In a field increasingly filled with well-known personalities, interventionist Jeff VanVonderen may be one of the most prominent. One of the more popular interventionists on A&E’s Emmy award winning program Intervention, VanVonderen is also the author of six books on recovery and was a guest on Oprah, offering his insight on addiction and recovery. Still, despite his quasi-celebrity status, the Wisconsin-based VanVonderen, who works independently, takes great pains to distance himself from being thought of as merely a television-interventionist and even notes on his website that family members of potential clients should avoid letting them see the show before hiring him. With over 35 years in the addiction field, VanVonderen is a certified intervention professional who has worked as a counselor and consultant for multiple rehab facilities and is trained to offer dual diagnosis care in addiction to addressing eating disorders, sex and gambling addictions.
A Wisconsin native, VanVonderen first got sober in his early 20s and soon after began dedicating his work to recovery, primarily in the Twin Cities. VanVondergen was an extended adjunct instructor at Bethel College in St. Paul, was a part of the Senior Leadership Staff at the Church of the Open Door in Minneapolis for over 15 years and founded Passages Counseling Center, a licensed outpatient mental health clinic in Minneapolis.
While his Christian faith is a clear influence on his work, VanVonderen also offers a separate program that addresses “spiritual abuse” guiding clients toward a renewed relationship with spirituality. VanVondergen makes sure to tailor his approach to the specific families and clients he works with. Thus, VanVondergen’s typical method is a traditional two-day intervention. This involves one day of planning and training with the family members and other loved ones as they determine the best way approach and plan for the client. The second day involves the actual intervention, with the goal being admission into treatment and detox when needed. Though VanVonderen works independently, based on his wealth of experience, he can offer referrals to various facilities and also provides transportation to treatment when needed. VanVonderen also provides two-day intensive consultations, which involves a small group experience with members of a relationship system (i.e. family, church or place of employment) and includes training and interaction, and a diagnostic and referral process, designed to move the members of the system toward a place of recovery.
Post-Intervention & In Summary
VanVonderen places a clear emphasis on treatment and continuing recovery in all of his services, believing in the disease model of addiction and that mere abstinence is not the goal. Whether it be helping them secure a 12-step foundation or develop a deeper religious or spiritual life, VanVonderen maintains long-term contact with his clients and also offers workshops for clients and families who have already begun the journey of long-term recovery. While he may be best known to many as a face of intervention on their television screens, VanVonderen’s long history of work in the recovery field should serve as a more qualified endorsement to those in need of interventionist services.
PO Box 1048
Hayward, WI 54843
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