Often, before an addict or alcoholic will seek treatment into any kind of a program, an interventionist must be contacted to help organize a family intervention. The idea of interventions gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s and often interventions are still held today as a way to convince a person in denial about his or her addiction that treatment is the only option.
While some families and friends of addicts simply plan an intervention themselves, a skilled interventionist who is registered with the department of health within the state he or she operates and has other clear addiction-counseling credentials can help make sure that the meeting is in held in a way that makes things clear to the addicted person, rather than in a way that might alienate him or her and have the opposite of the desired effect.
An intervention can be an intense and emotional event for everyone involved, including the addicted person. During an intervention, family and friends essentially explain to the person how his or her addiction affects the addict’s life and the lives of those who love the addict. It’s meant to be an eye-opener for addicts to show them that they don’t abuse drugs or alcohol in a vacuum but that everything they do negatively affects someone else.
An interventionist is a professional who helps to organize an intervention, and as part of less common definition, serves as an interventionist for a person in a treatment program. As part of a family intervention, though, the interventionist coaches the family and friends on what to say and what not to say during the intervention.
Because the loved ones of the addicted person are obviously experiencing many different emotions and feelings about their loved one, his or her addiction, and how they feel about staging this meeting to help them, it’s very easy for the intervention to become so emotionally charged that it can have the opposite effect on the addicted person. An interventionist is there to help lead the people through the process and help them avoid pointing fingers and placing blame, but rather to give a logical and well-thought out argument against the person’s drinking, drug use or other addictive behavior that they want to address.
An interventionist can also help ease people’s fears about what an intervention is, and what it isn’t. Many people like the idea of staging an intervention to help a loved one but then change their minds because they feel like they’re going go gang up on the person, and perhaps even be seen as betraying them by trying to make them face their addiction.
With an interventionist’s help, though, any objections raised by the addicted person can be countered without being accusatory or blaming, and that can help people explain that their confrontation is to help the person get out of denial and get help. An interventionist can help family and friends of an addicted person make it clear that what they do is out of caring and not betrayal.