What Is an Interventionist?
Many families struggle on their own when someone they love has developed an addiction to drugs or alcohol. They may be ashamed or just think they can fix it on their own. Often, the addicted person is simply too determined to continue using drugs and alcohol and will make false promises, outright lie, manipulate, and generally find ways to do so.
One way the addict is able to keep their addiction going is to compartmentalize different family members. Everyone does not know everything. Addicts become expert at figuring out what they can get from each person, and just how far they can push things. Even if most of the family members are pushing the addict to get help, all you need is one person giving the addict money and comfort to undermine this pressure.
Most people contact an interventionist when they have tried on their own to get a loved one into treatment but have failed. They feel exhausted and demoralized, yet they don’t want to give up on them just yet. They contact an intervention specialist because they hope that an outsider can find the key to getting through to the addict.
What To Look For In An Interventionist
Just about anyone can call themselves an interventionist these days, so it’s important to look for a professional, board-certified interventionist. These are people who have gone the extra mile to really learn about how to work with families and addicts, and how to avoid making things worse.
Steps Of An Intervention
The professional interventionist will first meet with family members and do what’s called a pre-intervention. During these interviews the interventionist will figure out who plays what role in the addict’s life. The goal of this process is to get all family members on the same page, avert any chances of someone sabotaging the intervention, and making sure everyone is willing to stop supporting the addiction and start supporting recovery.
The interventionist will then plan the day of the actual event. It is usually not as dramatic as it might be portrayed on TV. Many addicts immediately feel the pressure when the whole family is together because they can’t divide and conquer by saying one thing to one person and something else to another.
It is important to have a professional guide the intervention. Why? Because family members are too compromised by years of dealing with the addict. They are too easily manipulated and can end up making the addict even more defiant.
The goal of the event of Intervention is to get that person to agree to treatment in that moment, and very shortly after the event, actually go to treatment. No more excuses, no more delays.
If you are interested in an intervention, visit the Association of Intervention Associates to learn about certification and how to find a responsible, well-trained interventionist.