As a species, our lives are incredibly complicated. From the time that we’re children through adulthood and even into old age, we continue to put ourselves in situations that serve to put our mental, emotional, and even physical health in danger. In many cases, this comes from stretching ourselves too thin and, consequently, causing major stress and emotional distress that can have a number of outward manifestations.
Take adolescence, as an example. There’s a common perception that adolescence is a period of universal turmoil and struggle. However, we impose much of that turmoil on ourselves. Studies have shown that while American adolescents struggle through puberty and their teenage years, in so-called “less developed” countries adolescence is a time of rest and relaxation during which subadults are encouraged to have fun and take the time to become better acquainted with their changing bodies and emotions. In short, the turbulence that we oftentimes associate with adolescence is simply a result of being an adolescent in America.
When you consider that much of the stress we experience on a day-to-day basis—stress that can cause emotional scarring, drive people to substance abuse, and cause many other types of self-destructive behavior—is of our own design, one is likely to recall the old adage that suggests we reap what we sew. Unfortunately, this self-imposed distress and the self-destructive, self-defeatist behavior that most of us are guilty of exhibiting can warrant some type of intervention on our behalves or some type of “life intervention”.
Most people associate the term “intervention” with addiction and recovery, which is understandable since substance abuse interventions are surely the most common and well-known form of intervention. However, interventions can be conducted in a wide variety of situations, which is why we’ll take a moment to elaborate on what an intervention is at a more basic, central level.
Without referring to an actual definition, the word “intervention” has a number of derivatives, including the word “intervene”, which is used to refer to the act of interrupting, preventing, or altering some type of event, behavior, or action. The word itself can be used in both a positive and negative contents; for example, you can intervene in a situation of someone being physically assaulted, which is a positive intervention, or you can intervene in someone’s research for a dissertation project, which would have negative consequences. Therefore, the act of intervening is, in and of itself, neutral; what makes it positive or negative is the context and the intent behind the intervention.
As mentioned above, there is essentially an unlimited number of situations in which a person could intervene—interrupt, alter, prevent, etc. With regard to today’s uses, an intervention is typically conducted on a person’s behalf when the individual is at risk of bringing harm to him or herself or others. Although not exclusively, this often pertains to medicine and healthcare. For instance, seniors and the elderly will often be resistant to going to the hospital despite the fact that they suffer from health problems that require immediate attention. Alternately, a person might attempt to intervene in a teen’s rebellious behavior as it is putting his or her chances of attending college at risk. There’s also the substance abuse intervention, which is surely the most familiar type of intervention; as one would expect, this involves a non-aggressive confrontation between someone who’s been abusing alcohol or drugs and his or her loved ones who want the individual to get help. And even though the interventions described above suit very different needs, a life intervention of any sort tends to entail many of the same considerations and components.
The requirements for a life intervention are pretty subjective and are typically assessed by the individual’s loved ones. As mentioned previously, the goal of a life intervention is to intervene on someone’s behalf, hoping to appeal to their sensibilities so that they will cease a behavior or way of thinking that is causing them or others some type of distress. Therefore, the most important requirement for a life intervention would be that an individual is behaving in some way that has repercussions for him or her, or for someone in his or her life.
It’s important to remember that the harm or repercussions a person is causing him or herself or others may not always be readily observable. In some cases, these could be more emotional or internalized effects that are much more difficult to detect. An example would be if a person was caused his or her spouse emotional—rather than physical—distress, affecting the individual’s self-esteem and self-concept. Fortunately, a person’s loved ones—family members, close friends, and perhaps even coworkers—are in a position to readily detect some of the more subtle changes that might occur in one’s life, which would make them better able to observe when a life intervention would be necessary.
The first step to staging a successful life intervention is to determine the exact behavior that’s to be interrupted and the desired outcome of the intervention. From this point, the next step would be to meet with others who will be participating in the intervention so that each party has the opportunity to plan what they want to say. Next, the time, date, and location of the life intervention should be chosen while care is taken to ensure the subject of the intervention isn’t aware of the intervention beforehand. If necessary, it may be a good idea to hire an intervention specialist to help facilitate the intervention. Finally, stage the intervention and help the subject make the desired changes.
Life can be hard, but it can also be really great. It’s important for people to have the tools they need to rid themselves of self-destructive behaviors and lifestyles, and that’s where Intervention Services comes in. For more information about our services or with any questions you might have, call Intervention Services toll-free at 855-478-4621. Don’t wait another moment to become a better you. One phone call is all it takes.