The Addictions Academy: Ten Secrets to Becoming an Expert Interventionist!
An interventionist is a highly skilled, well-trained professional. To be of maximum benefit to the chemical dependency and mental health fields an interventionist must become an expert in the art of successful interventions for those still sick and suffering and their families. The Addictions Academy of Miami, Florida offers an array of courses to prepare potential interventionists to become experts in their field. The following are the Academy’s ten top secrets to becoming an expert interventionist.
- To be the best, you need to be trained by the best!
Let’s be honest, if you don’t care who trains you as an interventionist, it’s a crap shoot as to your success in training and skills. You should do your research and find highly skilled professionals with years of experience in the field of interventions. The best instructors are not people who read books; they are professionals who have the experience in the field that can show you the different techniques to be successful. The Addictions Academy’s instructors have many years experience in the field and have had hundreds of successful interventions using different methods and techniques.
- An interventionist has to be prepared before they execute.
Successful interventionists plan out their interventions. An intervention should never be rushed or spontaneous; it should be carefully planned out usually at least a week from the original call. The interventionist’s transportation, and lodging, needs to be set up, as well as the date, time, and location of the intervention. A contract needs to be sent to the client, a deposit sent from the client, and a pre-intervention plan set up. The interventionist also needs to have a good idea of appropriate treatment facilities for the client and an escort plan to transport the client to the facility chosen. Successful interventions are well planned and thought out in advance.
- Don’t trust what you hear; trust what you see!
Often family members will be the initial contact with the interventionist. The family may think that they’re providing concrete facts, but more often than not, their facts are not one-hundred percent accurate. They may be enablers who have been manipulated by their addicted loved one. Perhaps the family has been lied to about the facts. The referral resource just simply may not know the facts. Even when the interventionist communicates directly with the addicted family member, they still may not get to the truth. Interventionists must trust their instincts and use all of their professional skills to make decisions on the client. Remember that body language is 55%, tones and inflections 38%, and the spoken word only 7% of trusted human communication.
- Interventionists don’t react on emotions.
An intervention is loaded with emotions, tears, yelling by family members, and anger. The interventionist stays professional and never reacts based on emotion. Interventionists rely on their training, experience, common sense, and wisdom. Interventions can become very heated between loved ones, prepare the family that you may ask certain people to step outside if their actions interrupt the positive flow of the interventionist’s progress. Interventionists remain professional at all times; they never get pulled into the family’s drama.
- Professional interventionists have to be able to understand family dynamics.
T he interventionist must be able to identify and understand the dynamics of each family unit. This information is invaluable as a tool for the interventionist’s success in handling the client and the outcome of the intervention. Most important is finding out who the enabler or enablers are in the family unit. The enabler can sabotage the whole intervention if not identified and handled. The hero in the family is another key player in the family unit. The hero will assist in the intervention with blocking the enabler. To have a successful intervention, the other players worth identifying are, the family mascot, the scapegoat, the lost child, and of course the addict or addicts. The intervention will use all this information to their advantage and even set the room up for success with a door blocker, spacers, leader, and enforcer within the family units. The Addictions Academy breaks down family dynamics in-depth during their training courses for professional intervention students.
- Professional interventionists must know how to identify and handle different types of clients.
All clients are not the same! Some of the basic characteristics that interventionists screen for are genetic factors, emotional stress, psychiatric problems, and unresolved issues from the client’s past. Types of clients can include the following
ANGRY DEFIANT CLIENT
MENTAL HEALTH CLIENT
PHONE/TEXTING TYPE CLIENT
PHYSICAL ISSUES CLIENT
Expert interventionists must be able to master dealing with and identifying all the different types of clients and adjust their intervention process accordingly. The Addictions Academy will instruct their students on the proper procedures for handling these types of clients and role play and rehearse handling these types of clients.
- Plan on a smooth intervention and be ready for a rocky one.
Interventionists must be ready for the curve ball, the fastball, and the slider! Anything can and will happen during an intervention. The interventionist must be on their toes at all times. No physical violence should be tolerated! The police may have to be called if things get out of control. They must make sure that everyone is safe. The interventionist may have to deal with denial, anger, verbal abuse, accusations, and must be prepared to follow through with consequences. The interventionist never really knows how things will go in advance. The main point is that they are ready to handle the worst possible situation and hope for smooth sailing.
- The interventionist must remain positive at all times.
No matter what happens, the interventionist should always remain positive and hopeful toward solution for the clients. The family has been through very hard and emotional times, they may quickly become negative. The interventionist can help set the tone and mood for the intervention by remaining positive. This should lead to a good outcome.
9. There are several different models of interventions.
There is a simple intervention: One person confronts addicted person Plan on a smooth intervention and be ready for a rocky one.
A Classical Intervention: educating the family, pre-intervention.
A Family System Intervention: Multiple family members addicted.
A Crisis Intervention: Stabilize the situation quickly, rehabilitation follows.
Johnson Model (Surprise Model): Often used by Interventionists.
The Arise Model: Involves the addicted person from the beginning.
The Invitational Intervention Model: Involves the whole family.
Systemic Intervention Model: Focus is on the family, highly successful with process addictions
The RAAD Intervention Model: Reading the client, assessing the situation, anticipating client needs, and directing the flow.
Depending on the situation and the client, some models are more appropriate than others for specific situations. The Addictions Academy uses the RAAD model of intervention in most cases. You will learn about all the above listed intervention models during their training.
- Interventions aren’t only for substance abuse and alcoholism.
Alcoholic: (Chronic, Drinks every Day.)
Alcoholic: (Binge Drinker, Does not consume every day.)
Drug addict: non shooter (pills)
Drug addict: shooter (IV Injections)
Drug addict smoker (crack, meth, pills etc)
Functioning Drug addict or alcoholic
Non addict but excessive user
Process Addictions: Sex Addict, Pathological Gambler, Eating Disorders (Behavior Addictions)
There are many different forms of addiction that interventionists may have to confront. The Addictions Academy covers all these forms of addiction during their intervention training.
The main goal of any intervention is to get the client to seek professional help for their addiction problems, traumatic event, crisis, or other serious problem. The above listed information should be a part of any interventionist training. The Addictions Academy trains new interventionists to be the best that they can be; to become seasoned experts is the ultimate goal. For more information visit the Academy’s website at www.theaddictionsacademy.com or call 800-706-0318. Our children are dying every minute of every hour of every day from addiction. More professionals are needed to handle this terrible disease. Are you the next expert interventionist? We hope you are! “Stick with the Winners!”