We are asked from time to time to recommend interventionists who are not only effective professionals but seem to genuinely care about the people they intervene on and their families. We chose to begin with five. Of course there are many other very talented interventionists all over the country who we also like to work with, or would be happy to work with, and we will report on them from time to time.
Today’s list includes people from different locations in the Western U.S. We like their style. They have set prices, but will negotiate. They do not ask treatment centers to also pay them (a growing practice which many in this industry consider unethical). They keep tabs on their clients and, when possible, with the families during and after treatment. They all have very different styles and personalities. Visiting their websites would be very helpful. We would not hesitate to recommend any of them.
In alphabetical order:
Candy Finnigan Pat interviewed Candy last December, writing about her work with the popular A&E reality show “Intervention.” I would add that she is tough but committed, knowledgeable, open to new ideas and always offering good solutions. She intervenes on actors and rock stars and regular folk. Recently when I tried to reach her she was intervening on someone who only had a few hundred dollars because the story broke her heart. Last Thanksgiving she spent the afternoon talking into treatment a beautiful and talented actress she had known for years. It took so long Candy’s family began calling on the other line to inquire as to the whereabouts of the roasted turkey. Candy delivered dinner only after she knew the actress was safely on her way to treatment. She is intensely interested in the outcome of those she helps. Once she collected (fabulous) clothes from women at an AA meeting for a client who arrived at Malibu Beach Recovery Center without money or what to wear.
Pat Moomey. Two years ago Pat Moomey was living just north of Malibu in Ventura County. Concerned parents hired her to intervene on their very bright young daughter Ashley (not her real name). Then a freshmen at UC Santa Barbara. Ashley had become so addicted to pot she was flunking out. Pat convinced her to get treatment, and diplomatically ignored Ashley’s insistence that she could only stay a few weeks because she had a New Year’s Eve rave to attend. Pat stayed in regular contact with us and Ashley’s family throughout treatment and beyond. Happy to report that Ashley did not go to the rave, now has 2 years of sobriety and is back at UCSB completing her degree. Pat has since moved to Prescott, Arizona and does interventions in that state and in Las Vegas. Her price includes the assessment, evaluation, education, intervention and 1 month follow up coaching with the family.
Joyce Sundin. Joyce lives in Seattle. She brought us a very talented and difficult computer programmer, He never forgave his family for arranging the intervention so Joyce did not get to do the family follow up she loves. The client had been brought up by an alcoholic father and was not interested in AA. Luckily he learned to love the yoga and uses the yoga to stay sober. He regularly sends yoga instructor Oleg photographic proof.
For local families, Joyce generally meets with the family for a 2.5 - 4 hour session in her office. She calls this the "assessment" but in fact it's a training session as well so the family can learn more about what's required for an intervention to be successful. If they decide to proceed there is a rehearsal and the formal intervention. Joyce then writes a report to the treatment facility and stays engaged while the person is in treatment. When they complete treatment the family has a "re-entry" meeting which Joyce believes is every bit as important as the actual intervention, to welcome the client back, bring closure to the intervention, and share mutual expectations regarding ongoing recovery. She then remains available, unlimited, for a year to coach the family to maintain their recovery and to troubleshoot any recovery issues that may arise.
For out of town interventions she uses conference calling for the re-entry and any ongoing issues as she believes in decisions by consensus and try to maintain a united, cohesive unit.
Alice Tanner Tanner brought us one of our most delightful clients, Lucy, a 65 year old alcoholic from the Bay Area who stayed for 90 days. The family situation was complex. Lucy suffered from short term memory loss which Dr. Ari Kalechstein determined was probably a condition known as “wet brain” and not dementia as the family thought. We agreed with his diagnosis when we started to see memory improvement toward the end of her treatment, but knew she needed to be in a totally sober environment for many more months in order to recover full brain function. Unfortunately this did not happen and it is a continuing struggle for her to remember not to drink.
Before deciding to work with Alice, read carefully what she has written smack in the middle of her home page. She is oh, so right.
Knowledge is power. Know these truths about addiction:
~ Addiction is a brain disease.
~ Without proper treatment the disease will advance...guaranteed.
~ Most people, even professionals, do not recognize addiction when they see it.
~ Most people, even professionals, when they do recognize addiction do not know how to effectively treat it.
Ed Wigg, Director of the Curran Seeley Foundation in Jackson, Wyoming wears many hats. He called one morning out of the blue about Lynda -- not her real name – a young woman who had just tried to commit suicide for the third time using a kitchen knife, pills and alcohol. She had just returned, overmedicated, from another treatment program which put her into a very anxiety and depression track, and did not deal with her drinking and drug use. The father, a recovering alcoholic, was desperate. Ed found us after doing some in-depth research and deciding our program sounded different enough to make a difference . He was right. Lynda just celebrated a year of continued sobriety. She is still here in California and her dad came to give her a cake (an AA tradition). We honor Ed for taking time out to find his clients the right facility, which in this case, came with the right therapist. Dr. Miriam Hamideh worked miracles with Lynda.