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What to Expect When you Stage an Intervention on a Loved One 13 Nov 2017

What to Expect When you Stage an Intervention on a Loved One

Watching a loved one go through addiction or substance abuse can be a very stressful and heart-wrenching endeavor for any family. Luckily, with the rise of more dangerous drugs and higher numbers of addiction rates, there are individuals and teams out there dedicated to helping facilitate interventions on those people of concern.

After speaking with a certified interventionist about the entire process, I have compiled some helpful guidelines here to help clear out any questions about how to find one, and how the process of staging an intervention will usually unfold.  

Finding an Interventionist

First things first, how to find an interventionist. The particular person I spoke with practices a certain modality of interventions called Arise, so this is primarily based off of the techniques and format that occur under that specific modality.

There is also the ever popular TV show, Intervention, that primarily uses the Johnson’s approach, which is more a forceful, surprise attack method on the person of concern. There are also other techniques, which are the Workplace Intervention (staged by coworkers), Crisis Interventions (when there is high risk of health concern or an issue that will involve family or friends), Family Interventions (this is pretty self-explanatory, and Arise falls into this category), and Youth Interventions (again, pretty self explanatory).

How to Go About Finding Your Interventionist

  • Primarily, Internet searches (be sure to look for the different types of licenses and certifications, as well as how much experience and any reviews), or you could ask your therapists or a local addiction counselor (can be found by contacting any local detox or hospitals in your area.)
  • Look up the specific style you desire (Johnson, Family, Youth, etc)
  • From this point, the interventionist will get a feel for what will best suit your needs, you will most likely fill out a sort of assessment that will give them a better understanding of the severity of the situation.
  • They will then start researching treatment programs that they think will best suit the needs of the person of concern. They will ensure that the facility has a bed available and that is within the means of the family
  • The interventionist will also provide counseling referrals, substance abuse education for the person and the family.

The Process Leading Up

  • A first meeting will be staged, with as many family members as possible in attendance. “The person of concern” will be invited as well to keep communication open (this is the Arise or the family method, so in other methods, the person of interest might not be invited, but family interventions usually try to keep the person as in the loop as possible)
  • What stage of treatment will be needed, IOP, vs 90 day, have they had sober time before, etc.
  • The family will, with the interventionist, discuss the process, learn about their parts in it, start to discuss what they will bring to the table during the intervention, and who will be able to attend on that date.  

family holding an intervention

The Process During

Again, this process will be different depending on the type of method that is being used here, but they are all generally the same, with a group of loved ones in attendance, and the emphasis on the effect of the person of concern’s using and the destruction of their behavior.

  • Many interventionists are aware of the family dynamic of addiction so the family method and youth method will often shift the focus towards the family system and their behavior patterns rather than “attacking” the singular person of concern.
  • The family will commit to also engaging in self-help techniques if necessary, i.e., therapy, Al-anon, not drinking around the person, not keeping alcohol in the house, etc.
  • Depending on the type of method, there will be multiple family meetings, during which time, the members of the loved ones will continue to learn about their own effects on that person and how many of their behaviors have or will enable or attribute to any potential relapses or breaks in boundaries for the person of concern.  
  • The topic of discussion will usually be educational, for example, how to set boundaries, the dangers of enabling, how to say no, and how to enforce all of this from a place of love and understanding rather than judgment or anger.
  • These meetings will continue to take place, with or without the person of concern, but each meeting will be summed up and communicated to the members in attendance, and with the person of concern.

The Reaction and the Process Afterward

  • First timers will usually present more pushback than people who have previously been to treatment.
  • The interventionist continues to work with the family while the person is in treatment.
  • The interventionist will help facilitate if there is a need for aftercare or sober living after the stint in treatment, and, along with the family, decide the best, and most feasible, options for the person of concern.

I researched multiple different modalities, companies, and statistics guides to identify the actual success rate of interventions, and have found the number to be largely the same across the board.

It seems that drug and alcohol interventions are 90% successful during the intervention, with the person of interest agreeing to seek help, and are 100% successful when the person of interest and family work together to follow all of the guidelines and suggestions given by the interventionist and with the treatment center afterward.

The hardest part for many families is admitting that they too may have played a role in the pattern of their loved ones behaviors, which is why it is so crucial that the family stay involved in programs such as Al-anon or receive frequent counseling from a family therapist. In order for the person of concern to work on themselves, it is vital for the family to improve themselves and their knowledge of addiction as well.

Freedom From Addiction

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism or addiction, understand that you are not alone in your struggles! If you are ready to change your life and finally be free of your addiction, then Holistic Recovery Centers can help. We can give you the jump start you need in order to experience the recovery you have always wanted. Our holistic programs are unique in that they don’t just treat the addiction, but rather they treat the whole person, so if you are interested in finding out more information, please do not hesitate to give us a call today at 1-877-723-7117.