How to Hold a Family Intervention: 6 Practical Tips

What are the steps to conduct a family intervention?

The opioid crisis, along with other forms of substance abuse, poses a mounting public health challenge in the New England region, impacting millions of families in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Confronted with this predicament, many families view family intervention as a means to express support and the necessity for professional help. Nevertheless, it’s typical to feel uncertain and unsure about where to start. So, what are the steps to conduct a family intervention?

At MAT Care Clinics, we understand the intricacies involved in addressing substance abuse, as well as the requirement for preparation, knowledge, and sensitivity to accomplish the goal of persuading a loved one to seek treatment for their dependence. Through family intervention, we aim to foster an atmosphere of support and love that initiates the journey towards recovery for your loved one. This article provides valuable insights into family intervention, its advantages, the six steps for implementation, and subsequent actions. We acknowledge that this can be a daunting time when both you and your loved one require unwavering support. At MAT Care Clinics, we offer a network of professional assistance to facilitate the journey to sobriety. Don’t hesitate to contact us and kick-start the process today!

What Does Family Intervention Mean?

A family intervention is a space crafted by family members, friends, addiction counselors, or health professionals aimed at motivating a loved one to seek assistance in managing substance dependence or other addictive behaviors. In this process, the individual is confronted with the consequences of their substance use and presented with the option for treatment.

During such intervention, participants offer concrete examples of how the destructive behavior has impacted both the individual and those around them. Additionally, they formulate a treatment plan and set specific goals.

In a substance abuse intervention, the involvement of close family members and friends is crucial, as is the support from a professional or addiction counselor. If the family maintains religious affiliations, it could be beneficial to include a member of their religious community, along with individuals who genuinely care about the well-being of the person grappling with the substance use disorder.

Approaches to Family Intervention

The American Psychological Association suggests two distinct family intervention strategies for individuals struggling with substance abuse issues:

  1. Johnson Intervention: This method is designed to inspire the individual battling substance abuse to commence a treatment program. It necessitates the planning and execution of a confrontation involving other caregivers. The preliminary planning phase includes evaluating the person’s social network and the potential for having other members in a counseling session. Families conduct two sessions to educate the network about the hazards associated with the behavior, the objectives of the family intervention, and strategies for addressing the issue, followed by a premeditated confrontation with the individual in question in the presence of the therapist.
  2. Unilateral Family Therapy: The primary aim of this approach is to equip family caregivers with the ability to alter their behavior to encourage the patient’s participation in treatment. Throughout 4 to 6 months, the family gets training to implement strategies that modify relational dynamics. These include steering clear of continuous criticism and other behaviors that may enable substance use.

Benefits of Family Intervention

Substance abuse can stem from psychological and emotional origins, which family interventions can effectively tackle. Through this method, families can enhance the relationships between the individual with substance abuse issues and other family members. It can also promote the adoption of healthy lifestyle skills and foster a willingness to enter treatment.

Furthermore, family interventions can address common challenges faced by those struggling with substance abuse disorders. These include family conflict and communication issues, mental health concerns, and difficulties in school, work, and social relationships.

Conducting a Drug Intervention: A 7-Step Guide

  1. Plan the Intervention: The initial phase of a family intervention involves meticulous planning. Begin by consulting with a professional in the addiction field, such as a licensed counselor, intervention specialist, social worker, or psychologist. Such a professional can guide you in determining the most suitable approach and advise the family on the type of treatment and follow-up plan that best aligns with the needs of the individual struggling with substance issues.
  2. Educate Yourself About Addiction: Recognize that substance abuse disorder is a complex disease. Utilize reliable resources, including our blog and other websites, to broaden your understanding of the challenges your loved one is confronting.
  3. Incorporate a Facilitator: Family interventions can stir up intense emotions, making the presence of a professional capable of directing the conversation crucial. Consider involving a professional interventionist, your church’s pastor, or a religious leader as a facilitator to manage emotions and steer the discussion towards a more constructive path.
  4. Refrain from Criticism: People battling substance abuse disorders grapple with feelings of shame, leading them to adopt a defensive stance. In a family intervention, steer clear of criticism, instead expressing your worries about the individual’s health and the impact of the illness on the entire family.
  5. Establish Boundaries: It’s vital to outline the repercussions of not pursuing help. The family intervention should incorporate a discourse on boundaries if the individual refuses treatment. Be ready to enforce these.
  6. Explore Treatment Options: Conduct extensive research on various treatment possibilities to suggest. It’s also acceptable to recommend your preferred treatment procedure and discuss the consequences of rejecting treatment.
  7. Manage Your Expectations: Keep in mind that substance dependence is a chronic condition, and recovery requires a long-term, ongoing commitment. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for recovery, so it’s crucial to recognize the possibility of relapses and setbacks.

Preparing for the Outcomes of a Family Intervention

In the context of a drug intervention, outcomes can either be positive or negative. If the person suffering from addiction responds with anger towards the family and completely rejects treatment, it’s vital to steel yourself against despair and have a contingency plan in place. To accomplish this:

  1. Take a moment to reevaluate the individual’s needs and the family dynamics
  2. Determine if there were any missteps during the intervention or if there are underlying issues that you need to address first
  3. Following the intervention, ensure that communication lines remain open between you, your loved one, and other family members

Alternatively, if the outcome is positive and your loved one agrees to engage in treatment, start looking into simultaneous and post-treatment family therapy sessions. The presence and support of the family are critical components on the path to recovery.

MAT Care Clinics: Supporting Your Path to Recovery

MAT Care Clinics is an experienced center specializing in the treatment of substance dependency, including opioids and alcohol, through medication-assisted treatment. We understand that time is of the essence when seeking help, which is why our clinic offers benefits such as same-day appointments, complimentary phone consultations, self-paced treatment, and telehealth sessions.

Our MAT services can aid your loved one in overcoming addiction by using FDA-approved medications, making our approach both safe and effective. Professional guidance is consistently available with us. Schedule a free consultation by calling us at (833) 622-0628. We are here to support your loved one on their journey to recovery!

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