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An Unexpected Calling

February 16, 2015

I am a mother, who lost her child to suicide. Yet, as a result of attending MiSPP and earning my doctoral degree, I have been able to rewrite my story of despair into a story of hope. As a licensed psychologist (LP) and certified advanced alcohol and drug counselor (CAADC), I have the knowledge and training to conduct drug and behavioral interventions throughout the U.S.

An intervention is a choreographed effort by family and/or friends to get an individual into treatment. The term intervention is most often related to addiction to alcohol, drugs, sex, and gambling and other high-risk behaviors. Crisis intervention refers to the act of using an intervention technique in an immediate time frame or within a therapy session. Behavioral interventions help get individuals into treatment for self-harm, suicide, and other psychiatric disorders. It is not unusual for an intervention to have both addiction and behavioral components.

As a result of the television series and movies, there is abundant misinformation on interventions. A typical intervention is not a one-day event. It lasts from the first phone call from friends or family through the last day of treatment at the facility. The intervention, itself, typically lasts for a few hours.

The intervention field is new and largely unlicensed. Thus, the fact that I am licensed psychologist and licensed by the State of Michigan as a Substance Abuse Provider provides not only credibility, but powerful marketing tools. A good interventionist should:

  • Have the ability to diagnose and handle psychological disorders. Most interventionists do not have advanced psychology degrees.
  • Provide family therapy and work on issues such as codependency and enabling. Addiction affects the entire family.
  • Ensure the safety of the group and the security of clients during transport to facilities.
  • Be involved in all aspects of the intervention and not sub-contract to other interventionists.
  • Advocate for clients, monitor treatment, and communicate with the treatment team.
  • Offer weekly follow up with the family.
  • Be licensed to provide intensive outpatient therapy (IOP) for addiction, so clients can be released to the interventionist for private intensive outpatient relapse prevention following treatment.

Each referral to treatment needs to be custom-fit to the individual client’s needs. I refer to the top long-term (45 days +) addiction and psychiatric treatment facilities in the U.S. (according to US News and World Report). I do not accept referral incentives from facilities and do not send patients to any facility that I have not visited.  Too often desperate families throw “darts at a map” to find treatment.

As a result of my experience with my son, I constructed a unique, effective intervention strategy. My security team and I are able to react almost immediately. It is interesting, challenging, and rewarding. I have been privileged to meet fascinating people and continue learning. I am honored to provide what I needed most, once upon a time . . . compassionate, non-judgmental, ethical support and experienced and professional intervention.

 

Susie GrossSusie Gross, PsyD, LP, CAADC (MiSPP PsyD 2012)
Licensed Psychologist and Interventionist

I help adults and adolescents struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, drug abuse, behavioral issues, and suicide. I am an experienced psychologist and drug and behavioral interventionist with an unusual perspective; my son committed suicide after battling heroin addiction and depression. www.drsusiegross.com