7 Tips for Performing an Intervention for a Loved One

178711325If you have a loved one who is suffering from addiction, you may be considering performing an intervention. Interventions have the potential to help a loved one seek treatment. When done well, the intervention can help the loved one feel supported and can help him or her decide to make a change.

  1. Make a Plan

Consult a professional, such as a counselor, therapist or interventionist, for advice on how to perform the intervention. Planning what will be said and who will be present can greatly increase the chances of success.

  1. Gather Information

Once you’ve discussed the intervention with others, gather information about your loved one’s addiction, including the severity and how long the loved one has been wrestling with the addiction.

  1. Decide on the Intervention Team

Choose positive people whom you trust, and whom your loved one feels close to, for participation in the intervention. You might also decide that you want a professional interventionist present, or another qualified professional. You can also use this opportunity to decide when and where the intervention will take place.

  1. Decide on Consequences

If your loved one is resistant to treatment, have consequences that have already been discussed with others on the intervention team. Ideally, each person should have specific consequences that he or she will follow through with, like asking the loved one to move out. It’s important not to state any consequence that you aren’t comfortable following through with.

  1. Make Notes About What to Say

Interventions can be very emotionally charged, especially if they aren’t well planned in advance. In order to help keep you and others focused on the task at hand, come up with specific things you want to say. For instance, it can be useful to say, “I felt angry when you got drunk on my birthday,” which provides a specific example and how it made you feel.

  1. Hold the Intervention

It’s important to not let your loved one know about the intervention until it takes place. Have him or her be at a specific place at a specific time. Members take turns expressing their concerns, and they offer the loved one a treatment plan. Emphasizing your unconditional love and concern for the loved one can help prevent him or her from feeling ambushed or judged.

  1. Follow Up

Once your loved one is in treatment, the road to recovery doesn’t end. Often, loved ones are able to successfully overcome their addictions largely through the support of their friends and family. You can offer to attend counseling sessions with your loved one, or provide other types of support while the loved one is in recovery.

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