A Good Interventionist Does More than the Intervention

A Good Interventionist Does More than the Intervention

Maybe because of A&E’s Intervention or other movie and TV portrayals of interventions, many believe the interventionist talks to the family a bit, shows up for the big event, convinces the addict to go to rehab, then case closed.

The reality is a bit different. Those who have been interventionist for many years (10 or more) have learned from experience over time that the process is really much more involved and complicated that that. They understand that their job involves a thorough pre-intervention period with the family during which they will determine which treatment center will best serve the addict, the actual intervention event, the post-intervention period in which the interventionist maintains communication with the treatment center to ensure the addict is getting appropriate care, and then the development of a post-treatment plan that will serve as a bridge to the real work: recovery.

If you’ve hired an interventionist who thinks their job is done when they leave the intervention event, you have not chosen wisely.

For some families the situation is even more complicated and requires that they hire an interventionist who also does case management. Let’s say the addict also has legal issues because of a DUI and has a co-occurring psychiatric disorder such as clinical depression. The case manager/interventionist would work to coordinate all aspects of treatment as well as work with the psychiatrist, the attorney, and the courts if necessary.

If you are considering hiring an interventionist, don’t look for the slickest, look for the most experienced. This means a minimum of:

-Board-certified through the Association of Intervention Specialists

This ensures the interventionist has gone through appropriate training and has been mentored by an experienced interventionist. This includes intervention supervision during the training period.

It also indicates that they have agreed to a code of ethics – to choose the right treatment for their client (and not get paid per admission, which undermines their impartiality). These interventionists fall under the jurisdiction of the AISCB, who will enforce the code.

It also ensures that they are meeting a continuing education requirement so they keep their knowledge of addiction fresh and relevant.

It can also be helpful to hire an interventionist who is also in recovery. However, choose someone who has been in recovery for a good length of time, preferably 5 years.