February 5, 2018

Dragonfly Interventions Introduction





As an Independent Addictions and Dual Diagnosis Consultant I can assist Individuals, families and businesses (Human Resources) in their own environment anywhere in the World who are experiencing addiction and mental health related issues (such as depression) that are causing concern among family, friends, partners or colleagues.

I would travel to your location and meet with the individual, family or business representative/s who are concerned about someone’s behaviour and possible addiction related problems. We can discuss the client’s recent behaviours and attitude, your observations and expectations, gather general background information about the client and then I can start to make a more informed decision regarding the best way forward for this particular client.

Even though clients can present fairly similar signs and symptoms such as depression, anger, anxiety, disorientation, confusion or are uncooperative, I take into account that each client may well be suffering from unresolved traumas (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which can promote strong internal feelings of self-hatred and resentments. Many clients also have pre-morbid undiagnosed/misdiagnosed psychiatric conditions such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) which could contribute towards the clients need to anesthetize themselves. Regardless of any similarities in presentation, each client is unique and will require individualised attention that is specific to their immediate psychological needs in appropriately addressing their malady.

I have working relationships with psychiatrists and psychologists, particularly in Africa, Europe and The Middle East who can assist if necessary with clients more immediate medical and psychological needs. A formal psychiatric diagnosis is not a priority during the ‘intervention stage’ as reality dictates that a client needs to be ‘clean’ from all mind-altering substances for 3 to 6 months before a diagnosis can be made. My goal is rather to ‘steer’ the client into a place of safety such as a hospital for acute withdrawals for example or into addiction treatment so as they can receive daily professional assistance in starting to better understand their situation.

The addict (a person with an addiction related problem) may well be unwilling, at first to engage in my services and so I would assist the family or business in creating an ‘intervention’ whereby we approach the client as a concerned group and help them to get a better understanding of how their behaviour is negatively impacting those around them. This process works very well and rarely needs to be repeated. Alternatively, I can counsel the client privately and build up a therapeutic alliance.

I am very aware that some clients can behave in an anti-social manner which could be due to mental health disorders, excessive stress or through shame, fear and guilt feelings. Dealing with a client of this nature takes patience as an element of trust needs to be developed utilizing supportive therapeutic strategies and techniques that will assist the client in becoming more coherent and rational.

My services include arranging residential treatment for the client in the country of origin or possibly in another country if agreeable to all parties concerned. Even though I own an Addictions and Mental Health Disorder Treatment Centre in South Africa I fully appreciate that this might not be an acceptable option for certain clients and their families.

Addiction, in whatever form destroys an individuals morals, principles and an ability to function effectively leaving family, friends and colleagues feeling hopeless, helpless and can become preoccupied about what to do next!

‘Unresolved trauma’ is common with people suffering from an addiction or psychological disorder:

‘Everyone has varying degrees of trauma in their life and individuals respond to trauma in different ways. What is traumatic to one person may not seem so traumatic to another! An example could be; the loss of a family pet where some family members are visibly traumatised, and others may seem unruffled. The interesting thing is that the ‘unruffled’ person could actually be traumatised but keeps it hidden from others! Depending on the person and their ability to handle traumatic situations, these experiences can promote the ‘shivers’ when re-living the incident to panic attacks or even debilitating fear that could promote a highly depressed or catatonic state (the body shuts down). Similar to depression, trauma can lead to self-medication (prescription or black market) to numb the painful feelings, dilute the reality of the situation which in turn can lead to other addictions and highly destructive behaviours’.

As a UK Accredited Addictions Therapist with over 22 years continuous recovery from alcohol, drugs, gambling and codependency I can literally ‘hold’ everyone’s hand and walk them through together in challenging what they thought could not be challenged gradually making what seemed impossible-possible!

David Briskham HND, NCAC, FDAP-UK

+27(0)828 633 159

+27(0)44 533 6821


Read more >> What is an intervention?