Family intervention process

  • 1 Intervention specialist meets with initiator.
    If distance is prohibitive, this meeting can be done over the phone. Decide whether an alcohol or drug abuse intervention is warranted and doable.
  • 2 Select and prepare potential team participants.
    Contact each person to discuss involvement and the commitment required.
  • 3 Interventionist meets with team.
    This is the longest session and includes addiction education, intervention philosophy, personal letter prep, convener selection, review anticipated objections/solutions, outline a desired outcome, and various other details.
  • 4 Family support sessions.
    If there is sufficient time between the team meeting and the actual intervention, it is strongly suggested that team members attend family support sessions. Al-Anon & Nar-Anon are best known but there are other effective programs as well.
  • 5 Perform a practice intervention.
    This "dry run" allows us to read personal letters aloud and group edit. We'll rehearse the entire intervention. This usually takes place a day or two before the actual intervention.
  • 6 Intervention is held.
    The interventionist will guide the process from start to completion. Calm and caring is the motto of the day.
  • 7 Interventionist follow-up with initiator.
    The interventionist and initiator discuss a sobriety maintenance program for the loved one after formal treatment.

planning & staging

Family interventions are extremely effective for getting reluctant loved ones to accept help. Staging an intervention is often an emotional process and preparation is essential in order to maintain focus on the desired outcome. A family intervention specialist will help you thoroughly plan in order to effectively help the alcoholic or drug abuser. We must be prepared to overcome anticipated objections and obstacles, and firmly establish a "care-frontation" atmosphere for the intervention.

please take note

If the loved one refuses substance abuse treatment the natural consequences of this refusal are then presented to them. This will often end the denial and refusal. If the person walks out of the intervention and rejects any form of treatment, the consequences immediately kick in. After a few days of living with the consequences of not getting help for their addiction, people sometimes "come back to the table" and agree to go to treatment.

Successful outcomes

letters are critical
The writing and reading of the personal letters are the heart of the intervention. The letters should have emotional impact and be viewed as decisive in compelling the loved one to get help.
young man listens
Fortunately, many people in successful recovery today are in their teens and twenties and will not go back to active addiction.
family comes together
Family members and close friends bond together to urge the loved one to get treatment. The process will unite team members and nourish all involved.
overcoming the stigma
Although there has been significant progress over the past 20 years, our society still attaches a stigma to people who are dependent on alcohol or drugs. Do not let this keep you from doing the right thing!