Untrained friend led 'interventions' - Newsday

Untrained friend led 'interventions'

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Ask Amy Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist. ...

DEAR AMY: You wrote this sentence in response to "Heartbroken": "Interventions should be guided by an addiction specialist -- otherwise even the most dedicated attempt may backfire and have serious (unintended) consequences." Many years ago, a longtime friend was part of a staged intervention for someone whose alcoholism was out of control. Since then, she has conducted her own "interventions" on people whose behavior did not please her. I was one of those people; she called a meeting to confront "your obesity" after I had gained weight. Her daughter-in-law was another one; she called a meeting to confront "your addiction" when she felt her daughter-in-law spent too much time and money shopping. I was so startled, I avoided her for several years. Neither of us changed the behavior that bothered her. Moral of the story: Leave interventions to those who are trained and know what they are doing and what's appropriate.--Been There

DEAR BEEN THERE: Exactly. Otherwise, an intervention is just a power play.

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DEAR AMY: Your advice to "Heartbroken" was right on, and spooky in its timing. I saw the column the day after I learned that a high school friend had died, apparently as a result of alcohol addiction. I am very sad and shocked, and feeling a little guilty because I hadn't seen her in a couple of months and hadn't realized she had resumed drinking. I would add that Heartbroken might want to look into Al-Anon Family Groups for advice on how to help her friend and handle stepping back. The only thing she probably can tell her friend is, "I love you, I'm worried about you, and I wish I could help before something awful happens to you, but only you can fix this."

--Ruth in Rochester


DEAR RUTH: Thank you.

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