What’s the Difference Between the Different Types of Interventions?

What’s the Difference Between the Different Types of Interventions?

An intervention is a group effort to help a loved one who is suffering and reluctant to accept help for his problem with substance abuse or addiction. The most common model of intervention is when family and friends of the addict prepare a meeting with or without the addict’s knowledge with the intent to try to convince him to accept help or go to rehab.

Sometimes media has portrayed interventions as conflict-filled and problematic methods to address a loved one’s problem with addiction. This has created many misconceptions and stigmas towards interventions. However, to this day, interventions continue to be one of the best strategies to move an addict to accept help.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence says that the best way to plan an intervention is with the help of an interventionist. These professional recovery specialists know of the different intervention models and are prepared to recommend the best one according to the circumstances. An interventionist will start the work with an education process for those around the person needing help. Then, the interventionist will direct everything related to meeting the addict. According to the NCADD, receiving the help of a professional interventionist has made it possible for over 90% of people to accept help and treatment.

Direct and Indirect Interventions

But an intervention is not only focused on the addict. Professional interventionists make sure that everyone involved is receiving adequate emotional support, and even therapy if needed. He might also offer ongoing services; this means that he will continue helping the ones who prepare the intervention as well as the patient during the process of treatment and after, when the patient finishes his stay in rehab.

The involvement of all those interested in the well-being of the addict is the reason some counselors recommend an indirect intervention instead or before a direct one.

  • Direct intervention – Involves a confrontational meeting with the addict
  • Indirect intervention – Involves work with the family, often a co-dependent family

One of the very first intervention models was the Johnson model. The Johnson model is a direct intervention that involves prior preparation of the family with the aid of a therapist until the actual confrontation with the patient. The American Psychological Association states that the main goal of this intervention model is to catalyze the person’s acceptance and entry into rehab, and that several sessions with those involved with the patient might be needed before the actual confrontational meeting with the patient in the presence of the therapist.

An example of an indirect intervention is the CRAFT model. CRAFT stands for “community reinforcement approach and family training,” that bases the efforts on positive reinforcement and motivational family therapy. This type of intervention works by helping family and friends of the patient to have more useful interactions with the patient. This means that, by changing their actions, attitudes and behaviors, they can also influence the behavior of the addict.

Other popular models include:

  • ARISE Model – This is a direct model similar to the Johnson intervention with a less confrontational approach.
  • Systematic Family Model – This model focuses on helping the whole family, encouraging them to accept their own help if needed. This is a direct approach in which the patient is well aware of the intervention, including all the sessions the family has with the therapist. The patient is invited to the actual meeting.

It is important to have clear conversations with your chosen interventionist, counselor or therapist to know what would be the best approach in your case. There might be cases when the counselor will advise not to have the addict present during the whole process. In other instances, he might recommend having the intervention as soon as possible or wait for a certain period of time. Regardless of the method, remember that the ultimate goal is helping your loved one to overcome addiction and undo the damages of addiction.

Helping Your Loved One to Recover

The Mayo Clinic describes an intervention as a carefully planned process that may involve not only the family of the patient, but also anyone around him, including co-workers and friends. It is also stated that the intervention needs to be orchestrated by an addiction professional for it to yield the best results.

You might also want to do more research on your own once you are in contact with an interventionist. Remember to be open and clear about everything related to the addict including what you feel will have a greater impact in trying to get him to accept help in a treatment center.

Our toll free helpline is available 24 hours a day for you to call at any time. Our recovery specialists will help you find the best intervention services available and will answer your questions regarding addiction treatment and recovery. Our information services have no cost at all.