When a loved one is gripped by an addiction, it’s easy for us to feel helpless and fearful. We want to wave a magic wand and make all their pain and troubles go away. While that isn’t possible, loved ones can play an integral role in an addict getting help through an intervention.
What Is an Intervention Exactly?
An intervention is a gathering of close friends and family in an effort to get an addict to recognize their behavior and need for healing. The meeting essentially uses peer pressure to encourage a loved one with an addiction to admit they have a problem and seek treatment for it.
During an intervention, each loved one is given time to state how the addict’s behavior has harmed them, plead with the addict to seek treatment, and outline the consequences for not getting help. For example, a husband may state that his wife’s addiction is harming the marriage and their children and say that he and the kids will leave if the wife does not seek treatment.
Benefits of Using an Interventionist
Some friends and families will opt to stage an intervention on their own. However, the process typically has better outcomes when a professional interventionist is involved. Interventions bring out a lot of powerful emotions in people, and when emotions are heightened, effective communication can be difficult, to say the very least.
An interventionist not only educates the family on the entire process but also helps the process run as smoothly as possible, increasing the odds the addict will agree to get help. At the end of the day, that is the main objective.
Using an interventionist is particularly helpful when dealing with someone who has a history of mental illness, violence, or suicidal ideations. A professional interventionist has the tools and training to keep all participants safe so their shared goal can be achieved.
If you are planning an intervention for a loved one battling an addiction and would like some guidance, please reach out to me.
Chelsy A. Castro, JD, MA, AM, LCSW