Intervention is a process that begins the healing from unhealthy behaviors or addictions. With the advent of the popular television shows Intervention and Addicted, people think that is what an intervention is about. The thought is that you hire someone for a couple of hundred dollars to come and mediate and coach a bit if needed. This couldn't be farther from the truth. If you are thinking about doing an Intervention on your own, my recommendation is STOP! An intervention held by someone who is not a trained professional is not only ineffective, but it can actually be harmful.
There is much more to an Intervention than you see on TV. All types of Intervention are time consuming processes that involve education, counseling, treatment and aftercare planning. This process can last anywhere from 8 hours to 5 days depending on the situation, the family dynamics and how many participants there are. The interventionists' job is not done the moment the addicted person goes to treatment. Interventionists continue to work with the family and the addicted person while they are in treatment and they help plan and support transition to aftercare and beyond.
Intervention is about healing the entire Family System, not just the addicted person. A properly executed intervention is 100% effective even if the addicted person doesn't go to treatment that day, although most do. We recommend the use of Board Registered Interventionists, BRI-I and BRI-II. In order to become a board registered Interventionist you must already have a license or credential in some form of counseling, be it an MFT, LCSW, or a certified drug counselor such as CAS or RAS. They then must perform Interventions directly supervised by an approved BRI for a substantial period of time and pass an exam. They are also required to have substantial liability insurance.
Different Types or Styles of Intervention
Traditional, Johnson Style, Surprise Model
This type of intervention is confrontational. The addicted person has no idea that the intervention is about to happen. In a supportive environment, each family member has a chance to tell the addicted person how they have been affected by the person's addiction. This is done out of love and is based on "I" statements not "you" statements. The person is encouraged to go into treatment and is given the choice. If the person chooses not to go into treatment then the consequences that each member has decided before the intervention are told to the addict. If the addicted person still doesn't go into treatment, the consequences are enacted.
This process usually happens in three meetings. The first is to talk to family about the addicted person and learn the family history and that of the individual. The second meeting is to educate the family, do counseling and prepare for the intervention. A practice intervention is done at this time. The third meeting is the intervention itself.
Family Systems, Invitational Model
This model of Intervention is invitational. The person with the substance abuse or behavior problem is invited to attend. This model looks at the entire family unit. The family learns how the addiction is part of a family problem and how each individual had unknowingly contributed by lovingly trying to "help" or "fix" the individual. It is recognized that the entire family system needs help and works to educate, treat, and support all of those involved.
This style has workshops that educate the family and shows how the family system works together in addiction and recovery. As the individuals in the family unit learn and start to change their role in the unit, the addicted person is more likely to change. Change as a unit becomes a family choice to have a healthy lifestyle. As the family gets better, the addicted person wants to get better too. The focus is on the family unit and not the addicted individual.
The ARISE method is a combination of the Family Systems Model and modified Johnson Style. The addicted person is invited to attend all meetings.
This is done in Phases where Phase I is used to bring the family together and work through a multi-stage coaching session designed to educate all involved. Phase II happens over 2-5 meetings and is designed to bring everyone together into a supportive unit designed to support and motivate the addictive person in choosing treatment. In Phase III, if the addicted person still hasn't chosen to enter treatment then consequential part of the Johnson Style is done to let the addicted person know there will be consequences for choosing to not enter treatment.