An alcoholism intervention is an orchestrated event in which family members work with a trained interventionist to construct a time and place to confront the addict.
The confrontation is conducted in a loving way. The ultimate goal of an intervention is to inspire alcoholics to seek alcohol or drug treatment. In the case of an alcoholic, he or she is most likely desperate for help — and riddled with inner turmoil.
Compile Relevant Facts and Execute Due Diligence
Pre-intervention work is crucial to the success of the intervention. Family members are often left confused by the disease’s cunning and baffling power over their loved one.
Other feelings commonly held by family members of alcoholics include:
- Feelings of fright associated with the alcoholic’s drinking
Why Hold an Intervention?
The intervention is designed to clear up all of these feelings. Feelings, feedback, and consequences of refusing treatment are laid out on the table in a cohesive manner during the intervention.
In order to be effective in the presentation of treatment, collaboration pre-intervention is necessary. Without proper preparation, interventions are risky engagements to undergo. Family members may become nervous and stumble on their words as a byproduct of a rehearsal deficiency. Affected family members may doubt the validity of their reasons for approaching the alcoholic. Thankfully, experienced interventionists understand the unique way in which alcoholism disrupts the family dynamic.
The Family — Plus One
Interventionists work to preclude issues during the intervention by working closely with the family leading up to the event, fielding questions, offering unbiased suggestions, and recommending treatment options. Intervention preparation may involve:
- Telephone calls
- Video-chatting between family members and the interventionist
- Emails exchanging information about the alcoholic, the family dynamic, and the family history
- In-person meetings
- A practice session or “dress rehearsal” several days before the actual intervention
It’s All In the Details
Interventionists help the family determine a time in which the intervention will take place. Both parties strive to frame the intervention within a timeframe in the alcoholic’s day in which they anticipate he or she will be sober. For instance, family members may use a job interview as an alias for recruiting the alcoholic to be present at a specific venue at a specific time. The alcoholic walks into the room, unsuspecting — and may react unfavorably. Interventionists are accustomed to reactions that range across the spectrum – negative to positive – and respond accordingly. Interventionists know the right words to say that will motivate the alcoholic to sit down with the family and walk through certain steps.
Kick Off the Intervention with Love
All family members begin by telling the alcoholic how much they love and care about them. Thus, the intervention is initiated with openness. When the alcoholic is presented with feedback compiled by the people that care about him or her the most, without the ability to manipulate them in response, the net effect is positive.
The interventionist prevents the alcoholic from falling back into manipulative patterns of response.
The proper arrangements have been made ahead of time. Assuming the alcoholic accepts the opportunity to attend inpatient rehabilitation treatment, logistics are organized in advance. Detailed pre-planning and organization precludes the alcoholic from traveling back to his or her house, gravitating to the bar, or going anywhere other than the treatment facility. Often times an interventionist will accompany the alcoholic to treatment via car or airplane. The interventionist walks the client through the doors and parts ways just before the intake process kicks off at the respective treatment center.
Provide a Follow-Up
Interventionists habitually check in with former clients and family members two to three months after the intervention.
The interventionist’s call-back timeframe varies depending upon the length of time the identified patient participates in alcoholism treatment. Hopefully, the interventionist receives a report that the alcoholic is still sober several months after the intervention. Early sobriety is difficult; interventionists understand that in many cases, relapse is part of the recovery process. However, interventionists are always happy to hear that clients are thriving after devoting time and energy toward an alcohol rehabilitation program. Also, touching base with the family post-intervention reflects the interventionist desire to follow up on his original orchestration.