Posts by Psychology Today Editors

The Cost of Sobriety

How helpful are interventions in getting people to give up alcohol or other substances of abuse? The data are clear. And such confrontational methods can have lingering negative effects. Read More

Confrontational methods are

Confrontational methods are practiced nowhere else? Ever hear of the military? And you've obviously never participated in a job performance review where serious problems had to be discussed. I agree that the substance abuse counseling field needs to be less confrontational than it normally has, but one can't always say "pretty please with sugar on top" either.

Actually performance reviews

Actually performance reviews are being tested and reported as being not at all that effective as of late. And as far as the military, it may have short term gains but if you look at all the problems veterans have, high suicide,high divorce rates, high levels of disagreeableness, might be a sign it really doesnt work long term either.

Humiliation never communicates caring.

The last sentence is the best!

Very well written and

Very well written and poignant explanation of the problem with interventions and some real solutions for a better way to communicate sobriety.

follow up


I hope you'll read my response to the article in question. I'd love to email or talk by phone if you have questions.

It's for the family, not the person with the problem

I think that families want their piece of flesh, and an intervention gives them that opportunity. The person with the problem can be verbally beaten to a pulp because they have it coming. To me this is the unspoken truth of interventions. We, as a society, just love getting even way too much.

Cost of Sobriety

Ms. Marano's musings are among the most unenlightened that I have ever seen in print! In addition to seemingly having very little understanding about the nature of addiction, she lacks even a basic understanding about intervention.

When done well (and most professional interventions are)an intervention is loving, supportive and offers a high degree of hope. Interventions are an effort to save a life or a family! They are not "gang-ups", "prejorative" and "humiliating" as she suggests.

It is Ms. Marano who is deluded. MI is an effective tool for therapy but many who suffer with the disease of addiction will never get to therapy without a loving and effective intervention!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may quote other posts using [quote] tags.

More information about formatting options

Hara Estroff Marano is Editor at Large of Psychology Today and author of A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting.


Subscribe to Brainstorm

Current Issue

Let It Go!

It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.