When considering an intervention for your loved one, the stakes are high when it comes to selecting the best interventionist. Fortunately, researching interventionists can reduce the uncertainty of the situation, while also improving the chances your loved one seeks treatment.
Here are a few steps to help you choose the right interventionist for you and your loved one.
1. Emphasize the importance of timeliness.
The first interventionist you reach out to may not be able to accommodate your family in time due to prior commitments with other families in similar circumstances. Depending on the substances used by your loved one or how dire his or her current condition is, however, waiting may not be advisable. In these cases, finding the right interventionist may become an issue of finding the one that is available. Generally, a good interventionist stresses and understands the priority of obtaining treatment for the patient as soon as possible. Therefore, a good interventionist who can’t schedule an intervention will refer you to other colleagues who may be available.
2. Conduct a reference check.
Given that you are entrusting sensitive information and control to an otherwise complete stranger, a reference check is essential. The most reliable licensing body for interventionists is the Association of Intervention Specialists (AIS). The AIS conducts experience and reference checks before issuing credentials to an interventionist. Once these credentials have been established, references from other professionals and clients should be requested. Finally, don’t hesitate to be frank about the educational, clinical and personal background of the interventionist during your initial inquiries.
3. Ask personal questions.
Compiling a list of personal questions for the interventionist to ask will help them determine whether their skills will be of most assistance to your loved one. Essentially, the family must communicate a plethora of information regarding the context of the addict’s struggle to the interventionist. Thus, the most effective way to conduct an intervention is for the interventionist to ask the addict specific questions.
4. Consider their own story.
During an intervention, the interventionist has a few minutes at most to establish credibility with the subject of addiction. One of the most common methods successfully employed by addiction specialists include pairing interventionists and clients with a similar personal addiction history. In this sense, the interventionist establishes relatability while also offering hope in the form of their own personal recovery story.
5. Find a professional who can recommend an appropriate post-intervention plan.
Generally speaking, the wishes of family members arranging an intervention is for their loved one to seek treatment. However, pre-arranging the details of attending treatment, including making arrangements with the treatment centers beforehand, is essential. If your interventionist recommends treatment suited to the needs of the patient, a consultation regarding a post-intervention plan should be scheduled in advance.
Oftentimes, interventionists choose their career after surviving their own experience with addiction. While this, coupled with a genuine desire to help, can be helpful during the intervention process, it’s important to work with a professional who has the right credentials and clinical background to assist your family without causing undue harm.