Apr 16, 2009 – Interventions

In treatment, we’re taught to figure out what our interventions are. What things can we do that will help us to not reoffend? And we must delegate which of those interventions are long term and short term. Long term meaning behavior changes that are effective over a lifetime. Short term meaning in the moment. There are many factors that contribute and lead up to offending. This is referred to as a cycle. Anything within the cycle should be taken seriously and addressed as soon as possible, since it can lead to the next step in the cycle and eventually to offending. Depression is a common factor in cycles. A lot of the men I went through therapy with suffered from depression and low self-esteem long before they offended. I was no different. So, my long term interventions for depression and low esteem are things like, keeping a healthy lifestyle, keeping loved ones close by, staying busy, be social, be pro active, etc. The panic attack I had a couple of days ago was the first chance I had to really use my interventions. After a time of fear and catastrophizing, I pulled myself out of bed and had lunch with a good friend. He could tell something was wrong. I wasn’t upbeat. I wasn’t making eye contact. I was still scared and even ashamed. But I knew I was in a good place by going out to eat with him. So we talked. I told him what had happened. He was surprised that I went through such a mental and emotional episode as that. It wasn’t like me. He reinforced his opinions of me as a good person. He reminded me of where I came from and what I used to be and how far I’ve come. He’s a good friend. Keeping loved ones close by. It’s a good intervention, obviously. I left the restaurant feeling so much better.

This is a good example as to why it’s important to support those who need supporting. I’m just as unsavory as some of the men I did time with in prison because of my crime of conviction. A lot of people wouldn’t think twice about helping someone like me. And that’s their right. But don’t be surprised when men and women fail when they’re released back into society after prison. Not every time, but a lot of times, it’s because they just can’t catch a break from someone who is willing to encourage them and help them.

If I didn’t have the family and friends that love me, the ministry that’s supporting me, and the faith that strengthens me, I would no doubt be living on the streets or cycling back through the justice system because I violated my probation somehow. And I’d be just another “I told ya so” statistic proving once again that criminals don’t change.

Well, I wasn’t a career criminal, but I have changed. All the behaviors and opinions I had before I offended are gone now. And my long list of interventions will help keep them gone.

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