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.

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.

Currently the 12 Step program is the most widely used model for addiction and recovery. The 12 step model is utilized by most treatment facilities, detoxes and community based support networks such as Narcotic Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous.

Although a 12 Step program may appear easy to navigate, it can prove challenging for many in early recovery.

Developed in 1938, Alcoholics Anonymous was the first 12 Step program, now more than 65 other fellowships are utilizing this model. 12 Steps refers to a process by which an individual is guided through a series of sequential steps/phases by a sponsor. A sponsor is a member who has already gone through this process and is willing to help mentor someone new through the steps.

The 12 Step programs are very helpful in many areas when it comes to addressing addiction treatment, and all meetings should have “one primary purpose … to carry the message” of recovery to all participants. Carrying a message is one thing; however, actively and effectively working on one’s recovery is another. One part of the program that falls desperately short is providing consistent and professional guidance through the process of recovery. Depending on who is selected as the mentor or sponsor can greatly affect and shape one’s experience and success in 12 Step recovery. Although 12 Step meetings are full of well-meaning people, it does not mean they are qualified to facilitate the process of recovery. These people typically have no formal training in addiction treatment, and could be basing their approach on flawed recovery strategies. This has lead health professionals, doctors and other agents to be hesitant when referring a client to a 12 Step program.

With that said, the 12 Step programs have much to offer if the right guidance and direction is present from the very beginning. For people in early recovery, the 12 Step programs have been hit or miss because of the inconsistent direction and level of support that they receive. The recovery community and those who recognize this shortcoming have started to provide individuals with the consistent professional guidance and direction that has been lacking throughout the years. This new approach consists of a professional Recovery Coach guiding an individual through the most critical early stages of the 12 Step recovery process.

Ongoing freedom from addiction is a life long journey, and the first steps are crucial. Having a skilled Recovery Coach there from the beginning can make a significant difference to the success of an individual navigating a 12 Step Program.