Stephen didn’t always know he wanted to be an interventionist and help people change their lives. He originally pursued a career as a professional musician, receiving an undergraduate degree from the Johns Hopkins University and a graduate degree from the University of Cincinnati. By his junior year in college he outwardly seemed to have it all. He was principal clarinetist, had a girlfriend and lived in a great apartment. However, Stephen heavily relied on alcohol, drugs and partying to cope with the rigors of music school. Stephen realized, just shortly after his 21st birthday, that if he continued down the path of substance abuse things would not end well. This insight, along with the help he received from many people, enabled him to stop partying, focus on personal growth and ultimately change his life.
After graduate school, Stephen realized that the time he had spent in therapy for his unhealthy habits had really changed him and a new passion had been sparked: helping others find recovery from substance use and mental health disorders.
Stephen studied Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) under David Burns, MD, the famed author of Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy who also invented TEAM Therapy, an advanced form of CBT. Stephen is the first Interventionist to achieve Level 3 certification as a TEAM therapist. He has also received certifications from the founders of ARISE Intervention, Systemic Family Intervention and most recently the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals. Stephen is a member of the Network of Independent Interventionists, as well as the Association of Intervention Specialists.
Stephen considers his recovery and his opportunities to work with others the biggest gifts of his life, and he is passionate to share his experiences and the skills he has learned with others.
Many people think that someone suffering from addiction must hit rock bottom to be truly ready to get better. This notion is flat-out false and is an unfortunate myth that keeps many people stuck in a negative and potentially life-threatening situation. Stephen is committed to helping any person affected by addiction, which most emphatically includes those who aren’t necessarily at their lowest point, but who are definitely in a gray zone. They aren’t about to die, but they know they need to change nonetheless. Stephen believes that the sooner someone gets help, the more likely that person will be able to have a full, healthy, and productive life. Start that journey with him today.
SF Intervention highly suggests that you review the following administrative policies before contacting us. A clear understanding of these arrangements will help make our work together as rewarding and successful as it can be. If anything seems confusing or unfair, please feel free to discuss your concerns at your first appointment. We will be quite happy to review any of these topics with you and answer any questions you may have.
SF Intervention’s goal is to provide it’s clients with the highest degree of confidentiality possible. Feeling safe to talk about what is most important to you is necessary for growth and recovery. For these reasons, SF Intervention will not provide information about our work together to others without your permission. However, there are a few situations SF Intervention may be required by law to disclose information to proper authorities. These include imminent threats of suicide, violence or homicide, as well as any pattern of child or senior citizen abuse that may be revealed or that SF Intervention may become aware of as we work together.
SF Intervention requires a 48-hour notification to cancel a session for any reason. If you provide this advance notice, you will not be charged for the missed session. If SF Intervention does not receive a 48-hour notification, you will be charged for the missed session. If SF Intervention needs to cancel an appointment, you will not be charged.
Life threatening Emergency
SF Intervention is not an emergency service provider. For situations where there is any threat of harm or a medical emergency you will need to call 911. It may be necessary to go to an emergency room to receive professional evaluation and treatment on an urgent basis.
For situations that are not medical emergencies or life threatening
For non-urgent matters, SF Intervention can schedule an extra session(s) or a special telephone consultation at SF Intervention’s normal fee. This will be prorated depending on the length of the call. If you think you may need to call frequently, please discuss this at the initial session. If SF Intervention is unable to meet your needs for regular phone calls and check-ins, SF Intervention may recommend a higher level of care.
Emails and Text Messages
With the exception of sending administrative paperwork and homework assignments, SF Intervention does not exchange texts or emails with clients as these are not secure forms of communication for confidential clinical information.
SF Intervention is not currently on any insurance panels and is considered an out-of-network provider. SF Intervention does not contract or negotiate with any insurance companies. This means that payment is due in full before or at the time of the appointment.
While SF Intervention will provide a list of recommended treatment providers, the choice of a provider is ultimately the sole responsibility of the client. It is also the client’s responsibility to make proper financial arrangements with the chosen treatment provider and to ensure that bed availability and all related travel plans and contingencies are resolved and in place prior to treatment entry.
“My story may be a little different: Having intimate personal knowledge of addiction myself, I knew that my son (20 at the time) was heading in that direction (smoking pot all the time) but did not yet have the kind of consequences that sometimes result in a cry for help. I met with Stephen who told me that I had many options to meet the situation effectively. Stephen never forced the issue but nor did he shy away from it, always stressing personal accountability. To my shock, with very little fanfare, my son became sober over 9 months ago and has embraced the process of recovery and rigorous honesty. Without question, the work with Stephen established a foundation for his willingness to change. I whole-heartedly endorse Stephen and San Francisco Intervention.”
“We met Stephen while our family was in the midst of a mental health and substance abuse crisis. We questioned our ability to convince our loved one to accept treatment and needed guidance navigating the numerous options for rehab facilities. Stephen brought compassion, expertise and professionalism to guide us through challenging times. Stephen has a proven methodology, is well organized and was extremely patient with us. During the process of our work together we learned a lot about ourselves and how to establish healthy boundaries. Most importantly, our family now has a plan for healing and our loved one is safe in a treatment facility doing the work to recover and change his life for the better.”
“I was under the impression that I was in control of every aspect of my life including how much alcohol I could handle. After a failed marriage, a lack luster attempt at a 12-Step program and multiple embarrassing public episodes, I came to realization that alcohol was the one in control and if I wanted to get control back I would need help. I was relieved to learn there are many options available to those suffering from addiction. I definitely needed help navigating those options and deciding on what would be the most effective for my situation. Stephen was incredibly knowledgeable and has extensive experience in addiction techniques, programs and therapies. After a long discussion we decided that an intensive workshop would be a great start to my journey of recovery. Our sessions together uncovered many aspects and issues about me and gave me a clear understanding of why I was suffering and how I could work to get back my life. Thanks to Stephen I’ve been sober for over a year and half and have never felt better physically, mentally and emotionally.”
“Despite being professionals ourselves (a MD, and PhD in Clinical Psychology) we were feeling helpless in the face of our beloved adult son’s descent into stimulant addiction. We and our son’s three adult siblings were discouraged and not on the same page about how to help him. We were recommended to Stephen at SF Interventions by an experienced therapist who had heard him speak at one of her professional group meetings. Stephen is a very astute listener and communicator, and quickly was able to help us hone in on a more effective unified approach, thus reducing family conflict and anxiety. His rational and calm approach really helped us to mitigate the fragmentation, blaming, and manipulations that the family of an addict experiences. Stephen helped us organize an intervention, with clear guidelines about how to set healthy boundaries which we each needed while articulating our love and concern. He facilitated the intervention with our son and the rest of the immediate family, and was caring, thoughtful, yet firm in the face of the high emotions that the occasion generated. The intervention did result in our son entering a treatment facility, and although he didn’t get clean then, the process and knowledge that had been imparted were critical to helping us navigate from there on. I’m happy to report that my son did enter another treatment program, and has now been clean for 9 months. We found Stephen very responsive, easy to communicate with, with a wealth of knowledge and resources, and would recommend him highly for helping deal with a loved one’s addiction.”