Jeff Merrick

27 May Intervention plus Legal Representation = Holistic Recovery

Part One

Intervention in the old school sense used to rely heavily on tough love.  Families would gather at a pre-designated location and unbeknownst to the addict, surprise him or her with strict words and an ultimatum.  The sole focus was to get the addict into treatment and away from the family.  The more co-dependent a family, the more the need to separate them.  But things have changed – for the better.

I sat down with attorney, Jeff Merrick, last week in Larchmont Village and discussed the “new, more powerful intervention” – a systems approach that addresses the family’s behavior, specifically co-dependency.  It is an invitation for the entire family to join together for their loved one, getting them to be accountable to each other in order that they can all move towards change in unison.  I discovered what makes Jeff tick, what he’s passionate about and how he’s helping families who struggle with addiction issues transform their lives.  I received so much valuable information from Jeff and found this topic so fascinating and relevant that I decided this would be Part 1 in a series covering Intervention and Legal Defense.

Jeff Merrick is a former big firm litigator whose work is now as an interventionist as well as an attorney and advocate.  He lived in a world that emphasized winning at any cost, rationalizing behavior after it happens and rewarding people for behavior that wouldn’t be tolerated on the playground.  “It’s very alcoholic that way, litigation,” says Jeff who understands this well because he is also an alcoholic in recovery.  “In todays big law firm, arguing about people’s money and their businesses and the contentious nature of litigation, although I was good at it, it was my lowest self.  I can be a talented arguer; I can be all about the argument and the rationalization, I am also an alcoholic.  What I really have to keep myself in check on is what brings me joy.”  Being able to align his recovering self with his lawyering self is his joy.

Jeff has helped to create a holistic approach to intervention by partnering with the court, with probation, with other professionals, treatment providers, court services, and today’s treatment center. He is able to bring into collaboration with a client, all these moving parts and establish a solution that is not just one-sided.  While his client is in treatment, the family has their own recovery and as they are able to have some space from the problem, they naturally become attached to the solution.

The solution is something Jeff speaks about repeatedly.  He believes that where intervention is concerned, it is of maximum importance that the addict is given the solution in the form of treatment, but that they also understand the problem and that they understand that the people who love them are no longer willing to be manipulated.  This will be expressed on the day of the intervention.  Family and friends will express their pain, their sorrow, but they will also express their resolve – that it’s not going to be business as usual any longer.

Through partnering with the renowned clinician, Dr. Louise Stanger, Jeff has implemented “change agreements” with accountability team meetings designed to move the family system forward.  “If that system doesn’t move forward it’s going to defeat treatment and recovery.” Jeff describes it as being akin to going into a using environment that hasn’t changed – it’s going to be too much for those in early recovery.  The system remains stagnant, the addict eventually relapses and it’s business as usual with them once again.

Additionally, avoiding the old school dialogue is a component of the new, powerful intervention.  It used to be, “How many days am I in?  I’m only doing 30.”  “No, you’re doing 90.”  Jeff’s experience has shown him that if a family agrees to 90, they won’t get a day over 90!  For some addicts this is an adequate start but they will still need a year of some kind of treatment.  What Jeff is recommending now is instead of getting into the dialogue dance as a family, they say, “You’re going to be there as long as clinically advisable and we’re not going to have a conversation about what’s less and we’re not doing the bare minimum when it’s a disease that wants your life.”

Jeff’s work in intervention is about showing families that this is not less love, it’s loving from a really deep level, a place that says we are not willing to do business as usual.  We’re not willing to play by your rules.

Continue to follow our blog for Part Two of Jeff’s interview. For more information on Jeff Merrick and his services, please visit his website www.attorneymerrick.com.



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Happy 5 years sober to Matt L! What a huge milestone - guess getting #soberyoung is possible!

I am extremely grateful for the window of opportunity I had to get sober. 5 years is a huge accomplishment, and I couldnt have done it without the support of family and friends. I want to thank New Life House, AA, and God, for guiding me along this journey. Thank you for my life!

#newlifehouse #realrecovery

Happy 5 years sober to Matt L! What a huge milestone - guess getting #soberyoung is possible!

"I am extremely grateful for the window of opportunity I had to get sober. 5 years is a huge accomplishment, and I couldn't have done it without the support of family and friends. I want to thank New Life House, AA, and God, for guiding me along this journey. Thank you for my life!"

#newlifehouse #realrecovery
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Shawna De HoffSo proud of you Cuz!!!! xoxoxoxo 💛🙌🏼

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Sonya PhillipsCongrats😄🎉😉🎊😘😇🌺🎊😉🎉😄

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Marlene Rodriguez KatriadakisCongratulations

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Lori KroenerCongratulations Matt ,

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Ashley LeeSo proud of you Matthew Gregory Lee

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Happy 9 years sober to Cody K!

When my parents stumbled upon New Life, everything changed. Prior to that fateful day in July of 2007, my life was in total disarray.  I was a hazard to myself and a shell of a man. After a couple of failed attempts at sobriety, I walked into 2809 Artesia and knew this time would be different. With all of the help from Mike and the gang, things started to change. I started to become healthy, happy and free from the prison I’d been locked away in for so long. It was not easy and will forever be one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do but make no mistake, this has been the single greatest triumph in my life. Thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous and my brothers in the house, I’ve become the person I never thought I could be - a loving son, a trustworthy brother and a true friend to those around me. I’ll forever be grateful for the help that had been so freely given to me.  For those of you still fighting the good fight, keep at it!  You’ll find peace and your life will grow beyond your wildest dreams.

#newlifehouse #realrecovery #youngandsober #hope #family

Happy 9 years sober to Cody K!

"When my parents stumbled upon New Life, everything changed. Prior to that fateful day in July of 2007, my life was in total disarray. I was a hazard to myself and a shell of a man. After a couple of failed attempts at sobriety, I walked into 2809 Artesia and knew this time would be different. With all of the help from Mike and the gang, things started to change. I started to become healthy, happy and free from the prison I’d been locked away in for so long. It was not easy and will forever be one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do but make no mistake, this has been the single greatest triumph in my life. Thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous and my brothers in the house, I’ve become the person I never thought I could be - a loving son, a trustworthy brother and a true friend to those around me. I’ll forever be grateful for the help that had been so freely given to me. For those of you still fighting the good fight, keep at it! You’ll find peace and your life will grow beyond your wildest dreams."

#newlifehouse #realrecovery #youngandsober #hope #family
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Krysti LynnThank you New life house! We are grateful for your help and Cody's strength to have him here healthy & strong 🙂

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Josh FeldmanWhat a crew that was. Happy birthday Cody Kehl

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Sonya PhillipsCongrats😄🎉😉🎊😘😇🌺🎊😉🎉😄

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Sebastian MartinHuge fan!

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Karen Ann Beaumont9 years of sobriety how truly wonderful for you. Mike & everyone working he has working for him then & now do work miracles, they touch lives in such a way that if the guy is willing he will see the light & become the man he is meant to be. I am so glad for you that you were willing & pray you always will be. Take care & God bless.

19 hours ago
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Tammy LoweOh thank god your a miracle life is good

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Happy 3 years sober to Grant K!

New Life House has blessed me in many ways. It has provided me with true friends who I am proud to call my brothers, reestablished my relationship with my family, and has given me the opportunity to be a functioning member of society. I am a changed man because of the guidance that New Life House has provided me with. I was on the verge of death before entering New Life, but my life has taken a 180, and am proud to say that I have a bright future. Much love to everyone who has played a part in making these three years possible!

#newlifehouse #realrecovery #family #gratitude #youngandsober

Happy 3 years sober to Grant K!

"New Life House has blessed me in many ways. It has provided me with true friends who I am proud to call my brothers, reestablished my relationship with my family, and has given me the opportunity to be a functioning member of society. I am a changed man because of the guidance that New Life House has provided me with. I was on the verge of death before entering New Life, but my life has taken a 180, and am proud to say that I have a bright future. Much love to everyone who has played a part in making these three years possible!"

#newlifehouse #realrecovery #family #gratitude #youngandsober
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Jeannie Lynn Peters-PesnerSo happy to read your post as you are an amazing man that will do great things in your life. Your friends and family love and care about u so very much and are very proud of you. Big hugs to you sweet grant

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Robyn Watkin MangerCongrats Grant ! So happy for you , God bless :)

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Christine HartmanCongratulations Grant!

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Leslie Mann KelleyWe are so proud of the man you have become. You have so much to offer this world. Love always! xo

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Sonya PhillipsCongrats😄🎉😉🎊😘😇🌺🌺😇🎊😉🎉😄😄😄

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John Y and Conner L had a blast in Catalina enjoying the sunshine and water!

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John Y and Conner L had a blast in Catalina enjoying the sunshine and water!

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Mary Ehrgood💚💛💙❤️😊

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Cory and Dillon checking in from their #eurotrip !

Have a great time guys, were looking forward to more shots of your adventures!

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Cory and Dillon checking in from their #eurotrip !

Have a great time guys, we're looking forward to more shots of your adventures!

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Roberta Lenner LermanSo sweet! Have a wonderful time!

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Celia PortillaBoth of you look great. God Bless!

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Michele Baker HagstromHave fun.

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Katherine Norman HinschLivin the dream!

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Congratulations on 11 years sober to Anthony B! We wish you and your new wife a long and happy marriage!

11 Years sober, well my ego tells me that this isnt one of the big milestones - that I have to wait for 15, or 20 years to really celebrate. My heart however, feels blessed to be sober for another day, and another year. New Life House set the foundation of my recovery, and demonstrated how working the 12 steps in AA could change my life, and wow, what a change. This year has been challenging to say the least, moving to Santa Barbara, starting a business, changing careers, getting married, but one day at a time I can stay sober through anything! Thank you to New Life for all that they did, and all that they do!

#newlifehouse #realrecovery #family #growth #gratitude

Congratulations on 11 years sober to Anthony B! We wish you and your new wife a long and happy marriage!

"11 Years sober, well my ego tells me that this isn't one of the big milestones - that I have to wait for 15, or 20 years to really celebrate. My heart however, feels blessed to be sober for another day, and another year. New Life House set the foundation of my recovery, and demonstrated how working the 12 steps in AA could change my life, and wow, what a change. This year has been challenging to say the least, moving to Santa Barbara, starting a business, changing careers, getting married, but one day at a time I can stay sober through anything! Thank you to New Life for all that they did, and all that they do!"

#newlifehouse #realrecovery #family #growth #gratitude
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Cheryl BarbariaCongrats my son! So proud of you and happy for you! You keep your eye on the ball and don't lose sight!

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Elizabeth SmithWishing you continued success to enjoy your life & sharing happiness with all those you love!

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Julie HuffCongratulations Anthony Barbaria you are a wonder(ful) example of how to overcome ourselves!

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Carol ChampagneCongratulations...Every day offers a new reason to celebrate....You should be so proud, 11 years is simply wonderful.

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Mardi FolksBest wishes Anthony! Thank you for all you passed on to those who followed at NL. Keep coming back.

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Wendy Ellis BarbariaEvery day is such an accomplishment!!! Congrats dear Anthony!!! Xoxoxo

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Frank CortezeSo proud of you nephew 11 years that is awesome

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Elizabeth SmithWishing you continued success to enjoy

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Art CarrilloCongrats Anthony!!

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Cody HuffCongrats Anthony Barbaria proud of you cuzzo!!

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Happy 2 years sober to Jack B! The best is yet to come!

New Life House is the greatest thing to ever happen to me. Its where I gained a working knowledge of AA and the 12 Steps. I understand what it means to be a son, brother, uncle and friend. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for a part of New Life House.

#newlifehouse #realrecovery #family #brotherhood #fellowship #community

Happy 2 years sober to Jack B! The best is yet to come!

"New Life House is the greatest thing to ever happen to me. It's where I gained a working knowledge of AA and the 12 Steps. I understand what it means to be a son, brother, uncle and friend. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for a part of New Life House."

#newlifehouse #realrecovery #family #brotherhood #fellowship #community
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Howard BarkerCongratulations Jack! Really proud of you and the great dude you've become.

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Carole Castro ShirreffsCongrats Jack! Wishing you many more years and blessings!

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Scott DohrenYou're a great example of service and what the program represents, congrats brother.

2 weeks ago   ·  1
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Carol ChampagneCongratulations!!!

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Celia Portillacongratulations Jack!!

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Sonya PhillipsCongrats😄🎉😉🎊😘😇🌺😄😄😄

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Congratulations on 4 years sober to Alan M! 

4 years ago my life was heading nowhere, my family had had it with me, and I had run out of options. And then the solution came...in the form of a house, a loving community, and a life I never thought possible. It is thanks to my family, all of the people who have helped me along the way, and New Life House for giving me the roadmap and the tools I need to succeed in life.

#newlifehouse #realrecovery #youngandsober #newlifealumni

Congratulations on 4 years sober to Alan M!

"4 years ago my life was heading nowhere, my family had had it with me, and I had run out of options. And then the solution came...in the form of a house, a loving community, and a life I never thought possible. It is thanks to my family, all of the people who have helped me along the way, and New Life House for giving me the roadmap and the tools I need to succeed in life."

#newlifehouse #realrecovery #youngandsober #newlifealumni
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Gina Tafarella RembertCongratulations Alan!

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Cheryl DobbsAmen

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Kristen Victor🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽

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Mardi FolksSo happy for you Alan. Keep coming back!

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