Staging an intervention can be a challenging a tricky situation. If there is a friend or family member who has a drug or alcohol problem, standing by and watching them destroy themselves is a painful thing to experience. Chances are, they don’t believe they have a problem and therefore do not want to get help. Staging an intervention may be the only way you can help a loved one.
But before you decide to go ahead with one, do the proper research, familiarize yourself with the process, and think about getting in touch with an intervention specialist for guidance.
1. Have a meeting with everyone involved
This includes family members, friends, and partners. A good number of people to have involved is between 3-6 adults who have had the person’s behavior affect them in some way. During the meeting, make sure each person has a chance to communicate about how the person has affected them, what they plan to say to the person, and how they want to address any denials. Plan the intervention carefully by allowing each person to speak separately without too much repetition or negative judgement.
Anticipation the person’s resistance and how you will each handle it when the time comes. Protect each other and make sure each person involved understands the confidentiality of the intervention.
2. Consult a professional
There are people who specialize in interventions that can give you valuable guidance and advice, or perhaps even be there to help. Handling it on your own can be overwhelming and stressful. You may end up feeling abused, unappreciated, or put down by the person you are confronting.
3. Stage a rehearsal
Gather everyone who plans on participating to practice what you want to say. Think of the various responses you may get from the person, and plan out how you’ll react to each response.
4. Create lists of behaviors
Prepare a list of behaviors that you believe the person needs to work on. This is a very delicate part of the intervention. Be sure to use language that is neutral in tone, and limit negative or accusatory words and phrases. Be sure to make it clear to the person what the consequences will be if they continue with these destructive behaviors.
5. Prepare for treatment
Anticipate that the person will enter treatment following the intervention, and plan ahead. This means choosing a rehab facility, arranging for payment and transportation, and be clear that it’s the only way the person can get help.
6. Choose a location and begin
Have the person meet at a private, safe place at a time that works for everyone. Have a place for each person in the room, so once the intervention begins there will no distractions. Remind everyone to stay calm, aware of their presentation, and firm in their communication. Be sure the person understands that the intervention is coming from a place of love and concern, not judgement or negativity.
7. Define the problem
Have everyone explain how the person’s addiction has affected them. Be sure to avoid accusatory statements and let each person speak for equal lengths of time.
8. Propose a solution
Clearly explain the type of treatment you believe the person should follow and how it will make a difference. Emphasize the positive aspects of treatment and make it clear that all preparations have been made for them. Be sure that each person involved in the intervention expresses their love and concern for the person while also being firm and steadfast in wanting them to seek treatment.