Doing an intervention without a professional

Watch Video: Doing an intervention without a professional by Louise Stanger, Ed.D, LCSW, BRI-II, CIP, ...
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Doing an intervention without a professional

With the amount of substance abuse and mental health disorders across the country and the many-many people who have loved ones who experience a problem, not everyone can afford to hire a professional interventionist. What they can do is learn about how they may successfully go about coaching someone. They also can engage those mental health or health providers to help them. The ER doctor when their loved one ends up in the ER because they overdosed, or they were in a car accident. The police department when they end up being arrested for a DUI. Or they can gather family and friends together in a very loving, caring way. The risk of doing an intervention on your own is that you might end up in the middle of a crosstalk situation. People can get angry. This is a highly stylized process. There is no crosstalk. And it is controlled conversation. And you can’t start yelling about Uncle John and Aunt Sally in the middle of it or you did this and you did that because it will deteriorate. But you can when you gather with love. My best advice is if you have someone who’s experiencing a substance abuse or mental health disorder, please do not go one on one with them and beg and plead and nag. Because I promise you the only one who will walk away feeling distraught, crazy, and let down is you. You cannot go one on one with someone who is active in a substance abuse disorder. They will tell you it’s your problem. It’s your fault. You didn’t buy me this. You didn’t do that. Oh no, I didn’t do that. And you’ll walk away feeling awful. And that’s really the best advice. You must have a friend with you. I also invite for parents of loved ones who are worried, there’s wonderful free 12-step programs available. Al-Anon is a great place for you to meet other parents who are experiencing difficulties. NAMMY, which is for parents or other people experiencing mental health. There are wonderful free organizations that you can go and talk with. But if I can give you any bit of advice, please go as a team, but go as a loving team. And speak with I-terms. I feel so concerned and bewildered when you don’t come home at night. When I see the door open and I don’t know where you are. I don’t even know where the money is from my wallet. I thought I had $40 in it and there’s none. I don’t know what to do anymore. This problem has gotten bigger than us. You talk in I-terms. And the reason you talk in I-terms is they’re non-judgmental. You talk with feelings. Most people that have grown up in alcoholic families or families that have experienced substance abuse, they don’t know feelings. Get a feeling chart. There are more feelings than you know. I feel betrayed, scared, confused, angry. But your feeling. I feel angry when… confused when… and it’s an exact behavior. So that would be some of the suggestions I may offer.

Watch Video: Doing an intervention without a professional by Louise Stanger, Ed.D, LCSW, BRI-II, CIP, ...


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Louise Stanger, Ed.D, LCSW, BRI-II, CIP

Director All About Interventions

Louise Stanger received her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh, her Masters in Social Work from San Diego State College and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of San Diego. 

Dr. Stanger has over thirty years experience as a college professor, researcher and licensed clinician working with families and  individuals who experience substance abuse and mental health disorders. She serves as the Director of All About Interventions and as President of The Sydney D Holland Foundation. She has been performing Collaborative Interventions with families since 1980.  She  continues to explore the efficacy of treatment strategies such as Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral, Solution Focused Coaching, Family Systems and 12 Step Facilitation.

Louise is  a MINT Trainer of Trainers and  currently teaches at San Diego State University Interwork Institute Human Behavior, Theories of Counseling and Solution Focused Counseling .She previously served as a professor at SDSU School of Social Work and the Director of Alcohol and Other Drug services at the University of San Diego.  She is a catastrophic loss counselor and had the privilege of working with the New York Fire Department and widows of 9-11.

Most recently she has  served as a consultant to the Indie Film Documentary , "Behind The Orange Curtain", which explores the increased misuse of  prescription drugs and young adult deaths in Orange County. Also she is the author of a chapter, "Interventions are not Made For TV"  in the textbook, Interventions: Opposing Viewpoints published by Cengage Learning, 2012.

Louise has conducted extensive research on the effects of alcohol and other drugs on college age students. She has published scholarly articles and public health handbooks that support harm reduction strategies and environmental management systems. She has been the principal investigator/ project director and /or co-investigator of over 15 grants, which focus on collegiate substance abuse, six of which totaled over four  million dollars from the United States Department of Education and the National Institute of Health- National Institute of Alcohol Abuse  And Alcoholism . Findings have been published in The Journal of Alcohol Studies and elsewhere.

Louise has been the recipient of state and local awards.  She was twice named the Outstanding Undergraduate Faculty,  San Diego State University’s Faculty Homecoming Dedicatee, and recipient of San Diego County’s Outstanding Educator Award. The San Diego Business Journal recognized her as one of the “TOP Women Who Mean Business”.

 Louise is grateful and loves the energy and collaborative spirit shown by the professional  recovery community in their goals to reduce the harm associated with substance abuse. With tireless energy she continues to contribute to the field through clinical interventions, family recovery coaching, training and research.

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