire for them to get help. The ultimate goal of the intervention is to persuade this person that they need to enter a treatment center. Each letter should include a statement discussing the desire of everyone for the addict to enter rehab.

An intervention can go much more smoothly if everyone writes a well-thought out letter reflecting their feelings. Look for examples of other intervention letters to give you an idea of what to write and you can work on it with the help of other family and friends.

Is Your Family Member’s Addiction the Elephant in the Room?

Posted on: November 25th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

When someone close to you is dealing with an addiction it can be hard to find a way to cope with it. No one wants to intrude in someone’s personal life or tell them that they are making bad choices especially if you have a complicated history with them. When a family member has an addiction, everyone around them may know that something is wrong but they simply don’t know what to say or do to help them.

As you witness an addict’s behavior it may be painful to watch and it may even harm your family. When no one chooses to confront the person, their addiction becomes the elephant in the room. It is something that is on everyone’s mind but no one dares to speak up about the situation in spite of what they are going through.

Although it may be difficult and uncomfortable to bring up the subject, talking to an addict about their behavior and how it affects others is an important job. Without some perspective about their substance abuse they may continue to go down a path of denial and retreat further into their addiction. Instead of continuing to avoid dealing with the problem, family members who feel genuine concern should make a plan to talk to the addict and get them some help.

Leaving an addict alone to continue their abuse is dangerous for their health and well-being. It is only a matter of time before an addiction starts to impact their job, their physical and mental health and their relationships. Getting an addict help early on can help prevent some of the negative consequences that often occur when people are left to their own devices.

Understanding a Family Member’s Problem

Before you decide to speak with your family member, it is a good idea to research addiction and learn as much as you can. You can look into the signs and symptoms of addiction to a particular substance and see if you notice any of them in your loved one. Observe their behavior closely and try to evaluate them objectively before you choose to confront them about their abuse.

You can also share your observations with other family members and close friends to see what their insight is into their problem. They may have a different understanding of the disease and have an idea of how to approach things. If everyone agrees that they need to get help for the person then you might reach out to a substance abuse professional for more information about what to do.

In the process of dealing with a family member’s addiction, it is important first of all to take care of yourself and make sure that you are emotionally stable. When you have more clarity and awareness about the situation it will be easier to handle whatever issues come up with your loved one. Talk to a therapist about what you have been going through with the addict and about your decision to get help for them.

How to Talk to an Addict

Is Your Family Member’s Addiction the Elephant in the Room?

When you feel ready to discuss the issue and address the elephant in the room you need to be careful when you approach the subject. If you are in a good place yourself and are able to express real concern and love rather than anger or resentment then you are more likely to be successful in the discussion. Although you might be frightened of the consequences in bringing up the problem, if you are well-prepared the conversation might actually be quite productive.

There are certain guidelines to follow when talking to a person with an addiction. Firstly, never talk to them when they are under the influence but instead wait for a moment when they are sober and can take in everything you are saying. You should wait for a good time to talk to them when you are both alone and not busy so that you can spend some time discussing things.

It is a good idea to emphasize how much you care about this person and that you only want the best for them. Try to avoid being judgemental or condescending so that they don’t become defensive. Use open ended questions so that the conversation is a dialogue and they don’t feel that they are being lectured.

By the end of the conversation you can try to discern if you have made some progress with them. If they seem open to it you can suggest treatment or support group meetings that might help them. If they seem like they are not ready to confront their problem then you can regroup and perhaps stage an intervention at a later time.

If you are not sure how to approach a discussion with an addict then you can talk to a substance abuse professional about what strategies may be the best to take.

Are Holidays the Right Time to Stage an Intervention?

Posted on: November 20th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Are Holidays the Right Time to Stage an Intervention?

The holidays are a time when family reunites and though they might enjoy their time together they also must deal with unresolved conflict in some cases. Families who are concerned about someone’s alcohol or drug use might wonder if they can use the holidays as an opportunity to reach out to them. As long as it is planned thoughtfully and carefully, there is no reason why you can’t stage an intervention during the holidays.

In fact, the holidays may present a prime opportunity to talk to someone about their substance abuse. The family may already be worried about how to handle this person’s drinking at family gatherings or consider not inviting them at all. Instead of avoiding the problem or pretending it isn’t there for the sake of getting through the holiday, it may be time to deal with the issue head on.

An intervention during the holidays makes sense for a number of reasons. The family is already gathered together including relatives that live far away and whose presence may have more of an impact on the addict. Having lots of family members around can create more awareness about the addict’s behavior when they see how problematic their substance abuse has become.

Interventions always work best when there is a group of people present who have genuine concern and want to provide positive support for the individual struggling with addiction. A bigger group of loving family members who want the best for their niece/nephew, grandchild, cousin, etc will make the intervention more meaningful. Strong family bonds can help break through the thought process of the addict and help them see that they need treatment.

How to Organize an Intervention

The important thing to keep in mind when you are considering an intervention is that it must be thoroughly planned beforehand to prevent any problems from coming up. A poorly planned intervention can leave the situation unchanged or even cause the issue to become worse. Give yourself ample time to start working on the intervention and contacting everyone that you want to include before the holidays come up.

The first step in staging an intervention is educating yourself on addiction and how to approach the conversation about their substance abuse. Gather as much information as you can so that you are not entering the situation blindly. Try to research their particular problem and the methods of treatment so that you know how to discuss the topic of getting help with them.

As you research and learn more about addiction you can start gathering people together who feel the same way as you do about the situation. Make sure to find people that you think can get through to the person but also confirm that they have a solid understanding of how to approach the problem as well. Avoid including anyone that has a lot of anger and resentment toward the addict and might create a highly charged scenario.

Once you have a group of people that you feel that you can trust with putting together an intervention, make sure that everyone is on the same page about what to say and how to talk to the addict. Set a date and location as well as a structured plan so that you feel confident about the group doing their best and succeeding in getting the person help. It might be a good idea to include some non-family members so that they can focus more on the facts of the situation and have less of an emotional response.

Getting Treatment for an Addict

The ultimate goal of any intervention is to make sure that the addict is able to admit that they have a problem and need to get treatment. Before the event takes place make sure that you research a local treatment center and can quickly get the person admitted to the program immediately after the intervention is complete. Waiting too long could result in the person changing their mind or continuing their abuse as they delay their treatment.

At the intervention you can present the addict with the treatment options you have researched beforehand. You can tell them about the treatment and ask them to accept on the spot so that there is no time wasted. Ideally, the addict will say yes to the treatment center and you can get them enrolled right away to complete their initial detox process.

If you are at all concerned about staging a successful intervention you can find a professional interventionist to help you with every phase of the process. They can assist you with setting up and completing an intervention during the holidays. Consulting with any addiction professional can help you ensure that your intervention will go smoothly and your loved one will get the help that they need.

Approaching An Intervention

Posted on: May 19th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Approaching An Intervention

If someone you love is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, chances are, you are feeling a wide variety of emotions. It is not uncommon to feel frustrated, angry, and helpless when a loved one is struggling with addiction. Addiction is a dangerous disease that can truly wreck havoc on an addict’s life and have a profoundly negative impact on their behavior.

When a person is struggling with addiction, they may effectively become a “different person,” and often will become very angry or defensive when confronted about their drug or alcohol use. For this reason, many people experience anxiety about how exactly to approach a loved one about their addiction. Here are a few useful tips on how to successfully stage an intervention for a loved one.

Seek the Help of a Professional Interventionist

It is not advisable to stage an intervention without seeking the support of a professional. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, a professional interventionist is very experienced with different kinds of interventions and can give you an idea of what kinds of behaviors you may expect to encounter when you confront your lived one about their intervention.

This can help prevent you from coming across any surprises during what is an already trying situation. An interventionist is also a valuable resource because they are not emotionally invested in the addict’s behavior and can act as a calm and rational moderator who can keep the discussion on track during the intervention. This can be very useful if an intervention becomes very heated or emotional.

Make A Written List Of The Ways In Which Your Loved One’s Behavior Has Impacted You

It is very important that all parties involved bear in mind what the purpose of an intervention is: to help make an addict aware of the way that their addiction and their addictive behavior is affecting the people in their life. This is not a time for blame or anger.

It is very easy, however, to lose sight of the intention of an intervention when emotions run high, so making a list ahead of time of everything you would like to say can help make sure that you avoid statements that come from a place of anger. Most importantly, the subject of the intervention must answer some questions sincerely. Reality does not always set in at the onset of the intervention, and time must pass for the subject to come to full grips with reality regarding their addiction.

Talk To Others Who May Have Been Affected By Your Loved One’s Addiction

Chances are there are a number of people in your loved one’s life who are being affected by their behavior. Approach the people who you believe may also be interested in attending an intervention. Once you know who would like to be in attendance, tell everyone who is interested that they may join you when you visit the professional interventionist so that the whole group may strategize together. Approaching others should always come, however, from a place of helping the addict and not gossiping about them.

Assess When The Best Time And Place For An Intervention Is

Ideally, an intervention should occur at a place where an addict feels that they are in a safe place and will not feel threatened. It is very likely that an addict may become angry or defensive at the onset of an intervention, so choosing a location where they feel safe can help minimize feelings of vulnerability on the part of the addict.

It is also preferable that the addict be sober at the time of the intervention so that they can process the information that is being given to them as calmly and rationally as possible. For many addicts, mornings are the time when they may be most likely to be sober. If you live with an addict, take not of the moments they seem to be sober.