Do you have a loved one suffering from an addiction? If you do, then you have an idea of how hard it can be to convince them to get help. This is where an intervention is useful. This is where you and a number of family and friends get together and try to convince the addict to seek treatment.
But before you decide to stage an intervention, consulting an intervention specialist is a good idea. Here’s why.
An intervention is not easy to do
It is not just about gathering close friends and family and having a serious conversation with the addict about his problems. It’s also not just about encouraging the addict to get help. While these are what interventions do in principle, a lot of other things can happen in practice.
First of all, the conversations during an intervention can trigger strong negative emotions. The addict may feel that you are “ganging up on him.” At the same time, family and friends may feel that the addict does not care about them anymore. Tensions may run high, and the intervention may devolve into shouting, screaming, and storming out. One misstep by anyone can trigger these unpleasant situations.
With an intervention specialist, you can minimize these violent reactions.
The job of the specialist is to facilitate the session, providing a safe environment for the addict and his loved ones to have a fruitful conversation. He will also help you and the addict manage the emotional toll of the intervention.
An intervention specialist gives you professional help and advice
When you consult with him, the specialist will help you plan the intervention. This is important to ensure a successful conversation with your addicted loved one. He will even guide you in formulating the right words to say. With his skills and experience, he would know exactly what each person in the intervention should say and do. This also would include nonverbal cues like body language and tone of voice.
The specialist will also help all of you to be on the same page beforehand. It’s important that everyone’s goals are aligned so you can work as a team. An intervention is a cooperative effort. Everyone must understand its purpose and end goals. The intervention specialist would brief each one on those aspects.
Another of his key roles is to help deal with any difficult emotions, like anger or fear, that anyone may feel before, during, and after the intervention. While one important thing is for everyone to remain calm, it’s still very likely for anyone to become emotionally charged. The intervention specialist will help you deal with that kind of situation.
The specialist would also guide you in handling objections from the addict. He knows how addicts think, so he knows exactly how to direct them into a position where they would decide to get treated. Without the specialist, you might have no idea how to handle these objections. That’s another compelling argument to avoid staging an intervention by yourselves.
You would get help with logistics
Here’s another great advantage of working with a specialist. He would take charge of the logistics of the intervention, such as choosing a time and place for the meeting. He would also determine roles for everyone, as well as routines for you to follow. He will arrange for rehearsals so you can be well-versed on what exactly to do.
Additionally, the specialist often talks to potential rehab centers before the intervention takes place. That way, if the addict agrees to a treatment plan, he would already have a place to go. The intervention specialist may also check with the addict’s insurance provider if the treatment is covered.
The intervention specialist can educate you on addiction and recovery
Sometimes, family and friends could be doubtful. They may think that the addict has no more chance of recovering. They may even think that the addict should be treated as a criminal and put in prison instead.
An intervention specialist can help put these misconceptions to rest. He can make everyone understand what the addict is going through, how addiction takes over his life, and how it’s possible for him to recover.
He may also orient everyone on what treatments the addict has to go through. He could then mention how each one can help the addict during the recovery process.
The specialist will guide you in creating a formal, step-by-step process
Why is an intervention effective? Because it’s usually structured and formal. The process is carefully strategized first, and the intervention specialist’s job is to guide you in planning it out.
Despite its structure, the addict may still respond in unexpected ways. Again, this is where the specialist comes in – he knows what to do in case of sudden changes during the intervention. With this, the process has some flexibility to an extent.
The specialist will work with you every step of the way. Before the intervention, he will meet with you to brief you on your addicted loved one’s struggles. Then, he will help you identify other people to join you. He will interview each one of them to know if they’re suitable.
During the intervention, he is responsible for moderating the meeting. He makes sure everyone would have a chance to speak, including the addict. If the latter evades treatment, the specialist would also address any excuses he may have. On the other hand, if the addict decides to pursue treatment, the specialist will enroll him into a recovery program immediately after the meeting.
Where can I find an intervention specialist?
These guys are not hard to find. A good place to start is your nearest rehab center. More often than not, they would have someone who is skilled in staging interventions.
Another place to look is the Association of Intervention Specialists. This organization is the one that certifies intervention specialists across the country, and they give you a directory of their members. Here, you can find a specialist closest to your area.