What is an Interventionist?

Interventionist

An interventionist is a professional that simultaneously meets up with a person suffering from addiction and that person’s family. Interventionists can come in the form of a social worker or a licensed alcohol and drug counselor. Interventionists can also come in the form of a psychologist, a psychiatrist, or a professional interventionist. 

One goal of an interventionist is to restructure the dynamics of a family with someone in it suffering from addiction. Another goal of an interventionist is to motivate the person suffering from addiction to receive treatment. 

When consulting an interventionist, it is important to let the interventionist take the lead on the intervention. This is because the interventionist will know more about how to get a person with an addiction to receive treatment.

To truly learn what is an interventionist, you have to first learn what an intervention is.

What is an Intervention?

An intervention is when an interventionist and the family/friends of a person suffering from addiction confront the person with addiction. An interventionist confrontation is about the consequences that will occur if the person with the addiction does not receive treatment. 

Steps for Conducting an Intervention

1. Make a Plan

When conducting an intervention, you need to first make a planning group. This planning group should consist of the family members and friends of the person with the addiction. The purpose of the planning group is to decide how, where, and when the intervention is going to take place. The planning group should contact an interventionist for assistance.

2. Gather Information

To give an intervention, you need to do research on the type of addiction that the person receiving the intervention has. To do so you must research the symptoms, conditions, and treatments of the addiction. That way you will know what treatment centers to look for. 

3. Create an Intervention Team

Your intervention team should be the group of people that are holding the intervention. This team should also focus on solving any problems that come up prior to the intervention.

4. Choose Specific Consequences

You and your fellow family members and friends should each have a list of consequences ready to unleash if your loved one does not seek treatment. Having such consequences will show the person with the addiction that you will no longer allow his or her addiction to control your life. 

5. Take Notes 

Prior to your intervention, take note of all the ways that your loved one’s actions have hurt you. You can read these notes directly to your loved one during the intervention.

6. Hold the Intervention Meeting

When performing an intervention, you must first express your concerns and feelings to your loved one with the addiction. You then need to present a treatment option to him or her. If he or she does not accept the treatment option, you must tell your loved one what the consequence will be. 

7. Follow Up

Once the intervention is complete, you all should continue to go to counseling. In fact, counseling should continue even if the person with the addiction goes to get treatment. 

How Interventionists Help Loved Ones Decide to Seek Treatment

Prior to the intervention, an interventionist will make preparations with the family/friends of the person receiving the intervention. These preparations will include helping the family/friends choose a treatment center that they can afford. These preparations will also include educating the family/friends on how to stop enabling the person with the addiction. 

The interventionist will then schedule a time with the family and friends for the actual intervention to occur. On the day of the actual intervention, the interventionist will walk through everything that everyone is going to say. 

During the intervention, the interventionist will get the family/friends of the person with the addiction to transfer the responsibility of getting clean from them to the person with the addiction. The interventionist will then make the family/friends provide the terms for when the person with addiction must get clean. If the person with the addiction does not follow these terms, he or she will receive consequences. 

Hopefully, the person with the addiction will decide to seek treatment under his or her family members’ and friends’ terms. Throughout all of this, the interventionist will provide everyone involved with counseling. 

More often than not, people with addiction are craving for their family members to help them get better. Because interventionists are aware of this, they know that a proper intervention will make people with addiction seek treatment.  

What Interventionists Do Before An Intervention

Before an intervention, interventionists will cater to the needs of the family members. 

They will do this by preparing the family/friends of the person with addiction for what is to come. The interventionists will also try to repair unhealthy dynamics between the person with the addiction and his or her family members. 

Interventionists will also look at affordable treatment centers with the family/friends of the person with the addiction prior to an intervention. Interventionists will even consider the income and insurance of the families when showing them treatment centers.

What Interventionists Do During An Intervention

During an intervention, interventionists will take the lead on running the intervention. Doing so will take some stress off of the family members and friends of the person with the addiction. 

Taking the lead on the intervention will also help the family/friends just focus on the things they need to say. In fact, it is during this time that interventionists will reiterate what the family/friends need to say and do. 

What Interventionists Do After An Intervention

After an intervention, interventionists will continue educating and counseling the family of the person that sought out addiction treatment. Interventionists will also guide the family/friends on what to do once their loved one comes back from treatment. Interventionists will even guide family/friends on what to do if their loved one comes back without completing treatment.  

It is also during this time that interventionists will help the family members and friends of the person in recovery discover a healthy way to operate without addiction being a part of their lives. 

Who Should Be Involved in the Intervention

Your intervention team should have around four to six people in it. Only people that the person with the addiction loves, respects, and likes should be a part of the intervention team. For example, close adult relatives and best friends of the person with the addiction would make great intervention team members.

Who Should Not Be Involved in the Intervention

There should not be anyone on the intervention team that the person with the addiction does not like or respect. Having people that the person with the addiction does not like or respect on your intervention team will make that person resist any advice that you give him or her. You should also not include people with poor mental health or substance use problems in your intervention team.

How to Find a Good Interventionist

Having a good interventionist can be the difference between your intervention running smoothly and it going horribly wrong. To ensure that the interventionist that you choose is the right one for you, follow our tips on finding a good interventionist.

1. Make Sure the Interventionist Has Credentials

To ensure that your interventionist is legit, choose one that is educated and certified in addiction interventions. You can collect information on the professional licenses and certifications of interventionists through certain professional organizations. Two of these organizations are The Network of Independent Interventionists (NII) and the Association of Intervention Specialists (AIS). 

2. Make Sure Your Interventionist is Knowledgeable on Interventionist Styles and Trends

On top of having credentials, you should make sure that your interventionist is knowledgeable on the recent interventionist trends. There are some intervention style models that an interventionist that would work well with people that suffer from addiction would be knowledgeable on. These models include the Johnson Model, the Motivational Interviewing Model, and the ARISE model. 

A good addiction interventionist should also have extensive knowledge about co-occurring disorders and mental illness. This is important because many people that suffer from addiction also suffer from mental illness. 

3. Make Sure Your Interventionist Has Valuable Work Experience

You should look into the amount of work experience that your prospective interventionist has with people that suffer from addiction. To see if an interventionist has been successful in the past, check online for referrals and reviews. You can even check to see if he or she has a connection with any addiction treatment centers. 

You should also see if your prospective interventionist has experience with intervention teams that have dynamics similar to yours. For example, if your intervention team is filled with your loved one’s broken family members, it could be good for your interventionist to have experience working with broken families. 

4. Make Sure That The Interventionist Values Privacy and Confidentiality

When conducting an intervention, you want to make sure that you are respecting the privacy of your loved one. Therefore, when interviewing interventionists, make sure to inquire about their stance on privacy and confidentiality. A good interventionist will value these things. 

There is No Treatment Center Better Than Sana Lake

Once the loved one that you conducted an intervention for is ready to receive treatment, look no further than Sana Lake Recovery Center. Sana Lake Recovery Center offers detox and a variety of different inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs. Whether you suffer from an addiction to alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription drugs, Sana Lake has addiction treatment programs for you.

To learn more about Sana Lake and the services that we provide, contact us today. 

Article Reviewed by David Sherman, MD

David Sherman, MDDavid Sherman, MD is a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (FASAM) and board certified in Addiction Medicine with the American Board of Preventive Medicine. He is a native Missourian and graduated medical school at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. Dr. Sherman completed a two-year fellowship in Addiction Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He leads a highly trained staff of master level certified addiction professionals. Men and women from all over Missouri and the United States come to Sana Lake Recovery Center to get the care they need and deserve.