How to Hire an Intervention Specialist

It’s not unusual for a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol to refuse professional help, and all the begging, pleading, threats and tears in the world won’t convince them otherwise.

If this sounds familiar, you may be considering an intervention, in which friends and family members, with the assistance of a qualified interventionist, gather together to face the addicted person and hopefully convince them to enter drug and alcohol treatment or rehab.

Usually, an intervention doesn’t occur until the addiction has reached crisis proportions. It can be difficult to think clearly in the midst of chaos, but it’s important to hire the best interventionist possible. A poorly staged intervention can do more harm than good if it ends in feelings of anger, fear and resentment.

According to NCADD (the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.), over 90 percent of interventions result in a commitment to seek help when the event is performed by a trained, experienced interventionist.

What to Ask before Hiring an Interventionist

Before you hire an interventionist, be sure to do your homework. Here is a list of important questions to ask:

Credentials: Ask the interventionist if he is properly credentialed, although credentialing may depend on your location. In the United States, the interventionist should be certified by an organization such as the Association of Intervention Specialists (AIS), or the Network of Independent Interventionists (NII).

Education: At the very minimum, an interventionist should have a bachelor’s degree in a field such as psychology, social work, addiction studies or mental health counseling.

Success rate: Unfortunately, not all interventions will be successful, but it isn’t a good idea to hire an interventionist without several proven wins under his belt. Keep in mind that success doesn’t necessarily mean the addicted person goes directly from the intervention to treatment. If the person enters drug and alcohol treatment or rehab within a few days, the intervention should be considered a success.

Referrals and/or references: Ask the interventionist to provide at least three or four referrals or references from satisfied clients.

Preparation: A qualified interventionist will explain how she goes about preparation for the event, including at least one or two planning sessions with key family members and friends. Education of participants is just as important as the actual intervention.

Expense: A good intervention is money well-spent, but remember that insurance rarely pays for interventions, so it’s important to know the costs up front. When it comes to hiring an interventionist, it isn’t wise to select the least expensive, but on the other hand, there’s no guarantee that the most expensive interventionist will be the best.

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