Having a loved one that struggles with a drug addiction or alcoholism, although more and more common, is extremely difficult and can have those dealing with this feel isolated. Whether that loved one is a spouse, child, sibling or parent, over the years dealing with the lifestyle that comes along with this destructive abuse can break people down. At a certain point families feel lost, defeated and hopeless.
Families seeking long term recovery for their loved one will want to take that first step and stage an intervention. When this occurs it is best to seek out professional help in the form of an intervention specialist. An intervention specialist can go by a number of different names or job titles from rehabilitation counselor, mental health counselor, addiction specialist, etc., however what they all have in common is that this person is a licensed and trained professional.
Having a trained professional present during an intervention makes the chances for a success far more likely. Not only do these people have the knowledge and experience, they have the understanding a family is looking for in these dire situations.
An intervention specialist has been through training and education and has passed national requirements with the proper certifications and credentials to obtain a license. These professionals may have other qualifications or professional titles along with their CIP (Certified Intervention Professional). An interventionist, or intervention specialist may also be a psychotherapist, a licensed clinical social worker, or a licensed and certified alcohol and drug counselor. Some intervention specialists work privately while others might work for a hospital or a rehab center. Depending on their experience, interventionists can specialize in substance abuse, alcoholism, eating disorder, sex addiction, gambling addiction and even video games addiction.
An intervention specialist’s role goes far beyond just assisting a family in the actual intervention process. The primary goal of an intervention specialist is to help the family convince their loved one to accept long-term recovery treatment. However, the intervention specialist plays an important role before the intervention and after the intervention. A intervention specialist forms a relationship with the family members and will be there for them for each step of the way.
Once you research and find an intervention specialist that you feel comfortable with, that is in your area and is available to help, the real work begins. The intervention specialist may want to speak or meet in person with you once or even a few times before the initial intervention. The intervention specialist will need to assess the situation so they can determine how to best approach this individualized intervention.
Discussing past behaviors and personality traits with family members allows the specialist to hone in on the addict and get to know them as a whole person. Each case is different and the specialist wants to know how this person got to this point and how the family has been affected. Learning about certain things such as when the substance abuse started or any legal and financial troubles can help the interventionist determine treatment needs. Although discussing these private family matters can make you feel uncomfortable or ashamed, the intervention specialist is only there to help you.
During this time the specialist will provide the family with education and instructions for the intervention. Other logistic planning will be done before the intervention such as insurance verification, medical detox, treatment facility arrangements, and even an aftercare and sober living plan.
Once the interventionist meets with those that will participate in the intervention will they choose the intervention model they feel will be most successful. Some addicts will respond to the Johnson Model, or the less confrontational Invitational Model. Before the intervention, the specialist and the family will have decided on a treatment facility and treatment program that is appropriate for their loved one. The team will have rehearsed the process and even discuss the different possible outcomes.
During the intervention, the intervention specialist will guide the discussion, add structure and keep everyone focused. An intervention brings high emotions and often includes tears, yelling and sometimes even physical violence. They will also help friends and family members vocalize their feelings and concerns in a productive way. An unplanned, impromptu intervention without the presence of a professional can sometimes be counterproductive. Without information and training family members can make their loved one retreat further into their harmful habits.
It is the job of the intervention specialist to keep this intervention on track and solution oriented. Towards the end of the intervention the specialist will discuss the treatment center and describe the treatment plan including location, length of stay, facilities, services, therapies etc. The interventionist may answer questions from the addict and offer explanation as to why they need to go to treatment immediately.
Once the intervention is over and hopefully the loved on accepts treatment, the intervention specialist’s job is not done. The intervention specialist will then take the role of recovery case monitor. The specialist will work with the family to help them maintain a strong supportive role, and remind them how crucial their support plays in recovery. They may inform them on support groups such as Al-Anon or other family therapy. They can coach them on how to approach visits to the treatment center and also prepare the family for instances if their loved one were to leave rehab or relapse. A good intervention specialist will always check in with family members and the recovery patient and discuss any new developments and always be open to questions and guidance.
As addiction and mental health rates grow across the country, the need for this profession has also increased. If you are able to get the assistance from an intervention specialist do not hesitate. These professionals not only bring confidence and comfort to families seeking help but they heal those suffering and save lives.