5 Tips for How to Stage an Intervention for Your Loved One
With nearly 24 million Americans struggling with addiction at any point in time, there are nearly 24 million ways to approach the problem. While there is no one size fits all solution, there are some approaches that have proven to work. If you’re able to stage an intervention for your loved one, you could help them escape their addiction and rebuild their relationships.
Here are the 5 steps to staging an intervention that will work.
1. Form Your Team
Before you stage an intervention, you need to choose who is going to participate. Having the wrong people at your intervention will be a roadblock to your success. You need people who care about your loved one, whether co-workers, employers, parents, or partners.
Your team needs to be people who care for your loved one while also being those who have been affected by their addiction. The people who arrive need to be able to speak from experience and speak from the place of an open heart. They need to know this person as more than just a person with an abuse issue but as a real and complex individual.
You also need to be frank about how your team members affect your loved one’s addiction. If they have traumatized your loved one in the past for any reason, they’re not the right messengers for this intervention. Many people who suffer addiction do so as a response to trauma and if you risk repeating that trauma, you’ll do more harm than good.
Be sure that everyone is comfortable speaking about these issues and is ready. Some people take time to heal when they’ve been hurt by someone’s addiction. Don’t reopen fresh wounds.
2. Find The Right Place
The place where you hold your intervention is just as important as the people you choose to fill it with. You need to have a place where you won’t be interrupted. It needs to be convenient enough for everyone while not being a place where people will be popping in and out of.
If you choose the home of a friend or a loved one, you need to think carefully and have a frank conversation about everyone involved. This home could be a place where your loved one feels safe and could open up. It could also be the sight of a traumatic argument or event that led them down the path of their addiction.
Consider renting a private office somewhere. If you’re having a large enough group of people, you might want to rent out a conference room at a hotel or even just a hotel room. Keep your attendees limited to more than three but less than 10.
MAke sure your loved one knows where the place is so that they don’t feel too caught off guard. They need to feel open to receive the information.
3. Write Your Scripts
Everyone involved in the intervention should have a script for how they will tell their story and how they were affected by the addiction. When a friend or loved one is dealing with alcohol or drug abuse, it’s not about the drugs or alcohol itself. IT’s about the things that your loved one will do in order to get drunk or high.
Have everyone write out a script. It’s okay to read from the script during the intervention. Writing things and reading them out loud is a great way to understand your feelings.
Come up with some rules for the scripts. There should be no blame placed on your loved one. Just tell the story, give the facts, and let the results speak for themselves.
Don’t speak for anyone else, whatever you do. If your spouse was negatively impacted by the actions of your loved one with the addiction, only speak from your own experience. Speaking for someone else is too open to speculation and will seem abstract to your loved one.
It’s too easy to argue with an abstract idea or how someone who isn’t in the room felt about something.
4. Rehearse With The Team
You need to take some time to rehearse your intervention with your team. Rehearsing your intervention allows you to get through the tough material, to know what works, and hammer out the order of the intervention.
When your loved one is in the room with you, your emotions will be different. It’s more likely people will be pushed to tears, but if they’ve practiced their scripts, the intervention will be more effective. Be sure to bring tissues.
Scrutinize the order that everyone speaks in and look for issues in their writing. They need to maintain open body language and make as much eye contact as is possible.
They also need to obey the order and not speak over anyone else. Speaking out of turn can introduce chaos and make things much harder than they need to be.
5. Have a Goal and an Agreement in Mind
You need a result from your intervention. It’s more than just an airing of grievances. The point needs to be to get something done.
You need to have a goal in mind and a place you want your loved one to attend. Research a few programs before your intervention. Look at the pros and cons with your loved one in mind.
Consider what’s important to them and what they want to get from their intervention. Addiction is a painful and difficult struggle for everyone involved but without a possible answer, you’ll be fighting it for a long time.
When You Stage an Intervention, Have an Open Heart
If you take the time to stage an intervention for your loved one, you could be saving their life. Approach it with an open heart and a boatload of patience. It might take years but your loved one will thank you and so will the people who love them will too.
If you’re wondering what you can expect from a treatment program before and after your intervention, check out our guide for more info.