How To Do an Intervention

An intervention goes well above and beyond the act of just trying to speak to your loved one about their addiction and getting help.  The most important thing to understand with an intervention is it’s not possible to be both the family member and the interventionist, you need to be one or the other.  Intervention is about changing the family, not the speech or complaints to the addict or the alcoholic.  Addicts and alcoholics are almost always comfortable in their active addiction because of certain people, places and things keeping them comfortable.  How is a speech going to fix that?  No matter how hard we try, it seems most people are unable to grasp the concept or understand the science of an intervention. 

How many times has a family called us and asked “Why do I need you, can’t we just talk to them ourselves”? Sure you can, however you already tried that a thousand times and have been unsuccessful so what’s going to be different now.  What becomes even more difficult is when a family calls us and says they spoke to their loved one and they have agreed to go.  Sure that’s great they are going to treatment but still nothing has changed with the family system.  Soon after treatment they will return home to the exact unwell, manipulated family system they left and that kept them comfortable in the first place.  This is why the success rate of treatment is so low, because families try and do the intervention themselves or furthermore never do an intervention or seek codependency counseling to help repair the family system broken by the addict and the alcoholic.

The Need for a Professional Intervention

As we stated above, you can’t be both the loved one and the professional.  The addict and the alcoholic has trained your family system how to keep them comfortable at your expenses and that’s what is broke and that is what needs to be fixed.  Here are some things to consider on why you need a professional and on how to do an intervention:

  • Talking your loved one into treatment is NOT an intervention
  • You have to be the family or the interventionist, you can’t be both
  • The family is almost always viewed by the addict or the alcoholic as the problem
  • You can never let them choose the treatment center or the level of care
  • If your codependency and enabling doesn’t change, neither does their addiction
  • What are you going to do when they call you from treatment wanting to come home
  • You do not have to wait for them to want help and you don’t have to wait until they hit bottom
  • Dad can’t fix this with rules and words
  • Mom can’t fix this with hugs and kisses

Until a family system is united, gets on the same page and holds their loved one accountable, chances are likely that the addict or alcoholic with either not accept help or will return to active addiction after treatment.  Addiction is about self-medicating emotions and blaming their loved ones for their problems.  The addict or alcoholic goes to great lengths to manipulate a family into doing things that comfort them to make their addiction easier.  How you do an intervention is to hire a professional because what needs to change first is the family.  Until the behaviors that allowed the addiction to get out of control change the addict or the alcoholic won’t.  Time and time again we here families tell us their loved one doe’s not want help and that is just simply not true.  They don’t have to get help because the family has provided them with enough comfort that they don’t have to stop and seek treatment.