Confrontation is not easy, especially when it involves a difficult conversation with a family member about their addiction. If you don’t know where to start, you can call an interventionist. What is an interventionist? A behavioral interventionist is a professional who helps a family confront a loved one about their harmful habits and behavior. It’s an intervention. Call us today at 385-327-7418 if you see someone in your life struggling and you don’t know where to begin.
Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Patricia Sullivan, MD MPH
A behavioral interventionist helps people change their negative habits and behavior by replacing harmful actions with positive alternatives. When the interventionist starts, their job is to address specific individuals’ behaviors that harm the surrounding environment. The intervention happens with the individual’s family. An interventionist can specialize in addiction and recovery.
Usually, families or friends are the first to notice that a loved one is struggling with addiction. They might not know how to approach the individual about the problem, or perhaps they have previously tried to talk to them, and it didn’t go well. These individuals might deny that they need help or have a problem. Then a severe sit-down intervention is warranted. You can hire a behavioral interventionist to help walk you through a safe and secure process to address everyone’s concerns.
Hire An Interventionist
There are several reasons you might want to hire an interventionist. It could be because your loved one is starting to change their personality and habits due to substance abuse. Examples that you have worried about could be alcoholism, abusing a prescription, or an addiction to a drug, either medical or illegal. The side effects of their condition might begin to affect everyone around them. Maybe you have already attempted to talk to your loved one about their substance abuse and denied it. Seeking help from a professional behavioral interventionist is always a smart decision when unsure of your next move.
A more severe reason you might need an interventionist could be for safety. According to the Mayo Clinic, “it’s essential to consult an intervention professional if you suspect your loved one may react violently or self-destructively.” Ways to predict this behavior could include if your loved one has a history of violent actions or has mentioned suicide. Knowing this information beforehand allows the interventionist to approach and guide the intervention safely and correctly.
How To Stage An Intervention
There is a step-by-step process on how to stage an intervention. Once you and your family decide to hire an interventionist, you will meet with them and discuss what to do.
Call us today if you need help staging an intervention. Our team of professionals is here to help you get the treatment you need.
The duties of an interventionist start with having conversations with the individuals’ supporters. You are the ones who care most about your loved one’s well-being. The interventionist will ask questions about their behavior, attitude, and other general inquiries. These questions will start the assessment. Receiving this information allows the professional to prepare the family for the intervention and its possible outcomes. This time also allows you and your family to ask them questions, such as what kind of effect you can expect.
Form the Intervention Team
The people present during the intervention are your ‘intervention team.’ These are people that the interventionist has approved. After talking with the family, the interventionist might suggest that specific people should not be present during the intervention. This means there is a possibility that it could be you.
You have to remember this is for your family member’s well-being. If you aren’t a good fit for the situation, try to remember there is something much higher at stake. Interventions are not a release valve for anger. Your feelings are valid, significantly, if this person hurt you or others, but the intervention’s point is to get them help, not shame them. This is important to realize.
Take Notes on What You Want to Say
Now that there is a team, it is time to discuss what you want to talk through. The interventionist will supply a structured outline for you to share your concerns. If there are close friends of the individual who can be part of the team, this is excellent news. According to the Mayo Clinic, “nonfamily members of the team help keep the discussion focused on the facts of the problem and shared solutions rather than strong emotional responses.” Friends being present can sometimes provide an outside perspective, which is just as helpful. However, if you want to keep it more private with just family, that is acceptable.
Practicing the intervention before you have it is quite common, even recommended, due to the possibility of emotions running high during the day. This joins the intervention to have more structure and a clearer understanding of what will happen.
Specific examples of how substance abuse has changed the individual is a great place to start. This can include physical, financial, or emotional issues. Someone might discuss how the individual has hurt them emotionally due to the addiction. The interventionist will guide them on how to say this while still conveying loving care, concern, and hope for their recovery.
Decide the Consequences
It is a possibility the addict will not take the intervention well, which is an unfortunate outcome that you and your family should prepare for it. If the individual refuses to accept treatment and continues to abuse the substance, there will be consequences. Each team member, friends, or family needs to decide matters are moving forward for the individual’s actions.
For example, depending on the living situation, a consequence could be asking them to move out. It may seem harsh, but if the addiction has led to abusive behavior or violence, then it is necessary. You can’t control your loved one’s actions, but you can make them aware of what you will and will not tolerate. Either they have to leave as a consequence of their behavior, or you can leave. As much as it hurts, taking yourself away from this kind of environment comes down to self-preservation. Hopefully, it won’t come to this, but your interventionist will make sure these consequences are clear before the intervention.
Have the Intervention
Now it is time to hold the intervention with your loved one! You plan, you prepare, now you schedule a time and place. Unfortunately, you can’t tell your loved one exactly what is happening, because they might not show up if you warn them. You don’t have to lie either. Ensure it is a good time for them to meet and say it is a family gathering. However, you feel most comfortable moving forward, your interventionist will help you.
Once you are all present, the intervention begins. Remember that the goal is to show the individual that they are loved and cared for. As team members explain how they have been feeling, it is crucial to remember to be kind. The intervention can be highly emotional and has the “potential to cause anger, resentment, or a sense of betrayal,” according to the Mayo Clinic. The good news, though, is that your interventionist will have warned you about this and picked the team’s best people. It is now your job to keep calm.
Thankfully, the interventionist will be present as an intermediary during the discussion. They are there as a host, referee, and medical adviser. The goal is that the intervention will function as a wake-up call for the individual to realize they have a problem and motivate them to defeat their addiction.
After the intervention, the best-case scenario is that your loved one gets help right away. The great news is, research has shown that up to 90% of interventions succeed and convince the addicted person to enter treatment. By putting in the time and effort to plan the intervention, you have now successfully helped start your loved one on the road to recovery.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, you can expect the treatment plans to be “person-centered and include strength-based approaches, drawing upon an individual’s resources, potential, and ability to recover, to keep the patient engaged in care.” Your loved one will be well taken care of.
Depending on your loved one’s exact conditions, sometimes the interventionist can be the one that directly helps them. A treatment plan can be specifically tailored to the individual based on information gathered from the family. However, this will depend on many variables involving your loved one and the interventionist you hire. Call us today for more information, and more help.
If The Intervention Doesn’t Work
Unfortunately, it is possible that the intervention will not be a success. Which does not mean all hope is lost. Your loved one still may come to see reason. However, in the meantime, you have to do something that is not going to feel good: you shared with them the consequences that would occur if their behavior did not change, and now you have to put them into action. This won’t be easy, but you have to set up these consequences for your mental health and well-being. Your interventionist will guide you on how to move forward.
Another possible outcome is that the intervention didn’t go well for specific people. If that is the case, the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that.
Different patients need different support levels. If there are difficult dynamics in a family group or set of friends, the professional may recommend little contact for a while. means that individual intervention team members may need to take time and space away from the individual. This could help both parties and allow for recovery to still proceed. According to the Association of Intervention Specialists, “Whether the person finds and maintains a lifestyle of recovery is up to the amount of effort that is put forth from your person and their surrounding support system.” Continue to be a healthy support system for your loved ones by asking them about their treatment or counseling. But, keep in the back of your mind that their actions are still not ultimately your responsibility.
Interventionists Are Highly Qualified
It is understandable if you are still on the fence about behavioral interventionists. Inviting a stranger into your house might seem odd to help facilitate a confrontation. However, interventionists had to earn a bachelor’s degree, train and observe interventions for several years, and undergo mentorship to make their place in this profession. Behavioral Interventionists are incredibly qualified and trustworthy to help you and your family. Therefore, here is how someone becomes an interventionist.
Our specialists have the tools they need to help you get through this difficult time. Call us today and start living your better life tomorrow.
Requirements to become an Interventionist.
The first step in becoming an interventionist requires a bachelor’s degree in social work. They have to study courses such as psychology while learning about addiction over four years. A bachelor’s degree is the lowest requirement to become an interventionist, and most companies require more education from them. Therefore, you can hire an interventionist who has earned a master’s degree in social work. That is another two years of schooling, including courses that concentrate specifically on addiction and its surrounding issues. They also undergo an internship where they will be trained by a professional to intervene with successful outcomes.
If that wasn’t enough, according to the Association of Intervention Specialists Certification Board (AISCB), it is highly recommended that an interventionist earns certifications. These are not required, but certificates provide even more evidence that they are qualified. The first step is that the interventionist is mentored by a professional in the field they enter. They have a completed portfolio that has been peer-reviewed, and the portfolio shows that they understand the eight competencies of early intervention work.
Board Registered Interventionists
There are two certification levels, BRI I and BRI II. They stand for Board Registered Interventionist Level 1 and Level 2. Both require that the individual sign the Association of Intervention Specialists Certification Board’s code of ethics, which emphasizes non-discrimination, legal and ethical behavior, confidentiality. And client welfare, among other responsibilities. To achieve a BRI I, they have to have completed intervention training and work as an interventionist conducting interventions with clients for two years. An important note is that the practice requires at least 14 hours directed at addictions to drugs and alcohol. They have to build off their BRI I requirements to earn a BRI II. They must spend 14 hours training on addiction to other substances such as food, not just drugs or alcohol. Then they must have an additional three years of work experience conducting interventions.
The point of all this is to show you that you and your loved one are in safe hands. These individuals are trained, trustworthy, and humble people who want to help your family heal. Call today to seek guidance on where you can hire a behavioral interventionist. The well-being of your loved one and their whole family may depend on it.
Call us today, and our team of professionals will help you get the treatment you need. Never feel embarrassed or ashamed when talking to a specialist. We are here to help you start your better and happier life.
Written by Julia Bashaw
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