Sticky: The Field Model of Intervention for Complex Clients: An Interview with Jane Mintz, Addiction Intervention Specialist
When Jane Mintz tells you that her 17 years as an LPGA golf professional helped prepare her for a career as an interventionist, you might smile when you imagine what she means. The truth is, Jane approaches addiction intervention the same way she approached golf: as a consummate professional who hones her craft through hard work, tenacity, and dedication.
“I came into the field after going to treatment myself for alcoholism. As part of my recovery strategy, I went back to school because I needed structure. I got my Master’s degree and became a licensed therapist. At the same time I cross-trained in all the addictions and process addictions,” says Jane.
As addiction intervention becomes one of the fastest growing segments of the behavioral health field, Jane has been developing her own unique blend of techniques to work with particularly complex and acute clients.
“I gravitate toward cases with lots of moving parts and highly reactive clients,” she explains. “I’ve developed a reputation of working with the most complex co-morbid cases.”
Jane has created her own model of intervention: the Field Model of Intervention.
“What I saw in the industry is that there are several models out there that address methodologies. That’s all well and good, and important in terms of how you’re going to strategize helping someone, a family, through a crisis. But none of these models really addressed the clinical underpinnings of the clients themselves,” Jane says.
Although Jane feels the other models are very competent in terms of how to do the intervention, they do not necessarily help you when the situation gets more complicated.
“The intervention client is the most complex client you’re going to come across because they’re so acute. People don’t need an intervention unless they’ve had a litany of failed attempts to help them. They are truly in crisis. What do you do if that crisis escalates? How do you assess for weapons or suicide risk? Are they a long Axis I or do they have some Axis II features? My goal is training people clinically, because the clientele is getting more complex, not less complex,” Jane says.
Jane describes the Field Model as an overlay to the other models. You can be a Johnson-style interventionist or an invitational-style interventionist, but you still want to be a Field Model Interventionist. It is based on the Johnson model, so it’s a fully functional model in and of itself, so rather than completing with other models, it’s complementary to them.
“The Field Model is about proper assessment of the client so you can set up strategies to prevent disasters in the intervention. You train on what to do in emergencies, how to use a PAT (Psychiatric Assessment Team) Squad, how to work with body guards or private detectives, how to predict the potential for violence. This is what a crisis interventionist needs to know,” she explains.
Jane calls it the Field Model because it specifically trains to techniques you can use in the field, during the actual intervention, should problems arise.
“I think you can prepare people, and we can come up with a strategy, but when it’s really live TV it never works out that way,” she says.
Jane believes the most critical element in the intervention is to get the family members to start to align.
“These are fragmented people. They have different opinions. I often use the example of the herd. In the wild, animals survive by traveling in herds. It’s always the animal that strays that gets picked off. That’s what the addict is looking for during the intervention: that one lone ranger who thinks they can save the day. Then it’s over.”
Jane structures the intervention in such a way that the different family members begin to feel like they are part of a greater good. During the first conference call, she invites everyone who is concerned about doing the intervention or has questions or information that might be helpful.
“When they get their questions answered and they feel their concerns are being heard and addressed, they start to become part of the fabric of this team,” she explains. “The intervention is as much about the families as the affected individual. They’re in as much crisis. When the client figures out the family is moving forward without them in a different way, they panic. They like the drama, the spinning plate routine. They are the masters of illusion, telling this half-truth to one family member, this lie to another. When the family aligns and confronts them in a firm but loving way and tells the addict we will do anything possible to support you in your wellness, but will no longer participate in your illness, it’s creates a powerful shift.”
With addiction, families often become enmeshed and co-dependent with the addict. During the intervention they must come to understand the difference between co-dependency and responsible relationships.
“I have a simple litmus test: are you a part of the problem or are you a part of the solution? This litmus test helps people redefine their relationships. They can ask themselves: What am I doing today? Am I moving somebody further away from their disease or allowing them to stay sick longer? This is often a huge revelation to people.”
Jane’s success rate in getting people into treatment is close to 98%.
“It’s very rare a person doesn’t go into treatment. It’s usually a certain profile, young, antisocial males, who are the most resistant,” Jane explains.
Jane recently launched 3IS, a training program for the Field Model of Intervention and the first online training program in the intervention and addiction fields accredited by the Association for Intervention Specialists Certification Board as well as The National Association for Addiction Professionals.
“I personally don’t believe that anyone who has not been trained should work as an interventionist with families. They need to adhere to some professional code of ethics. I ask those interventionists to further their education, take a training course, and become accountable. If they take it one more step and become a credentialed interventionist, they can become a real professional with credibility with major treatment centers. They become part of the greater good,” Jane says.
Jane lives this philosophy by continually improving her own training. She has a Master’s degree, and also holds the following credentials: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Board-Certified Professional Counselor (BCPC), and a Board Registered Interventionist (BRI-II).
To learn more about 3IS and online training in the Field Model of Intervention, visit http://www.3isonline.com. To learn more about Jane Mintz’s intervention practice, visit http://www.realifeinterventions.com