Intervention Techniques and Methods

Although many people assume that interventions involve unsuspecting addicts meeting a roomful of their friends and family to discuss their ongoing substance use disorder, there is more to it than just this. In fact, there are some intervention techniques that you need to use to ensure that the meeting proceeds smoothly and brings successful outcomes.

Common Intervention Methods

In the following sections, you will find some of the most common techniques that are proving effective and successful at helping people who are struggling with addiction see just how serious the problem is and why they need to check into rehab immediately. These intervention techniques include:

Field Model

The Field Model is so called because the interventionists can make decisions in the field. This is in the sense that this form of intervention can be unexpected or planning. As such, this model is popularly known to work before it is one of the most flexible of all intervention techniques. It can also be adapted depending on the situation that one is dealing with.

The field model is commonly recommended for addicts who seem like they might react in any violent, aggressive or otherwise negative way. It also works effectively for an intervention that has to be staged and executed as fast as possible – such as when the addict has been using drugs that are highly likely to cause adverse effects like sudden death.

Invitation Model

This type of intervention is like any other except for the fact that the addict is involved in the process – so that they are not surprised when it happens. In general, one of the family members or friends will be asked to approach the drug user or alcohol to ask them if they would like to get help for their condition.

After that, they would arrange with the addict when they can meet with everyone else – and probably with a professional interventionist too. As such, there are no surprises and the addict would be fully aware of the meeting and what will transpire during it. They also get the option of deciding whether or not to attend the meeting.

One of the advantages of invitational intervention techniques is that the addict has less of an opportunity to be defensive. To this end, it is highly likely that they will be willing to listen to what the group has to say.

Even so, there is always the possibility that the addict might refuse to meet with an interventionist. However, if this happens, friends and family should still proceed with the meeting. This is because it could potentially help them understand how and why they have been contributing to the ongoing addict by acting as enablers.

Johnson Model

The Johnson model is perhaps the most recognizable of all intervention techniques. It uses the element of surprise in which friends and family confront an addict – preferably in the presence and with the guidance of a professional interventionist.

This type of drug and alcohol intervention is focused on discussions of the addict’s actions and behavior as well as the harm that they might have been causing both to themselves and to those that they love.

The ultimate goal of this form of intervention is to get the addict to overcome their denial and offer them the support and help that they need in case they agree to enroll in an addiction treatment and rehabilitation program.

In many cases, those present would talk about the consequences that the addict is likely to run into in case they decide that they would not like to attend rehab and find full recovery.

Although it might be powerful for the addict to learn about the harm that they have been causing to people around them, you may find that invoking shame and using pressure might not always work. This is because the addict might feel that they cannot control the situation. As such, they might struggle through ongoing recovery and eventually relapse.

Motivational Interviewing

This is one of the intervention techniques that use a counseling approach to get an addict to check into a rehab program. It is focused on having conversations with drug users about getting help for their substance use disorder. These conversations are formatted in such a way that they encourage the addict to start making more positive changes to their behavior and actions.

Although the other types of interventions tend to be based on the community, this technique is focused on the individual as well as on their ongoing substance abuse. As such, the method will have interventionists or therapists working with the addict to understand their point of view. They can also offer them empathy instead of shaming or judging them.

The interventionist will also work to create individualized goals and build trust with the addict so that they learn how to start changing their habits and behavior. Although this process was not made for confrontation, however, it might still provoke self-denial and feelings of defense in the addict.

Systemic Model

Not all intervention techniques have to feel aggressive and confrontational. In fact, they might provide the best opportunity for friends and family to place greater emphasis on the need for the substance abuser to learn that it is possible for them to learn how to live without using these drugs.

The systemic model, to this end, focuses on ensuring that members present at the intervention do not place any shame or blame on the victim. Instead, the friends and family will discuss – in the presence of a therapist or professional interventionist – how they have been contributing to the continued substance abuse.

This type of intervention will also review the addiction and how it is a communal problem that everyone needs to work through to resolve – and not simply as an individual problem that only negatively affects the substance user.

The model is also effective because it will reduce the chances that the addict will turn out to be defensive or upset. As such, it works well especially for adolescents because they will not feel that the group is outing them for a problem that is beyond their control.

In conclusion, the fact that there are so many different intervention techniques means that finding the right one might be a bit tricky. This is why you should get a professional interventionist or therapist to help you decide on the model that you are going to use.