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How to Stage an Intervention

Learn how to stage an intervention in this Howcast video featuring addictions specialist Paul J. Rinaldi, Ph.D.


Often, people are concerned about a loved one and they may have been trying to get that loved on into some kind of treatment for their alcohol problems and the person refuses to do so. So then what they want to do is stage what's called an intervention. An intervention should be staged. Often, people want to do it on their own where they just kind of gather the family or maybe some other friends and confront the person and expect that the person is going to have a catharsis and agree to go to treatment. That, 99% of the time fails. An intervention should be done by an intervention specialist and there are intervention specialists all over the United States. One should look that up. These days with the internet, you could always google that and find an intervention specialist in your area. Intervention specialists have particular training of how to stage such an intervention and what usually occurs is that the interventionist meets with the family or whomever is staging the intervention. It's often family. It's often very close friends of the person who's having the issue. The interventionist meets with them for sometimes only one time, sometimes several times to prepare them for the intervention will be like, for what they might expect from the person, for what they might expect from themselves. And then, the intervention occurs and that's why I say it usually fails when people try and do it on their own because they're not prepared. So this intervention specialist will then, with the family or with the, I use the term family loosely, but with the loved ones of that person who's being intervened upon, they will then usually surprise - an intervention is usually a surprise and I would say, a shock to the person. It often works. It sometimes doesn't but what is usually happens, the other thing an interventionist does is they have treatment set-up already so they can, right from the intervention, take that person immediately to the treatment and that's really what's indicated. That person may refuse to go and with substance abuse disorders unless the person is threatening to harm themselves iminitely or harm someone else, we can't force someone to go to treatment. Treatment is voluntary. However, an intervention can be quite powerful because what it always includes is those significant others setting limits on that person, saying "This is where I'm drawing the line. I'm not willing to do x, y or z from this day forward." And that's what the interventionist helps the people prepare to do.

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