A New Brand, a New Take on Family Intervention
Every interventionist says they like working with families. When I started in this field as an interventionist and recovery coach, I felt the same way. I still do, perhaps more so now than ever. But my understanding of how intervention—and recovery—work within the family system has evolved over the years, and Marc Hertz Consulting has grown far beyond a one-man operation.
In fact, the entire scope of my practice has transformed into something more groundbreaking than ever before. It has become clear that this is the time to redefine ourselves, just as we have redefined intervention. I welcome you to FRrē – the Family Recovery Resource Experts.
An approach for the whole family
Something about the field of recovery always bothered me. I couldn’t ignore the fact that we refer to addiction and mental health issues as “family diseases” while reserving most of the attention for the affected individual. For most interventionists, working with the family means preparing for the intervention.
When I first started working as an interventionist for another company, I remember many instances of pulling away from the family’s home with the affected individual post-intervention on our way to treatment. We’d wave goodbye as the family cried in the front yard or argued in the kitchen about whose fault this was.
After witnessing enough cases of family helplessness or dysfunction, I took the executive director of that company aside and proposed a family recovery approach to our services. He replied that I was new to this field, that I didn’t understand the process, that there is no market for family recovery. That response was telling of the overarching industry philosophy at the time.
Family members clearly cared enough about their loved one to pay for treatment and go to any lengths to help them heal. I thought surely they would care enough to involve themselves in their own recovery journey.
I began my own practice in 2010 to help family members through the process of recovery.
I helped them understand appropriate support for the individual by taking time to educate families about unintentional enabling and healthy boundaries. That way, by the time their loved one returned from treatment, the family would have some idea of what to expect.
I knew the family approach would work, but I didn’t anticipate just how successful it would be. Beyond a more empathetic, less aggressive, and more involved approach, oftentimes the method would cause the affected individual to make their own decision to go to treatment. Instead of having to guide them from a hard “no” to a reluctant “okay,” these individuals took no convincing at all. As a result of healthy boundaries and an end to unintentional enabling they would “run out of the gas” to support their addiction or behavioral issues.
I realized that there was a better way to intervene. Seeing potential in the shifting family dynamics, I replaced interventionists with family therapists in my practice.
Dynamic Family Services
The family therapists were clinicians with experience in family systems, working hand-in-hand with families affected by behavioral issues. When we shifted our focus from the individual to the concerned family, our family therapists encountered stunning results.
Addiction is a systemic problem in the family, and therefore requires systemic change. I am absolutely convinced that nothing supports an individual’s recovery better than a healthy family working together.
Jen Stowe, the family therapist who helped me expand my vision, created our Dynamic Family Services model, which remains a unique feature in the field. We work with families in real-time – before, during and after the so-called “intervention.” It’s not “big-I” Intervention anymore, but a combination of “little-i” interventions within the family system. Our approach to family recovery has been elevated from the education about boundaries and enabling to functional change within the system.
The recovery field has also looked towards trauma and its role in addiction and mental or behavioral health issues. We worked with a sociologist to create trauma-informed intervention, which takes into account individual empowerment, voice, choice and safety, to name a few aspects. Family therapist and LADC Rob Rodriguez came on board, bringing along his vast experience in trauma work to our team of family therapists.
Innovation in addiction recovery
At FRrē we consider ourselves pioneers in intervening with addiction and behavioral health issues. Our Dynamic Family Services have redefined the intervention with continuous strides in innovative methods that involve the whole family.
When asked why we rebranded from Marc Hertz Consulting to FRrē, the Family Recovery Resource Experts, the answer is simple. The organization evolved in the ideas about what families need to be healthy and attain ongoing and effective recovery.