Interventions? Not just a bad idea…..

Whether you’re considering doing an “intervention” on a family member or friend, or are the target of one yourself, it’s still a bad idea.


Interventions are supposed to break through a person’s “denial” and get them packed off to treatment where their “problem” will be cured.

It must work. Really. Interventionists frequently claim “success” rates of over 90%. Who could ask for more?

First let’s look at that success statistic. In reality, it means that the interventionist is able to bully someone into the treatment program of the interventionist’s choice – usually the program that is paying them the biggest “finder’s fee” in addition to what you are forking out.

Second, that’s all “success” means – you got the person to a treatment program, not that the person stayed or responded positively to rehab.

Realistically, most people who are “intervened” on feel blindsided, betrayed, blackmailed, and battered, frequently with good reason. Ambushed and angry they walk out of treatment and head home to do battle.

Even if they stay, they have no investment in doing anything productive, so they put in time and plot revenge. After all, “it” didn’t work and that’s your fault because you picked the wrong program.

At best, they learn even new and better ways to manipulate you as the interventionists and rehab facilities have.

Reality check. People change their behaviors when they decide it’s in their best interest to do so – not when someone else decides.

Save everyone a lot of time, emotion, money, energy, and disappointment and skip trying to force anyone into doing what others think is best for them.

No, you can’t force anyone to do anything.

Yes, you can encourage.

You do that by not rewarding behaviors that you disapprove of – put another way, you do not respond to negative attention seeking behaviors and don’t support self-destructive choices with time, attention, and/or money.

“Wolf Therapy?” Really?

There is a 2 page ad for a Malibu rehab facility in this month’s Psychology Today promoting Wolf Therapy. This facility is supposedly using wolf/dog mixes as misunderstood partners for equally misunderstood clients.


While wolves are not dangerous to people (there isn’t a single documented attack by wolves on people in North American recorded history) there are plenty of wolf/dog attacks. The mixes can be very dangerous and unpredicable.

And this is supposed to be a good idea?

Sounds like it’s right up there with Timothy Treadwell’s “higher power”, the grizzly bears who killed and ate him and his girl friend Amie Huguenard, as another great 12 Step success.

But if you’d rather fill your days at rehab playing dances with wolf-dogs than actually fixing your problems, then Malibu is happy to point you in the right direction.

And as a long time Kodiak, Alaska resident, I can tell you where to find the bears too.