How to Write an Intervention Letter

You run an intervention to break through a wall of denial and to convince a loved one to get the help they need. During an intervention, you need your loved one to feel concern and compassion rather than blame and shame and he or she needs to understand how serious things have become, how the behaviors of addiction affect everyone in the family and that things can’t go on as they have been any longer. An intervention’s persuasive strength emerges out of the compassionate repetition of the facts of the situation from all loved ones assembled for the meeting – so it’s important that everyone participating be ready and able to communicate the necessity of treatment. However, because interventions can get emotional and because you need to stay focused on conveying an important and compassionate message, you should always write out what you want to say in advance. The Intervention Letter The script each person reads during a family intervention is called the intervention letter. Ideally, you want your letter to: Communicate genuine love and compassion, and to convey that you only want to see your loved one get better Help the subject realize the severity of their situation Help the subject to understand that their ‘private’ actions cause hurt and pain to those who love them Clearly express that you wish them to accept the offered treatment Clearly express the consequences you will impose if they choose not to accept the treatment that is offered To ensure that you include all the necessary ingredients, try writing your intervention letter as 5 separate segments that make up a powerful...

3 Ways to “Raise the Bottom”

How do we “raise the bottom?” You’ve heard it said, “They must hit bottom before they will be ready to get help.” Do you have to wait until they hit bottom? Or is there something you can do to help “raise the bottom” so your loved one can get help sooner? Here are three great ways that you can help raise the bottom for your loved one! 1. Stop rescuing your loved one All too often we have covered up their irresponsible decisions— paid bail so they could get out of jail—paid delinquent bills, or the rent. We’ve believed their heart-stopping stories of tragedy. “I cashed my check, and put the cash in my pocket. When I got home, the money was gone! I must have dropped it.” They played the part so well—the tears, the frustration—“I was trying so hard to be responsible, and now I have nothing!” Your heart of compassion goes out to them and you generously give to help them through to the next paycheck. You failed to see their story was a very convincing con job to get extra cash for drugs. You “raise the bottom” for your loved one when you say, “No,” and allow them to face the painful consequences of their irresponsible actions. 2. Tell them the truth You help “raise the bottom” for your loved one by being truthful about their problems. We often have perfect insight in seeing the problems in strangers and other casual acquaintances. But when it is your own family member—you want to believe the best—and you deceive yourself by saying, “Things really aren’t all that...