John Roesch is uniquely qualified to help addicts achieve long-term recovery as well as equipping them with the necessary life skills needed in our challenging world. As a certified interventionist, substance abuse counselor, case manager and recovery coach, John has helped countless addicts and families to achieve lasting and meaningful sobriety and break down the walls of isolation. John is an effective interventionist with both male and females of all ages. He has worked in sober living facilities and intensive outpatient programs that treat young adults, adults and their families. John has a BA in Addiction Counseling and is pursuing a Masters in Social Science. Both professionally and in his spare time, John carries the message of recovery and hope to those in need. John is a regular speaker at recovery meetings, hospitals, prisons, and inpatient recovery facilities, and is a very active member of both professional addiction treatment associations and personal recovery groups.

My intervention services are based on a hybrid of tools and techniques learned from the various intervention modalities I’ve observed and trained in during my professional career in the recovery field. Specifically, I use a blend of the ARISE, Johnson, Love First, and Systemic models. My interventions typically begin with the initial call from a Concerned Other. I collect all the information necessary to initiate the process. This includes basic administrative information such as caller’s and Person of Concern’s contact information, summary of the presenting problem(s), goals, more detailed personal information (e.g. relevant history of the Person of Concern’s substance abuse, addiction and other mental or physical issues; treatment history, past family efforts, brief family history), as well as a safety assessment. The form also includes planning logistics for the intervention including building the list of support network members to be invited to the first meeting, developing messages and strategy for getting the Person of Concern to the first meeting, identifying time and location of that meeting, etc.

Another tool I use during the initial call is a Genogram. This is basically a family tree of addiction and usually very illuminating in terms of revealing the inter-generational aspect of addiction.

My interventions tend to last anywhere from 1-3 meetings. It should be noted here that in addition to using a blend of intervention modalities in my work, I incorporate a variety of talk therapy practices as well. These include motivational interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Process-Based Therapy, Collaboration and Conversation. It also bears mentioning that while I propose what I believe to be the most appropriate level of care for each case, I deem an intervention successful if the Person of Concern is willing to make a change in any of their current behaviors.

More often than not, the first meeting is with family/Concerned Others only. This is where we 1) review, expand and complete the information on the First Call form and Family Intervention Genogram; 2) educate the family on how to confront the addict and encourage them (without blame) to seek help for their substance abuse problem (Johnson); 3) explain how the family’s behavior contributes to the addict’s continued abuse of substances and the need to repair the family systems (Systemic); and 4) discuss the letters and lists of consequences each participant must write to the Person of Concern before the next meeting (Love First). It is by the end of this meeting, that I will have developed a customized proposal for what I believe to be the appropriate level of care for the Person of Concern.

The Person of Concern is then invited to attend the 2nd meeting. Again, there are no surprises. The individual knows that he or she is attending an intervention. (ARISE) It is at this meeting that each participant reads their letter and list of consequences to the Person of Concern. (Love First). If the Person of Concern agrees to treatment, plans are already in place to transport him or her to a facility. If the individual refuses to accept treatment (or whatever the recommended level of care may be), a third meeting is scheduled for the family to attend with or without the Person of Concern. (ARISE, Systemic) If the Person of Concern still does not agree to treatment in any capacity, the family can choose whether to continue to meet or not. (That said, it is extremely rare that no behavior changes occur at all. Something usually shifts in either the Person of Concern or the family unit.)

Once the Person of Concern has agreed to accept help (e.g. attend a treatment program, professional therapy or a mutual-aid support group), a 6-month continuum of care is established for both the family/Concerned Others and the Person of Concern. This includes weekly hour-long calls with the family (in person or via Skype), as well as the Person of Concern. If he or she is in a treatment center, we work with the facility to set this up so that the individual can participate. (ARISE, Systemic)

Whenever family is involved, we develop contracts with specific criteria for both the Person of Concern and the Concerned Others to sign and adhere to. Now everyone (not just the Person of Concern) has some skin in the game. (These contracts are developed and discussed during the weekly calls.)

In addition to participation in the weekly calls, each party has their own homework to do. This might entail reading an assigned article, attending a Mutual-Aid meeting (e.g. AA, NA, Al-Anon or Nar-Anon), enrolling in a smoking cessation program, etc. (ARISE, Systemic, Love First)

Oftentimes, the Person of Concern feels shame and guilt and wants to blame others. They’ll try to divide family members and form alliances. We watch for that and put a stop to it; all discussions happen within the family unit. While the work can be painful for all involved, the pain is often necessary in order for the work to be effective. There’s a lot of handholding and off-putting conversations at this stage of the process and we continually work to ‘rally the troops’ and encourage them to ‘stick to it.’ (ARISE, Systemic, Love First)

In closing, while the intervention process can be emotionally painful, requiring raw courage and honesty, as well as significant investments of time and thought by all involved, participants begin to appreciate the hard work as the results become evident. For example, when they begin to enjoy mealtimes and/or holidays together (or at least avoid them less often) or when they face major life crises like sickness or death, job loss or divorce without reverting back to old attitudes or behaviors. It is then that they fully realize this 6-month (more or less) boot camp on life skills has served to reprogram what had once been a dysfunctional family dynamic into a healthy, honest, and supportive family unit in which both the Person of Concern and Concerned Others can thrive.