What exactly is an intervention, what are the different methods used, do they work, and how do you know if it could benefit someone you love? We are going to take a closer look at these frequently asked questions, and provide some answers to hopefully help clarify this widely used approach to getting alcoholics and addicts help. An intervention is an attempt by loved ones to get help for someone who is resistant to seeking treatment for an addiction, mental health issue, or someone engaging in self-destructive behaviors. Generally, loved ones connect with a qualified professional in the field of addiction, who then leads a formal and structured meeting to facilitate getting this suffering individual help. When the family feels like they have tried everything, interventions can often be a way to ensure one last offer to provide their loved one with an opportunity for healing and change. Older methods of intervention focused solely on the person with the addiction, and getting them help. Today however, they tend to focus on providing help and support for the entire family and support system. Focusing on “addiction as a family disease” has since become a more prevalent and successful treatment route. Today there are two forms of interventions: surprise and invitational; invitational is most favored, but not always an option. Interventionists try to keep the process as warm, loving, and respectful as possible, while really focusing on the love and concern towards the family member suffering. Keeping the family focused on the addicted person’s strengths and resiliency usually breeds the most success with getting them on board, and to treatment.
Selecting an interventionist or facilitator can be tricky, you want to make sure the person is truly qualified, and will adhere to all ethical guidelines. Below we will provide a link for a network of independent interventionists. The next things to consider are whether or not your loved one needs an intervention, are they in a place to receive the intervention well, and if they are, are they going to be open to how it can help them. If your loved one struggles with alcoholism, drug addiction, a mental health issue, an eating disorder, or any other form of compulsive behavior that is making their lives endangered and unmanageable. If you have tried to talk to this family member about the issue, and they either avoid the topic, or refuse to address it as a problem it is time to do your research and find an appropriate professional to help. If your loved one has sought treatment before, maybe more than once, and is again struggling and perhaps even worse this time, they too can be receptive and benefit from an intervention. Once you begin contacting potential interventionists make sure to check their education level, professional credentials/ accreditations, licenses, etc. and if you have trouble with this always feel free to contact treatment centers for guidance and possible referrals.
If the intervention is not received well, and your loved one refuses treatment, there is support for that too. Check out the link below on finding an interventionist, or visit the Haven website for residential treatment information.