Tips for Finding an Interventionist

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When making the decision to seek out professional help for a loved one’s addiction or abuse, you might not know where to begin. As much as you try to talk and plead with your loved one to end their addiction, your efforts might not be producing the results you desire. At some point, you may decide that it is time to look for a professional interventionist to intervene in the matter.

What Is an Intervention?

An intervention is a coordinated meeting carefully planned by family and friends to approach a loved one about their substance abuse or addiction. The ultimate goal is that the person agrees to get help from a professional recovery program.

Interventions take place in safe locations where family members and friends discuss the negative impacts associated with their loved one’s addiction. Interventions are often conducted by professional interventionists who are trained to handle such a sensitive and complicated matter.

During the intervention planning process, those participating in the intervention – family and friends of the addicted individual – will meet with the interventionist several times to prepare for the event. Open and clear discussions with the interventionist lay the foundation for positive results during the actual event. For the intervention to be most effective, family and friends need to feel comfortable and confident in the interventionist they are working with; hence, finding the right one for the particular situation is a priority.

Where to Start

If you already have a treatment center picked out for your loved one, which is always a good idea prior to staging an intervention, that center can be a good starting point. Generally, addiction rehab facilities have interventionists whom they work with regularly and can recommend. In many cases, the interventionist can transport your loved one directly from the intervention to the treatment center, ensuring that there are no delays in the process. Starting treatment immediately is key, as people will often change their mind if there is a gap between the intervention and beginning treatment.

Local therapists and counselors who specialize in addiction treatment may be able to provide referrals to interventionists who can help. While you may be able to find an interventionist in your local area, interventionists are accustomed to traveling for their work. As a result, you may ultimately hire an out-of-area interventionist who flies in for the event. In this case, most planning meetings may take place over the phone.

Certain professional organizations, such as the Association of Intervention Specialists, maintain member directories. These directories often list interventionists by state and specialty.

Questions to Ask When Finding an Interventionist

It’s a good idea to reach out to a few interventionists before making a final decision. This will help you get an idea of the person’s background, areas of expertise, and personality before moving forward. The interview process is your chance to ask the interventionist any questions you have. Here are a few to get started:

  • What is your educational background? Do you have certifications specific to interventions?
  • Have you worked with any other families with a similar story?
  • What intervention model do you use?
  • How many interventions have you conducted or participated in?
  • How successful were these interventions?
  • How much is your fee, and what is included in that fee?
  • What will the planning process entail?
  • Will you run the entire intervention or primarily offer support?
  • Do you have experience dealing with individuals with co-occurring mental health issues?
  • How do we proceed if the subject of the intervention does not agree to get help?
  • Do you transport the individual to treatment after the intervention?

Moving Forward

It’s worth the effort to interview a few options and make the most informed choice from there. The right interventionist will have proper certifications, adequate experience, and feel like a good fit for your family.

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