5 Benefits to Hiring an Interventionist, and why you should.

The decision to have an intervention is not an easy one for most families to make. A family may take months or years to decide to get help for an addicted loved one. It’s possible for this process to divide families, leading to frustration and a lose of hope that they will ever be able to do anything to help their loved with a substance abuse problem. This is where the professional services of an interventionist come in; It can be the decision that lifts some of the stress off that group and ultimately shift the family dynamic back into a more positive light. This shift in understanding, perspective and approach to the problem allows for the implementation of concrete solutions, which will lead to recovery for all those involved.

Families just want to help their loved ones, but attempting an intervention, which is a complex multi-faceted endeavor, without the help of a professional can be very risky.

One of the main factors to consider in the intervention equation is that the interventionist has professional background and training in safely resolving these type of situations (which can include heated discussion, a wide range of emotions and hurt feelings).

A professional interventionist has the required expertise, including the following five skills:

  1. Assessments: Professional interventionists have the ability to accurately interpret the symptoms of an individual with an active addiction. By completing a comprehensive assessment, an interventionist can confidently recommend addictions intervention strategies, detoxification procedures, and suggest a variety of treatment options.
  1. Withdrawal Management: Successfully treating the symptoms of withdrawal is a medically complex procedure, and without the proper protocols in place, the individual can be at risk for significant health consequences. Determining substance of choice, quantity used, duration of use, as well as other factors, such as age and mental health status, is absolutely critical when arranging an appropriate withdrawal plan. Knowledge of alcohol, drug, and medication withdrawal symptoms and risk factor allows the interventionist to put in place the best possible medical support system to address all of these factors.
  1. Treatment Planning: Interventionists have many contacts in the addictions treatment realm that are not readily available to the general public. These connections can be used to get the client the best possible treatment available. Knowledge of the treatment process is also key to finding an appropriate detox facility or treatment centre for the client based on his or her unique circumstances. Interventionists can source the best options for treatment based on the client’s needs and on available funding.
  1. Counselling: A professional interventionist has the ability to engage clients on an emotional level through the use of empathy, active listening and motivational interviewing techniques. With their own limitations in mind, interventionists will ensure that the client’s needs regarding specific and complicated issues, such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and other co-occurring mental health disorders are met. The ability to offer a non-judgmental approach and perspective is essential during the intervention process.
  1. Case Management: There is no predetermined path or timeline for an individual entering recovery, therefore, ongoing assessments and referrals through case management are essential for establishing the stability needed for long-term success. An interventionist who is truly passionate about not only helping your loved one find initial treatment, but also helping that client build a happy, balanced life requires ongoing attention. Once a foundation has been established in an addicted person’s life, an experienced interventionist can assist in planning for the future and finding suitable resources to address the client’s needs.

If you’re contemplating an intervention as an option to help a loved one in need, consider these five skills held by professional interventions. Armed with a professional who possesses these skills, the family will be able to successfully fight back against addiction by devising an effective course of action that will guide everyone towards a healthy life.


When enlisting the services of an interventionist, you want to know if the tools applied are going to work. This is an emotional time for everyone involved, and you may have passing thoughts that it’s a waste of time, money, and energy to go through the whole process of an intervention just to have it not stick. So what exactly is an intervention going to offer and how are those tools going to be effective in guiding your addicted loved one to a life of recovery?

An intervention requires a group of family, friends and loved ones to gather in order to share how a loved one’s addiction is affecting their lives. The gathering is a surprise to the addicted person, and intended to provide specific examples of how their behaviour is affecting those around them; explains that everyone in the room will no longer continue to be part of their lives if they continue their behaviour and don’t accept treatment; and a pre-arranged effective and specific treatment plan is presented to them.

Ultimately, there is no absolute guarantee that every intervention will work, however the odds are in your favour that it will. Interventions who run these gatherings take quality time and effort to plan the intervention itself, and also gather background information on the family and addicted individual to get a better understanding of the overlying circumstances. Interventionists are trained in addictions counselling and conflict intervention, which are important skills to have during an intervention, where things can get very emotional very quickly. They are also able to use their professional connections to find the best treatment centres and programs for your loved one.

With all this in mind, here are some tips to ensure that your intervention goes as smoothly as possible:

  • Plan it out. You want to take the time to find the right interventionist for your needs, and take time to plan the event. This means contacting family and friends who live out of town to see if they can be there on the big day; and making sure you are emotionally prepared. You also want to choose a time of day for your intervention when the addicted person will least likely be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It will also help to host the intervention in a place where they will be relatively comfortable (somewhere familiar to them, and not intimidating).
  • Be on the same page. You want to make sure that everyone in the group, including the interventionist, are on the same page. This means sharing information about the addicted individual, any specifics about how the intervention is going to go and the treatment that will be offered. If it makes you more at ease, you can always stage a rehearsal intervention, without the addicted individual.
  • Don’t wait for an answer. You don’t want to wait too long to get an answer about whether your loved one will accept the offered treatment or not. People with substance abuse problems tend to put off responsibility in favour of their drugs and alcohol. Ask them for an immediate answer during the intervention, and explain the consequences (including loss of relationship ties and support) if they decline the offer or leave.

Enlisting the professional help of an interventionist can offer that safe environment, where everyone – family and addict – can feel supported. Other professionals, such as counsellors or medical specialists can also be a resource if you have any questions or are looking for more information.

Substance abuse is not always apparent, especially in the early stages. So how are you to tell if you’re curiosity about a loved one’s potential drug or alcohol is just a recreational habit, or something more dangerous?

There are different levels of substance dependencies; the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has said that the term “substance abuse” problem has been altered to “substance use disorder,” which, in turn, allows for their to be varying levels of severity to the disorder (mild, severe, etc.)  The Administration has defined substance abuse (or substance use disorders) to be the “recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.”

Substance abuse can be masked in the beginning by symptoms such as depression or withdrawal from friends, family or things that once used to make the person happy. As the addiction becomes stronger, the symptoms become increasingly problematic, and much more glaring. But what, exactly, should you be looking for?

Symptoms of substance abuse:

  • Depression, anxiety and/or paranoia
  • Change in eating and/or sleeping patterns
  • Neglecting responsibilities, including work and family
  • Taking risks without concern for consequences
  • Withdrawal from family, friends, work, and hobbies
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Sudden change in weight (gain or loss)

These are just a handful of symptoms of substance abuse; they are not all mutually exclusive to addiction, and there may be other symptoms your loved one is experiencing.

If you are concerned about a loved one based on any of the above symptoms they may be showing, or for other reasons, your instinct may be to confront them about the issue. However, this is not always the most effective option for addressing the issue. It is possible for the addicted person to become irrational, defensive, and even violent. This behaviour can put yourself, the addicted person, and anyone else nearby in danger. This isn’t to say that the addiction should not be addressed; it should. But it is best to do so in a controlled environment where everyone’s safety is ensured.

Enlisting the professional help of an interventionist can offer that safe environment, where everyone – family and addict – can feel supported. Other professionals, such as counsellors or medical specialists can also be a resource if you have any questions or are looking for more information.

If you’re considering hosting an intervention for a loved one with a substance abuse problem, chances are you and your family have already undergone a series of emotional setbacks.


There is nothing easy about having a loved one with an addiction, even if you choose not to engage with them because of their hurtful behaviour. But there comes a time when a family can no longer sit by (no matter how much effort they’ve put in in the past to help the individual with their addiction) and watch their loved one hurt themselves and everyone around them.


Interventions are not a light matter, and the decision to host one should be taken seriously. The preparation, the event itself, and the aftermath can be very emotionally draining. So is it worth it all?


This is a question that you and your family need to answer yourselves; there isn’t anyone – an interventionist, counsellor, or doctor – who can make that decision for you. It is up to the family to assess their situation and take a hard look at the life of the addicted individual; how are they doing, really? What kind of help do they need? Are there other approaches you could take to get them help or have you exhausted those? Maybe other options just aren’t the right fit for your situation. These are just examples of questions you can ask or discuss with your family when considering an intervention.


It’s easy in times like these to focus on the negative; to only see the damage that is being done and all the hurt feelings. But in order to answer the question of whether an intervention is worth the emotional strain, you must look at the benefits of an intervention. An intervention is your chance as a family to express your truest feelings about your loved one’s addiction; this is not a chance you will often get. It is also your chance to be supported by a professional interventionist who can mitigate conflict and deal head-on with any problems or outbursts that occur during the meeting. The greatest thing that can come out of an intervention is that your loved one accepts treatment, and starts on their recovery journey.


You must look at all these positive outcomes, and compare them to your present situation with your addicted loved one. Will an intervention better all of your lives? How much are you hurting right now, and could it get any worse if they were able to recover from their addiction? It’s worth the consideration, and is ultimately your choice. No one can make it for you, but it’s always best to weigh all options. Speaking with a professional interventionist can always help to answer any questions you may have about the process, or any concerns that are worrying you.


Meeting with an interventionist and sharing your story can also help you make the decision to host an intervention, and hopefully see whether it is worth the emotional struggle.


You know that a loved one has a substance abuse problem, but it doesn’t seem like they’ve hit rock bottom yet.

That’s when you’re supposed to hold an intervention, right? Not necessarily.

There is not right or wrong time to hold an intervention, which can make the decision to host one a little tricky. Every situation is going to be different, and the needs for every family and addicted individual are going to vary. For one person, a few months of heavy, steady drug use will warrant an intervention, whereas it may take years for another family to set something up for their loved one with a decades-long drinking problem.

When you’re trying to decide if an intervention is the best way to go, you can always seek the advice of an addictions specialist, such as a counsellor, doctor, social worker, psychiatrist, or especially an intervention specialist. These people will be able to give you a medical opinion on what would be the best approach to dealing with the addiction in your family.

An intervention does not need to be hosted by a professional interventionist; many families host interventions on their own. A professional interventionist can, however, offer a sense of support to the family before, during and after the intervention. An interventionist is trained in counselling and conflict resolution, which can be crucial to have if the addicted individual has a history of mental illness and/or violent behaviour. There is no harm is reaching out to a professional for their advice, and to see what they can offer you and your family during this trying time, before you make your decision to host an intervention.

There is no playbook for what to look for before hosting an intervention; it is a case-by-case, family-by-family type of situation, in which you need to assess your family’s needs and those of your addicted family member or friend. If you feel as though you cannot continue living and dealing with your loved one’s addiction, that’s an indication that it’s time to take action and effect change, for everyone’s well-being. A person doesn’t necessarily need to hit “rock bottom” before someone steps in to offer them a helping hand, or before a treatment is going to work. It is always worth the effort to look for help for someone you care about.

Have questions? Contact us, we’d be happy to answer them.