How to Stage an Intervention for an Alcoholic
As more than 23 million Americans suffer from some type of substance abuse issue, it’s essential that we all recognize this as the health crisis that it is.
People need help when they’re addicted to a substance or a behavior and it’s essential that we treat them with an open heart. When you’re learning how to do an intervention, you need to be aware of the potential for making a mistake.
Here are 5 tips to ensure that your recession sticks with your loved one.
1. Gather Your Speakers
The first thing that you need to do is to figure out who you want to speak at your intervention. You want more than 3 people but less than 10. The more people you have, the shorter your testimonies should be.
A large group of people will be difficult to organize and could risk overwhelming your loved one.
Find people close to the loved one who is having the drinking issue. They can’t be people who your loved one goes out drinking with every night of the week. They also can’t be people who enable or trigger the addiction for your loved one.
If you force them into contact with someone who has abused them or who introduced them to alcohol, the intervention might do more harm than good.
Running an intervention for your alcoholic loved one is a challenge but one that you need to meet with sensitivity. If you don’t feel like the people you’re organizing can respect that need, then you need to find other people to participate.
When you want results, you need to ensure you’re setting yourself up with people who your loved one will listen to.
2. Find a Place
Location is very important when you’re considering where to have your intervention. The first inclination might be to have it at your home or the home of a loved one. Take a moment to consider before you make that decision.
Having it in a comfortable and safe space could seem welcoming to your loved one or it could be triggering. If you hold the intervention at a place where your loved one does a lot of drinking or experienced some trauma, it might be hard to get over that hurdle.
Instead of dealing with that, try to find someplace neutral. Have it at the home of a friend of a friend. If you have a little bit of money, see if you can hold it at a motel room or in a sort of generic office space.
If you have access to a conference room after hours or on the weekend, that could be the perfect place to have an intervention.
It’s important that the event take place on neutral territory. The moment your loved one feel ambushed, attacked, or out of place, they could react negatively and reject the whole intervention.
3. Set Your Ground Rules
Make sure that everyone involved has a clear set of rules about what is expected. Everyone will be expected to act respectfully of one another and abide by a set of simple rules. Those rules will ensure that your intervention is focused and doesn’t diverge from its intention.
There should be no crosstalk. When one person is talking, everyone else should respect that, be quiet, listen, and not feel compelled to interject. Everyone should make a note of what they plan to talk about but speak from the heart.
The important thing about each person’s content is that they cannot attack. They can only talk about how they’ve experienced your loved one’s addiction. Once they put your loved one on the defensive, you’ll find it’s very hard to backpedal.
No one should speak on behalf of anyone else. If you’re talking to your loved out about someone who couldn’t make it, your loved one could dismiss your perspective outright. If you’re speaking for someone else and you get a detail wrong, you could obliterate the whole point for speaking to them in the first place.
4. Have an Action Plan
Make sure you have a plan for what’s going to happen after the intervention. Once the intervention is over, you need to be ready to bring your loved one somewhere. They need to be admitted to a rehabilitation program immediately.
Having an intervention that leads to everyone going their separate ways isn’t the way to go. That will just mean that your loved one will pay lip service to everyone, shed a few tears, and then be on their merry way.
You need to take this intervention seriously. You’ve decided to intervene because you see this as a matter of life and death. Take it seriously by having a plan of action for what happens after the intervention.
5. Bring in Your Loved One
Once you’ve got a plan in mind, you need to get your loved one to participate. Avoid deception wherever possible. Tell them where you’re going and allow them to consent to go with you.
The event that you mention driving to not be correct but be honest about where you’re going together. You don’t even need to mention any details unless they ask but generally try to keep the conversation light.
It will be hard to have any levity once the intervention begins.
Learning How to Do an Intervention Is Difficult
When you’re first learning how to do an intervention, you could make a lot of very basic mistakes and throw your team and your loved one off. Listening is probably the most important trait for putting together an intervention. Once you understand what everyone needs and why they need those things, you can figure out who you can rely on and who you’ll have to spend lots of energy preparing.
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