What is an Intervention?

An intervention is a collective, planned interaction between a suffering individual and a group of people who care for that person.We consider an intervention to be a powerful expression of love for an individual, where personal friends and family come together in support of recovery. The term intervention is most often used when the traumatic event involves addiction to drugs or other substances. Intervention can also refer to the act of using a technique within a therapy session. Intervention services are often used to address personal problems, including: alcoholism, compulsive gambling, drug abuse, compulsive eating and other eating disorders, self-mutilation, tobacco smoking, “workaholism”, and various types of poor personal care. Interventions have also been conducted due to personal habits, not as frequently considered seriously harmful, such as video game addiction, excessive computer gaming and out of control shopping. An intervention often something happens when the loved ones of an addict become aware of their loved one losing control of their lives as a consequence of the problem they are facing. Loved ones often seek out help from an interventionist when they recognize their own behaviors as enabling, but still want to find the best way to help the one that they love.

The Goals of an Intervention

Ultimately the goal of an intervention is to encourage an individual to get treatment. Often a suffering individual will need motivation for treatment to come from somewhere outside of their own family, as the dynamics in familial relationships can often be challenging and, in spite of good intentions, can often hinder rather than help. Part of an intervention is to help create boundaries both for the suffering individual and their family and participants within the intervention group.

Understanding the Role of an Interventionist

A professional interventionist is someone who is an expert on addiction and/or other mental health issues. Interventionists do not have to be qualified counselors or therapists, nor do they explicitly provide counseling services, however they should be well informed and capable of giving the family members and anyone affected any necessary information on addiction or any other mental health condition the individual is suffering from. Our founder John Southworth believed that the role of an interventionist was more that of a coach than anything else, “While I am termed an Interventionist, I prefer to be thought of as a coach. It is my feeling that when I work with families and companies to help them make the right decision, I want to be viewed as a guiding agent to individuals suffering from addictions rather than an authoritarian figure.” – John Southworth. Because of this The Southworth Associates team has developed a caring, proven approach to interventions that has a high recovery rate with dependent individuals who work with a member of the team through the entire coaching process.

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