My name is Steve Bruno. I have been a professional interventionist for nearly 20 years.
Prior to delving into the strange and chaotic world of interventions, I lived in the strange and chaotic world of addiction. My experiences with drugs and attempts at rehabilitation led me to a roller coaster of stellar successes and drug-and-alcohol-fueled failures.
After going through a program that worked, I did my first intervention. I soon realized that the destructive life I had been living had given me a unique insight into the struggles of the families who hired me. During those “wasted” years as an addict, I developed a skill set that enabled me to see into the chaos of addiction and identify the mechanisms in the minds and behaviors of addicts and their families.
I have written a book about my work, my viewpoint on addiction and how to help people who are fighting those who are trying to help them. You can find More Than Hope at Amazon.com. I feel you may learn something real about me by learning why I wrote it.
The motivation came to me during my first intervention. It had to do with a question I was asked by the mother of the very first addict I was hired to help, a question I would hear many times after that and still do. I’ll never forget arriving at her home. I rang the bell, very nervous about what I was about to face. One of her daughters answered the door. Her mom was sitting on the couch, crying softly. Other family members were there. Before I came inside she walked over to me and said, “I need to understand something. How will you get my son to admit he has a problem?”
I had to think about it for a minute. I had heard this question before. It didn’t matter. I knew the answer, “Why would I do something like that?”
Seeing the stunned, shocked look of having been given an answer so entirely unexpected, so out of line with what she believed we were about to do stayed with me until my next intervention when the addict’s mom asked me exactly the same thing, “How are you going to get my daughter to admit she has a problem?” Again, the same answer came to mind, “Why would I do that?”
The concept they had been given would be problematic at best, except for what both women had been told; “If your loved one doesn’t admit to having a problem, treatment won’t work.” They believed that was why I was there, to show them how. And if it didn’t happen, treatment would be a waste of money.
To be clear, what they had been told or read is not even close to being true. As an addict I was probably more honest with my dealers than I ever was with my own family. I wasn’t about to approach anyone else any differently simply because someone somewhere had put a square peg in a round hole and told people it belonged there.
Therapists who do interventions have a very different viewpoint than I do as an ex-addict. They are trained – by no fault of their own – to help individuals come to terms with their lives, to help people reconcile with what they need to reconcile with, to confront their past and so on, which is great IN a treatment program. The problem with applying that to an intervention, aside from the obvious fact that the addict or alcoholic is still actively using and in no condition to “get honest” about anything, is the other obvious fact that if you group people the addict has already been dishonest with in a room together and then ask him to do something you already know he doesn’t want to do – I don’t think one could come up with a worse scenario in which to expect an actively using addict to start “opening up.” The entire idea is inane.
Admitting the truth to one’s mother under duress, to his uncle or brother or worse – all of those people combined is an agenda that may serve the emotional desire of those asking for the confession, but not the benefit of the addict or as a determining factor as to how well that person will do in a good program.
An intervention is not the place to conduct therapy. It just isn’t. And that’s why I started writing the book and may offer some insight into why I am successful in my work. I know where not to go as much as where to go. My track record speaks for itself.
Please fill out the form below for a free, no pressure consultation. I love to help. Take advantage of it.