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The Systems of Intervention

by | Apr 19, 2012 | Addiction, Featured, Recovery, Treatment

Home Addiction The Systems of Intervention

Intervention-the act or method of interfering with the outcome or course especially of a condition or process (as to prevent harm or improve functioning).Addictive behavior can develop into an unrelenting source of pain and destruction; generally incapacitating the addict and their loved ones.  Lives are unraveled by addiction and intervention may well be the incentive that moves an individual towards altering their unhealthy ways.  Addressing one’s dependency on unhealthy behaviors is never an easy task, especially when that behavior has morphed into a dangerous habit.
Therapeutic intervention in respect to addiction has been around for about 30 years; the initial methodology was designed by Dr. Vernon Johnson of the Johnson Institute in Minneapolis. Today, two main forms of direct intervention exist and are generally used – the Systemic Family Model and A.R.I.S.E.  Both systems are “invitational” and compassionate approaches devised in order to help take the focus off the addict/alcoholic, driving home the idea that the entire family unit or support system must adjust behaviors in an effort for everyone who is involved to get healthy.  Indirect intervention is a process that involves a family that has become co-dependent, encouraging them to be more effective in helping the addict heal their dependent behaviors.
When organizing a direct intervention, there are several steps in developing an effective result; each step plays an important part in the process being a successful one.   Generally you are asking that a group of individuals (typically family and friends) come together in order to persuade the addict/alcoholic to seek immediate professional help. Those persons selected to be involved are asked to explain their concerns, showing examples of the weight of that addiction.  It is strongly urged that a list of boundaries be prepared, as well as consequences that will take affect if treatment is not sought.
The support of a qualified counselor or certified interventionist might be a wise asset in assisting in balancing the intervention effort.  The environment in which the intervention occurs is also significant; never should this process transpire in a public venue. Obviously, staging an intervention when someone has been using or drinking is not suggested. You have to plan it out so that the individual is relatively sober and somewhat receptive to what is being offered.  Threats or manipulation only push an addicted individual to shut down; being intervened upon is an overwhelming experience for any addict.
In developing an intervention, it is paramount to have a specific and realistic goal.  In an ideal world, immediate admittance to an inpatient recovery facility should be the objective; the controlled environment can assure a possible period of sobriety – this gives individuals’ combating addiction, a fighting chance at working a strong program of recovery that benefits his or her specific psycho-social profile.
Controversy does surround the staging of interventions; many questions arise as to the long-term effectiveness of such actions.  Various schools of thought believe that an addict must “hit rock-bottom” and ask for help on their own, however more research needs to be completed to support either method.
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