Common Questions about All About Interventions:
When is an intervention necessary?

An intervention is used after nothing else has worked. Previous attempts at change may have used reasoning, discussion, threats, ultimatums, and one-on-one tactics. When these fail, frustration can lead to anger. This can go on for years. Appeals to reason and one-on-one discussions rarely produce change in someone who is deeply engaged in self-destructive behaviors.

On the other hand, an intervention that includes several people who are meaningful to the person, can be highly effective when it is delivered in an invitational, respectful, and logical way while focusing on changing everyone’s behavior, not just the loved one.

What is your intervention style?
Much has been written about different intervention styles. As a longtime professor and social worker, Dr. Stanger’s work goes beyond any one single model, combining the best of the best to suit your specific situation. “My own work has evolved and is based on an invitation. It transcends any one model, though I favor an invitational approach*. I am able to identify and work with substance abuse, alcohol and other drug abuse and addictions, process disorders (sex, gambling, shopping), and mental health disorders (depression, bi-polar, mania, anxiety, borderline). I am propelled by a deep respect for my clients. Interventions must take place in a safe, respectful, loving environment where the client is treated with compassion and respect. When a family intervention team feels confidence in themselves, change can be made. And when they truly understand that I care about their loved one as if he or she were my own, movement and progress occurs. Hence, I’ve developed The Stanger Process: An 11-Step Process for a 12-Step Solution – created, developed and honed through hundreds of clinical hours with clients, and hundreds of teaching hours.”
What geographic areas do you serve?
Dr. Stanger is prepared to travel all over the United States and Europe in order to help a family in crisis. Her local office are in La Jolla and West Hollywood, California.
Do you work with other therapists and professionals?
Yes, Dr. Stanger works hand in hand with other therapists, consulting with them and other professionals on treatment plans, inpatient or outpatient treatment centers for clients based on the client’s condition, and other professional collaboration efforts.
How do you help family and friends choose the right treatment center?

After the initial sessions, and the research and investigation that Dr. Stanger conducts, she has learned quite a bit about what your loved one is facing. From this, she answers this question, “If this were my loved one, what are the three best treatment centers, given the diagnosis and resources available?”

Dr. Stanger presents her findings to the intervention team so they can explore their options. She continues to advise the family as they research their options, providing any additional information that the family may need to make their decision. She ensures that family and friends have the opportunity to attend a family program, Al-anon, or another support group that may help improve and enrich their own lives, in the face of their current situation.

* Invitational interventions have been pioneered by Landau & Garrett (ARISE), Raiter (Systematic) and Lamm (Breakthrough)

What therapeutic processes to you use?

The Stanger Method uses a combination of different modalities, including Solution-Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, 12-Step Facilitation, Mindfulness, and Family-Systems Theory.

“Families come to me looking for solutions, and together we create a path to that solution. Occasionally, some are resistant to change. Rolling with a client’s resistance and helping him or her increase both motivation and confidence are vital to a successful intervention. Lastly, I work in a coaching and collaborative way; we all end up with assignments. Families are asked to research their own hearts and to learn about themselves and how these disorders affect them. And when doing so, be still and mindful and discover the joy in compassionate answers.”

What kind of treatment is best for my loved one?

There is debate about what kind of treatment works the best. There are choices between inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, AA meetings, and the “nothing but the person’s change of heart” approach. An argument can be made for each these treatment approaches.

Sometimes it will be obvious which approach is more suitable. For example, if the person is in an acute mental health crisis or requires medical detoxification, inpatient care is advisable. Cost considerations also drive treatment decisions. Dr. Stanger works with the family to choose the best type of treatment depending on your loved one’s need.

Do you receive any compensation from treatment centers for referring families?
No! My goal is to find the best treatment center for your loved one. I am an independent consultant and never accept compensation for referrals from any outside source.
How do I know if you are a good fit for our family?

You will know from your own sense of comfort and trust that is gained the moment you first speak with Dr. Stanger. If, for some reason, you aren’t comfortable, she will do her best to refer you to another qualified interventionist. Likewise, if there are better suited interventionists to handle your specific situation, Dr. Stanger will connect you to them.

Specialized training is required to guide the intervention process successfully. Most people, including many in the addiction field, have a simplistic view of interventions – greatly underestimating the knowledge, skill, flexibility, and courage needed by the interventionist.

The training, experience, and skill of interventionists vary considerably. It can be difficult to evaluate qualifications or performance ahead of time. It is important to screen and interview an interventionist before you hire them, including finding out what their experience, education and clinical experiences are.

What other notable work have you done as an educator, researcher, mentor, and coach?

Dr. Stanger is an educator with more than 35 years of teaching experience at the University level. Clinically, she is a MINT Trainer of Trainers as well as an accomplished teacher of Solution-Focused Therapy and different counseling modalities.

With extensive training in grief and loss with an emphasis on sudden death, her work with the New York Fire Department widows of 9/11 Time To Laugh Again-USD MagazineSpring 2006, has prepared her to work successfully with families facing all traumas, including those who have loved ones suffering from substance abuse and process addiction disorders.

As a researcher, she has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on over $4 million in grants, examining college students and alcohol usage. As a mentor, she has worked with hundreds of college students and created a collegiate peer program called, “Student to Student.” This San Diego State University group won national awards from MADD and other groups. Her work with this group led to Dr. Stanger being named SDSU “Faculty Homecoming Dedicatee.” She continues to mentor and coach young professionals as they begin their careers.

Treatment Centers Dr. Stanger Has Worked With

Dr. Stanger has worked with during her extensive career:

A New Path (Carbondale, CO) www.anewpath.net
Alina Lodge (Hardwick, NJ) www.alinalodge.org
Anchor West (Austin, TX) www.anchorwest.com 
Avalon Malibu Rehab (Malibu, CA) www.avalonmalibu.com 
Balboa Horizons Recovery Services (Newport Beach, CA)www.balboahorizons.com 
Betty Ford Center (Rancho Mirage, CA) www.bettyfordcenter.org 
The Bridge to Recovery (Santa Barbara, CA) www.thebridgetorecovery.com
Bridges to Recovery (Santa Monica, CA) http://www.bridgestorecovery.com
Casa Palmera Treatment Center (Del Mar, CA) www.casapalmera.com
Center for Healthy Sex (Los Angeles, CA) www.centerforhealthysex.com
Cirque Lodge (Orem, Utah) www.cirquelodge.com
Clearview Treatment Programs (Los Angeles, CA) www.clearviewtreatment.com
The Control Center (Beverly Hills, CA) www.thecontrolcenter.com
Cottonwood Tucson (Tucson, AZ) www.cottonwooddetucson.com
Creative Care Inc. (Malibu, CA) www.creativecareinc.com
Crossroads Centre Antigua (West Indies) www.crossroadsantigua.org
Hanley Center (West Palm Beach, FL) www.hanleycenter.org
Harmony Place (Los Angeles, CA) www.harmonyplace.net
Hazelden (Center City, MN, Plymouth, MN, Springbrook, OR) www.hazelden.org
Healthy Within (San Diego, CA) www.healthywithin.com
Hemet Valley Recovery Center (Hemet, CA) www.hvrc.com
The Hills Treatment Center (Los Angeles, CA) www.thehillscenter.com
La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center (Los Angeles, CA) www.lafuentehollywoodtreatmentcenter.com
La Ventana (Thousand Oaks, CA) www.laventanaed.com
Las Vegas Recovery Center (Las Vegas, NV) www.lasvegasrecovery.com
Lasting Recovery (San Diego, CA) www.lastingrecovery.com
The Meadows (Wickenburg, AZ) www.themeadows.com
Milestone Ranch Malibu (Malibu, CA) www.milestonesranch.com
Montecatini (La Costa, CA) www.montecatini.crchealth.com
New Directions For Women (Newport Beach, CA) www.newdirectionsforwomen.org
New Found Life (Long Beach, CA) www.newfoundlife.com
New River Cove (Belize) http://www.rehab-centers.org/Drug_Rehab_Centers/New_River_Cove_Belize-32-1-0-0.html
Oldham Clinic (San Francisco, CA)
One80 (Los Angeles, CA) www.one80center.com
Onsite (Cumberland Furnace, TN) www.onsiteworkshops.com
Pasadena Villa (TN and FL)  www.pasadenavilla.com
Psychological Care and Healing [PCH] (Los Angeles, CA) www.pchtreatment.com
Pemarro Recovery Center (Ramona, CA) www.pemarro.com
Pine Grove (Hattiesburg, MS) www.pinegrovetreatment.com
The Pines (Columbus, MS) http://www.treatmentcentersdirectory.com/Mississippi/Columbus/state-of-mississippi-alcohol-rehabilitation-center-the-pines-10052
Priory Clinic (London and Manchester, England) www.priorygroup.com
The Ranch (Nunnelly, TN) www.recoveryranch.com
The Refuge (Ocklawaha, FL) http://www.therefuge-ahealingplace.com/index.php
Reunion San Diego (San Diego, CA) www.reunionsandiego.com
Safe Harbor (Newport Beach, CA) www.safeharborhouse.com
Salvation Army (Vista, CA and Del Mar, CA) http://www.satruck.org/rehabilitation-program
San Cristobal (NM) www.sancristobaltc.com
Seabrook House (NJ) www.seabrookhouse.org
Sharp Mesa Vista (San Diego, CA) www.sharp.com/mesa-vista/index.cfm
Sharp McDonald Center [formerly Sharp Vista Pacifica] (San Diego, CA) www.sharp.com/mcdonald/index.cfm
Sierra Tucson Treatment Center (Tucson, AZ) www.sierratucson.crchealth.com
Sober Ranch (Temecula, CA) www.soberranch.com
Sovereign Health (Culver City, CA) http://www.sovcal.com/about-us/culver-city-staff.shtml
Spirit Lodge (Spicewood, TX) www.spiritlodge.com
Sexual Recovery Institute [SRI] (Los Angeles, CA) www.sexualrecovery.com
Timberline Knolls (Chicago, IL) www.timberlineknolls.com
Transcend Sober Living (Beverly Hills, CA) www.transcendsoberliving.com
Twin Town Out-Patient Programs (South California) www.twintowntreatmentcenters.com
UCLA (Los Angeles, CA)
University of Colorado Medical Center (Boulder, CO)
Visions (Malibu, CA) www.visionsteen.com

Choosing a Treatment Center
Treatment Center Selection

Dr. Stanger visits treatment centers all over the globe. First and foremost, she takes into consideration your loved one’s needs. Her level of commitment has her likening you to her own family, and evaluates and determines which facility and program is the best for your loved one.

Using her experience, compassion, and knowledge as her guide, Dr. Stanger determines which factors are the most important to your loved one and your family when choosing the best treatment program, including geographic needs, financial factors, and programs and specialties available.

Recommended Reading: Want to learn more?

What To Read
There are several excellent books on intervention, some of which are listed here:

As you obtain and read these books, please remember that there are many ways to conduct an intervention. Beware of overstatement; authors have their biases. Reading or writing a book does not make someone qualified to do an intervention. Read a book if you wish, then contact an interventionist to guide you through the process.

Johnson, V. E. (1986). How to Help Someone Who Doesn’t Want Help: A Step-By-Step Guide for Families of Chemically Dependent Persons. Minneapolis: Johnson Institute Books.

Johnson, V.E. (1990). I’ll Quit Tomorrow: A Practical Guide to Alcoholism Treatment. Minneapolis: Johnson Institute Books.

Rogers, R.L., & McMillan, C.S. (1992). Freeing Someone You Love from Alcohol and Other Drugs: A Step-by-Step Plan Starting Today! New York: Berkley Publishing Group.

Schaefer, D. (1987). Choices and Consequences. Minneapolis: Johnson Institute Books.

Lamm, B. (2009). How to Help the One You Love: A New Way to Intervene and Stop Someone from Self-Destructing. New York: Macmillan.

Jay, D. & D. (2008). Love First: A Family’s Guide to Intervention. Minnesota: Hazelden Publishing.

White, R. K. & Wright, D. G. (1998). Addiction Intervention: Strategies to Motivate Treatment-Seeking Behavior. New York: The Haworth Press.