Invitational Model of Intervention


The Invitational Model of Intervention, also known as the Systemic Family Intervention Model, was developed by Ed Speare and Wayne Raiter. Rather than focusing solely on the person with a substance abuse problem, the Invitational Model addresses the entire family together, with the addicted individual invited to attend as well. This model is based on the idea that if the system changes, every individual within the system will also change, including the addict (systems theory). It is designed to be a non-confrontational and nonjudgmental form of intervention.


The Invitational Model of Intervention calls for the entire family to participate in an interventionist-led workshop, which generally takes place over two days. In the workshop, the family is educated on addiction, covering such topics as addiction’s underlying neurobiology and intergenerational nature, how addiction affects the family, and the process known as enabling (among many others). The interventionist helps each member of the family understand the role they play in the system of addiction, with the goal of having every family member commit to a plan of recovery. The hope is that a commitment by every family member will encourage the addicted individual to accept help.

To proceed with the Invitational Model of Intervention, a concerned family member must contact an interventionist about the person with a substance abuse problems. Several family members meet or talk with the interventionist, and plans for the workshop are made. One family member is coached on how to invite the addicted individual to the workshop, although it will take place regardless of whether the individual decides to attend. Family members who will be attending the workshop are often asked to do some preparation, which may include attending Alcoholics Anonymous/Al-Anon meetings and completing some assigned reading.

The workshop is conducted, and each family member learns about their different treatment options. These may include addiction or co-dependency treatment, among others. The interventionist usually maintains contact with the family for up to a year, following up either in person or via telephone.