What Are the Different Stages of Intervention?

Are you concerned for a loved one who is struggling with substance addiction? Have you tried to have some conversations about it, but find it challenging? Do you wonder if it is time to bring in a professional interventionist? Sometimes a heart-to-heart conversation initiated by concerned family and friends can start a person off on the road to treatment and recovery from the influence of drugs and alcohol. Other times, a more focused approach through a formal intervention is needed. 

What Is a Formal Intervention?

A formal intervention is a structured and carefully planned process targeted at a person’s recovery from addiction. Working with a professional interventionist enables you to assess, educate, and suggest possible treatment plans. People who have substance addiction are often in denial about the problem, so a formal intervention begins with educating them to recognize the negative effects of substance addiction. Trained interventionists know how to conduct this crucial ice-breaking step by providing specific examples of how substance addiction may lead to lasting negative consequences on personal health and relationships. 

Formal intervention also relies on the experiences, observations, and participation of family members around their loved ones. In the case of teen addiction, for example, professional interventionists work with parents to assess the severity of the situation. Parent coaching is provided to inform parents about the deeper causes and potential triggers of teen addiction. Substance addiction and its impact on a person’s body and mind are complicated issues, so uninformed parenting during this time may lead to counterproductive outcomes. 

What Are the Stages of a Formal Intervention?

Sometimes a concerned family member or friend brings in a professional interventionist. Collectively they have pre-intervention planning meetings to first discuss the general situation by gathering important information about the severity of their loved one’s addiction. Then the interventionist will give an assessment based on this information. He or she will also use this opportunity to educate family and friends about the impacts of addiction.

During these initial pre-intervention meetings, the interventionist will also observe and discern this family’s dynamics, including signs of codependency, family trauma, and unhealthy boundaries. The interventionist will also educate family and friends on these topics, allowing them to know the importance of environmental factors. This pre-intervention phase also involves discussions about necessary boundaries, consequences for non-compliance, and other logistics of the process.

Once a formal intervention begins, the outside professional will have non-confrontational and educational conversations with the family member who is struggling with addiction. The purpose of these conversations is to persuade them into accepting treatment. The interventionist will answer all questions the person has about the plan moving forward and lay out certain rules and boundaries to implement the plan.

During the next few months, the interventionist will work closely with concerned family and friends to continue the intervention plan while adjusting it to emerging situations. Depending on the family’s needs, the interventionist may bring in other external experts, such as a parent coach or a therapist, to work with the family towards the goal of supporting their loved one’s recovery.

Throughout this process, a professional interventionist can also provide other services such as sober escort, case management, family support group meetings, and other coaching sessions according to the family’s needs. For better communication, families often designate a member to continue open communication with the interventionist.

What Can I Expect When Working With an Interventionist?

Although this is called a “formal intervention,” a professional interventionist often approaches the family with a personable and approachable attitude. Addiction is a delicate matter, and there is a lot of trust involved when you decide to bring onboard an outsider, so an interventionist will carefully navigate that space with discretion and open communication. He or she needs to make you comfortable enough to help the entire family come up with a realistic and effective solution. 

At the same time, a professional interventionist in the field of addiction recovery will typically have accumulated a lot of experience by working with similar cases, such as teen addiction. They are in a position to coach you through a process many parents have gone through. You need to trust the expertise of the interventionist. 

Lastly, because a formal addiction intervention that involves the entire family can be a highly emotionally charged situation, the interventionist will need to work with all kinds of emotions emerging from this long process. Family members will likely experience frustration, shaming, disappointment, blame-shifting, or a sense of betrayal when they need to accommodate for the change that is required to make their loved one recover from addiction. An experienced interventionist can help you see deeper issues behind these symptoms of the family dynamics, sometimes by bringing in other health professionals to provide counseling. 

Do you want to help a loved one recover from substance addiction? Are you frustrated at many failed family interventions and wonder what else you can do to stop your teenager from using drugs and alcohol? It may be time to seek help from a professional interventionist. At South Florida Intervention, our professionally-trained interventionists have years of experience working with families. Substance addiction is simply too complicated an issue for most people to navigate, but we are here to help. Our recovery coaches can also help parents become recovery-supportive to their teenagers. Over the years, we have helped many families to support their loved ones towards long-term sobriety. In our formal intervention package, we offer a range of services including recovery coaching, parent coaching, sober escort, family support group meetings, and detailed case management. Depending on your needs, our resourceful interventionists can connect you with the most suitable treatment plans. Call us today at (202) 390-2273.