Do you want to learn how to do an intervention? The first step is to understand the person the intervention is for. An alcohol abuse intervention will be somewhat different than a drug abuse intervention. Any type of intervention must be able to reach the person who needs treatment. This means taking every step necessary to make sure the person you are trying to reach is as open as possible to what you are trying to offer them. In the beginning, it may be very difficult to watch them go through the stages of denial and defiance. If an intervention is to work, you must be able to watch without judgment and guide them toward the healing opportunities you are offering them without pushing or coaxing.
What Is the Purpose of an Intervention?
The purpose of an intervention is to allow a person dealing with an addiction or dependence to see how their addiction or dependency is affecting those around them. An intervention offers benefits to both those holding the intervention as well as the person the intervention is being held for. While the ultimate goal may be to get treatment for the person the intervention is for, others will receive benefits as well.
Family members who participate in the intervention are able to free themselves of any guilt they may be experiencing. Many believe they are partly responsible for their loved ones’ behavior. An intervention will free them from that guilt and allow them to offer their support. While family members are released from their guilt and anxiety, the alcoholic must begin to face their own indiscretions and take responsibility for their own actions.
Plan the Intervention Carefully
In order for an intervention to be effective, you need to plan it very carefully. You need to know where it will be held and who you want to be involved in the actual meeting. It’s also important to find a team of specialists who will help you finalize your plans and conduct the intervention. You will need to know your loved one’s schedule and have put together a plan to get them to the location where the intervention will be held.
An intervention is something you don’t want to broadcast. During the planning stages, you will want to have many of the arrangements (time, location, intervention team, and participant list) in place before you ever communicate with other family members about what is going on. This reduces the risk of anyone finding out about the intervention before you are ready for it to occur. This gives you the time you need to adequately prepare for what you want to happen during the meeting.
Enlist Family Members Who Want to Participate in the Intervention
Once you have planned out the essentials, the next step is to enlist the individuals who will have the most profound impact on your loved one. This includes those who are closest to them. Parents, siblings, close friends, even co-workers who care about them. In order for each person to offer effective testimony, they need to understand what is expected of them. Preparing them beforehand will give them an opportunity to really think about what they want to say.
While you want to show your loved one how many people they have affected with their behavior, it’s important to not go overboard. Parents, siblings, and children are the usually the most effective and are able to provide the most convincing testimony. Including one or two close friends will help seal the deal showing the range of who is affected by their behavior. Your loved one may not want to realize how many people they have touched, but in the end, that may be the factor that convinces them to accept treatment.
Preparing the Participants
It’s important to properly prepare anyone you have invited to participate in the intervention. The goal is not to intimidate, threaten, coerce, beg, or pressure the person into accepting treatment. The intention of the intervention is to show your loved one how their actions have affected other people in their life. Participants should be instructed to speak from the heart. Be honest about their feelings and let your loved ones know how their actions have impacted them.
One of the primary benefits for anyone who participates in an intervention is that they will be able to release any feelings of guilt they may have towards the actions of their loved ones. It is during this time that your loved ones must take responsibility for their own reactions. They must understand that they are the master of their own destiny and it is up to them to make the necessary changes in their life if they want to pursue a path of sobriety. The only way an intervention is successful is for your loved one to agree to receive treatment of their own volition and accord.
Choose Your Intervention Team
Your intervention team should include those who are most affected by your loved one’s behavior. It’s also a good idea to involve a therapist from a local drug or alcohol addiction center who can facilitate the meeting. This ensures that once your loved one arrives, things continue to move smoothly. Someone who is facing recovery may look at rehabilitation and recovery as a lonely path with an uncertain future. What they need to realize is that, even though they may have to walk that path alone, those they love will be next to the path ready to offer support whenever and wherever it is needed.
Set the Consequences for Negative Behavior
During the intervention, your loved one may become angry and refuse treatment altogether. They may even walk out and leave the meeting. For those who choose to stay and face their family and friends, the things they hear may cause them to be overcome with emotions. While they may choose to seek treatment, the ugliness of addiction means that a relapse is more common than not. This is where setting consequences is important. Your loved one must be forced to realize that their past behaviors will no longer be tolerated. Once the consequences have been put in place, they must be followed if you want the intervention to be successful. Consequences can mean the loss of financial support, or a worst-case scenario of no future contact while they are using.
Everyone Shares Their Feelings
During an intervention, it is essential that everyone is allowed to share their feelings. This is not a time to place guilt. It is a time to show support and let your loved ones know how much you care about them. It is your time to release any feelings of guilt, anger, or frustration that you have been carrying. You have to realize that it isn’t your responsibility to bear the weight of another person’s addiction. While this is easier said than done, it is your opportunity to gain the peace you need to move forward.
The person for whom the intervention is being held is also given an opportunity to share their feelings as well. They may express anger and frustration at being confronted during an intervention. They may also take what others have said to heart and realize how devastating their behavior has been to those who are most important to them. It is up to them, however, whether or not they accept the treatment options they are being offered.
Offer Treatment Options
The goal of any addiction intervention is to get your loved ones to admit they need help and provide them with multiple treatment options they can choose from. This is where having a counselor on hand is most beneficial. They will have access to valuable information about available programs that your loved one can consider. This gives them an opportunity to see what is available to them and then take action immediately before they have a chance to change their mind.
Set Your Goals
An intervention is a great way to set a few goals. In addition to setting consequences for negative behaviors, you can also set goals for positive behaviors as well. The road to recovery is different for every person involved. Allow the process to work. Inpatient and outpatient programs are available that will have different timelines. Give your loved one a chance to move through the process at their own pace. They must set their own goals for recovery. It is up to you to set the goals for your family as a whole when it comes to supporting your loved ones as they travel that path. Contact Addiction Interventions today to help you set up an intervention for your loved one. They have important resources you can count on to help you get through this process.