This wasn't just a substance abuse intervention; it was also a psychiatric intervention, and that's not Jeff's area. I think he did the best possible thing, as a clinician. He immediately realized that, in contrast to her calm, stable family, this girl was extremely volatile. He realized "oh, okay, we're not just dealing with a substance abuse problem here", and went into caution mode. Anything he said or did could have set her off, so the correct thing to do clinically was to sit back and gauge the person's behavior. It's like double-dutch jump rope--you gotta stand back for a minute and watch the ropes spin so you can know when and how to jump. Jump in blindly and you're on your ass.
Saying "will you let me care for you?", was a good tactic. Didn't work, but it was still the best thing he could have said clinically. Gentle, nurturing, capitalizing on her hunger for male attention. Being tough with her would do nothing--she's been literally beaten, she's had sex with hundreds of strangers for money, and the tough thing would not have cowed her. The session would have been over right then.
Huge, huge error to let the child in the room. Clinically, I can understand his thinking "hey, maybe this will keep the patient calmer". And it might have, who knew. That's the problem, because as a clinician you don't bring in any new variable without knowing what its effect will be. Too big a risk. Plus not okay, because it was a big trauma for the child. Huge, dramatic scene with your mother, who is then Taken Away...ay yi.
In sum, I'd say he had about as much control in that session as he could have had. It could have ended way worse.
The fact that she was already jonesing was a good thing, clinically. Bringing someone into an intervention when they're fiiiiiine doesn't usually work too well. They can't always pay attention, and don't relate to the pain of addiction when they're fixed up. (That is, after all, the whole problem.) Bring 'em in when they're hurting and it is easier to show them how their behavior hurts them.
Also, about how drugs/alcohol change one's behavior--no drug in the world can change a person's behavior this much. Drugs and alcohol may disinhibit, may create the need for theft or prostitution, and those experiences can change a person, drugs may distort various aspects of a person's behavior or personality, but they don't make you into someone else. Kristen in that session--that was Kristen. The worst parts of her, yes, but still her.
ETA that termination of parental rights protects the child. It doesn't mean the child can never see the parent again, it just means that the parent has far, far less ability to screw up the child's life. IMO, Kristen should have no rights whatsoever over Sadie. She can't be trusted with those rights.
Edited by rocketito, Jan 16, 2006 @ 1:27 PM.