Extended Insights
Extended Insights

Jan 13, 2010, 10:31

Salt Lake City, UT
James Murrey
Amanda Thomas

What is an Intervention?

Traditionally, an intervention consists of a group of concerned family and friends in a unified effort to help their loved one to accept help. More recently, new intervention models have developed to "invite" the most struggling individual into the process and to intervene on the entire family system. Since each family situation is different, the most prudent intervention model can be tailored to a family's needs. No longer are interventions only for adult addicts and alcoholics. Now various models can be utilized to influence adolescents, "failure to launch" adults, and family well-being for the greatest possible outcomes.

How can Interventions help families?

Interventions can help both the identified client and family to engage in the treatment process prior to even arriving at a program. Due to this pre-treatment process, the client will be better prepared to accept the help that treatment provides. The "why and how could my family do this to me" is diminished and the action stage has been set prior to enrollment in a program. Meanwhile, parents and families are more committed to being part of the change at home. Parents have shown their loved one they are committed to changing their part of the system, and the whole family is in agreement to work on health and change. The intervention process can include extended family members, siblings, close friends and mentors to express the care and concern for everyone's well-being and family health. The following paragraphs will highlight some of the advancements in Intervention models.

Systemic Model
The Systemic model is invitational and educational for both the identified client and family members. All members and concerned individuals are invited to attend the 3-day customized family workshop. With this model, the goal is to educate the family about the specifics of the current dynamics and assist them to learn how each member contributes to the compulsive patterns of the identified client. Without surprise or blame, participants learn about their family history, specifics of the presenting issues, and together share in a motivational experience toward a new direction in family health. The process is educational and utilizes structural, trans-generational and narrative theories.

Johnson Model
The Johnson model is known as the "surprise" model. It involves a rehearsal the prior evening, in conjunction with heartfelt impact letters. Planning and coaching are involved with the various participants to create a unified family with healthy boundaries. This model is meaningful for each member as they are able to recall the essence of their loved one prior to destructive behaviors. There is usually one main goal of this intervention--for the individual to accept help. There can be a "tough love" component to this intervention in order to get the individual into a safe place for help.

ARISE is another invitational model intended to involve everyone in the discussion of care. Decisions are made by the majority of the group members which limits one-on-one conversations with the identified client. The focus of this intervention is on the client accepting help through the care and concern of the group.

Educational consultants and admissions staff are frequently referring to interventionists to assist with difficult and divided families. We will tailor and match interventions to your clients. Let us help remove any obstacles to treatment. Call James Murray at 413-268-7022 or Amanda Thomas at 303-775-1779 and visit us on the web at

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