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When and how to do an intervention

When and how to do an intervention
When and how to do an intervention
When and how to do an intervention

Addiction intervention:

When and how to do an intervention
Interventions & addiction: Do you have a friend or family member who is out of control and nothing seems to be working? What can you do or should you do to help them?

What is an intervention?
An intervention is a carefully planned confrontation designed to convince a loved one to get the professional help for the habit/addiction that he or she denies but which is destroying his/her life and the people around him/her.

What is an addiction?
Experts disagree on the exact definition of an addiction; an addiction can refer to a behavior where someone has become dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming.

Many experts believe that every compulsive behavior is an addiction stemming from a neurological or chemical impulse (for example narcotic drugs.)  Patrick Wanis PhD believes there are two aspects to an addiction – the physical addiction (such as a narcotic drug) and the emotional/psychological impulse or need that drives a person to begin the behavior or habit and then become dependent on it (the subconscious desire to escape a feeling or pain or the subconscious desire to create a new feeling or new reality.)

Patrick Wanis PhD does not believe that excessive or compulsive behavior such as sex is a physical or neurological addiction.

Dr. Wanis places destructive habit forming behaviors into two categories:

  1. Addiction is any behavior that is controlling and destroying your life but is driven by a chemical or neurological dependency
  2. Compulsive obsessive is any behavior that is controlling and destroying your life but is driven by a subconscious mental/emotional need or impulse

Patrick Wanis PhD has successfully helped people to overcome addictions and compulsive behaviors by primarily working on the subconscious motivation behind the addiction/behavior rather than focusing on treating the physical symptoms.

What are some typical addictions, compulsive or self-destructive behaviors?

  • Drugs
  • Compulsive gambling
  • Alcohol
  • Eating disorders
  • Self-mutilation (cutting)
  • Excessive use and dependency on porn, internet, television or video games
  • Excessive shopping/spending
  • Shoplifting
  • Crime
  • Excessive work
  • Excessive exercise

Watch the series of four TV interviews Patrick Wanis PhD gave about interventions and addiction and when and how to do an intervention:


When to do an intervention – Patrick Wanis PhD Pt.1

Interventions & addiction – Patrick Wanis PhD Pt. 2

Interventions – can you help? – Patrick Wanis PhD Pt. 3

Interventions – How to do an intervention – Patrick Wanis PhD Pt. 4

Read the article “Addiction overruling your relationship?” featuring insights, strategies and suggestions by Patrick Wanis PhD:

“Addictions are repetitive behaviors in the face of negative consequences, the desire to continue something you know is bad for you.” – Joseph Frascella, director of the division of clinical neuroscience at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA.)

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