Interventions: The Road to a Better You

An intervention is the process or action of intervening to improve a situation. It is a combination of program elements or strategies designed to produce behavior changes or improve the health status of an individual. They can sway someone to seek help for alcoholism, drug abuse, compulsive eating, over spending, and a plethora of other addictions.

Interventions are usually performed by people who are closest to the individual, like family and friends, an intervention/addiction professional, and in some specific situations even the pastor of their church. The intervention is performed to confront the individual about the consequences of their addiction and the effects that it has had on them, those surrounding them, and those who love them dearly. It is executed in hopes that the individual will accept treatment.

There is a right and wrong way to perform an intervention. Here are seven steps to properly and safely implement an intervention:
1. Make a plan.
2. Gather information.
3. Form the intervention team.
4. Decide on specific consequences.
5. Make notes on what to say.
6. Hold the intervention meeting.
7. Follow up.

If it is not executed correctly, the intervention can backfire and worsen the situation. The individual will in most cases retreat and isolate themselves from everyone because they now know that the people closest to them are viewing them in a manner that they believe is judgmentmental rather than with love and concern.

To avoid an improper intervention, it could be beneficial to have an intervention or addiction professional present. They are able to take into account your loved one’s particular situation, and they are able to suggest the best approach to avoid confrontation of any sort. They will help you stay on track if your loved one has a history of mental illness, a history of violence, has shown suicidal behaviors, and may be taking mood-altering substances. The intervention professional can also help you to stray away from labeling your loved one as an “alcoholic,” “addict,” or other terms that may be deemed offensive to the individual.

You do not want your loved one to feel as though they are being attacked. Too many people on the intervention team can also be very overwhelming for the individual, so try to keep the team to a small number of people. All members of the intervention team need to always remain calm and level headed. The intervention can stir up many emotions within you and the loved ones, but try to remain calm so all points can be clearly presented.

Written by: Hillary Griffin

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