The day of an intervention

Learn about: The day of an intervention from Louise Stanger, Ed.D, LCSW, BRI-II, CIP,...
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The day of an intervention

The day before an intervention is an exciting time. This is a time when my teammate and I come together with all the people that we’ve individually interviewed. And we have a portrait not only of them but of the loved one. And in that session, we teach everyone about the process that’s going to happen the next day and we decide together who’s going to give the invitation to the loved one so they will attend the meeting the next day. The person who’s selected to give the invitation is the person we think moves this person the most with their heart. And the invitation is just really merely saying, Katie, we’ve been meeting with Dr. Louise and Jeffrey for quite a long time. This family problem has gotten so big we don’t know how to solve it. And tomorrow morning we’re having a meeting. And Sally and Jim and Rebecca are all going to be there. And we’re going to be meeting at 9 a.m. Because there’s no surprise. We do not wish to surprise anybody. It’s very disrespectful. You also pick a time of day when the person is most likely to be least intoxicated. And you cannot do an intervention if someone is totally high. It just doesn’t work. So you have to pause. But on the day of the intervention, we’ll go. And 97% of the time that person is there. And where we get the most resistance to getting an intervention are from the people who have retained our services. They go, oh no-no-no. Johnny will never come. Jimmy will never come. Henrietta will never show up. And they’re afraid. It’s their fear. And really, I’ve been to places where I’ve gone to a house and they’re just hysterical. This person has gone away to the mountains. And I go golly, there’s someone standing out there by a tree. Could that be Harriet? And they go, oh yes. And I go, why don’t you go outside and invite her in? And on the day of the intervention, we have people speak from the heart. It’s a very fluid process. If I find it’s better that – the reason there’s always 2 is sometimes we might go out on the patio with the loved one. I myself try to be like a butterfly on the wall. If you’re in an intervention with me, I’m always smaller than the identified loved one. I may be on the floor. I will change my position a lot. And we’re asking people to speak from their heart. One of my colleagues talks about it as being a living eulogy. This is a time that you can get together and share your heart. And when you share your heart, you break into the honeycomb of denial. And that’s what moves someone into willingness, into saying yes. There is good research that says less people leave a treatment center against medical advice with an invitational intervention than those that admit themselves willingly.

Learn about: The day of an intervention from 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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