What Happens During an Intervention?

If your family is considering an intervention for a loved one, you’re probably feeling a wide range of emotions—sadness, anxiety, and frustration, just to name a few. As your loved one’s life becomes more unmanageable, it becomes imperative that you step in to help.

Family and friends often feel held hostage by their loved one’s growing mental health and substance use issues. Although they want to help, they fear their loved one will feel betrayed by this process.

The truth is, the greatest betrayal is doing nothing. Although it may be daunting, intervening is a powerful display of love and support for someone who is vulnerable. Your loved one is likely grappling with distorted thinking, making it very challenging to initiate any positive changes in their own life.

With the help of a professional intervention specialist, you can find support for your loved one and ease some of the anxiety and fear your family is facing.

Here’s everything you need to know about the intervention process.

What is the Goal of an Intervention?

The goal of an intervention is to help the individual see how bad things have gotten as a result of their addiction. It also allows you to connect your loved one with professional support, if they choose to accept it.

Without an intervention, other hardships become inevitable—accidents, hospitalization, legal issues, damaged relationships, and job loss. The intervention offers an opportunity for healing and a break from years of suffering.

During an intervention, family members, friends, and other respected individuals meet face-to-face with the person who is struggling and help them take a step toward recovery. The purpose of the intervention is not to “gang up” on the individual, but rather to provide a heartfelt outpouring of love and support they cannot ignore.

Who Attends an Intervention?

Anyone the individual cares for should attend the intervention. This may include friends, family members, colleagues, and community members. Anyone who has been hurt by your loved one’s substance use must be able to speak on how those behaviors have affected them. This will hopefully encourage your loved one to begin the recovery process.

It is also beneficial to have a licensed intervention specialist present during the intervention. An intervention specialist is trained to keep tensions in check while promoting a productive conversation. Should your loved one be willing to accept the help they need, the specialist can provide direct transport from the intervention space to the treatment center.

Where Should I Have the Intervention?

Choose a neutral, familiar space for your intervention, such as a family member’s home or a therapist’s office.

How Long Does An Intervention Last?

The entire intervention process shouldn’t take longer than 2 to 3 hours. Any longer and the conversation can become counter-productive.

An intervention typically takes place in the early morning, between 6 and 9 am. During this time, the individual is likely to be in their most sober state and feeling more rational.

Additionally, research has shown that people are more likely to comply with an intervention in the morning hours versus the afternoon or evening.

How Does an Intervention Work?

During the intervention, participants will engage in an open dialogue with the struggling individual, detailing how the individual’s alcohol or substance use has affected them. In some cases, participants may read pre-written letters addressed to their loved one. However, to avoid further hurt and conflict, these letters should always be pre-approved by a clinician.

Emotions are good, but it’s important to stay calm and avoid anger or placing blame as you say your piece.

After the conversation comes to a close, the leader of the intervention, often a close family member, friend, or professional interventionist, will reiterate to your loved one that they are loved, missed, and cared for.

Then, they will ask the individual if they’re willing to seek help. If the individual says yes, the intervention is over, and the leader will help the individual take action. This may mean driving them directly to a treatment facility, seeking hospitalization for a mental health disorder, sobering up, or some other agreed-upon action.

If the individual is open to change but is unsure about treatment, the interventionist will continue to work with them over the next days and weeks.

What Happens After an Intervention?

If the individual agrees to treatment, the leader will help transport them to the predetermined treatment center. It’s important to remain with your loved one through the admission process to ensure they feel supported and that all intake procedures are completed.

If your loved one doesn’t want in-patient treatment, it’s important to continue discussing the issue until you find a course of action that everyone agrees to. This plan will look different for every family.

Post-intervention, you may want to continue consulting with an interventionist. Intervention is a great first step, however, there is still more work to be done. Ongoing counsel can help prevent your loved one from relapsing.

An Intervention Specialist Can Help

If you’re considering hosting an intervention for a loved one, the professional interventionists at Drew Horowitz & Associates are here to help.

Our team provides professional Addiction Interventions to Minnesota residents. Our team uses compassionate, evidence-based intervention approaches to produce an effective and successful intervention for your loved one.

Don’t wait to bring peace and healing to your family. Call (800) 731-0854 to learn more about our intervention services.

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