An interventionist plays a key role in the health of a family that’s been touched by addiction. These are the professionals who can help families to make sense of how an addiction develops and what sorts of help the loved one might need in order to recover. Since they do play such an important role, it’s vital for families to take their time during the selection process and really look for the person who will be most likely to provide the right kind of help.
Pulling Together a Short List
There are a number of interventionists at work today, and many of them promote their expertise online. They might have flashy websites that outline their experience and education, and they might sign up for directory sites, so their names will be a little easier to find. Some families simply browse, and they pull together a list of interventionists to interview after that search.
Other families ask treatment centers for advice about interventionists to use. According to an article in Addiction Professional, it’s not uncommon for interventionists to form tight partnerships with addiction treatment programs, and when they do, they might refer each family to that treatment program for care. The practice can be a little controversial, especially if interventionists refer clients to a facility that doesn’t really provide the right kind of help, but families that may have already chosen a treatment facility might not have any difficulty with using the interventionist the facility suggests.
Testimonials from friends, family members and participants in online forums might also be a good source of information for families to consider. Interventionists who do good work might have a very vocal fan base that’s eager to discuss the process at length, and that might allow the family to get a sense of what working with that person is like and how enjoyable it might be.
Background and Education
Once families have a short list of professionals they’re interested in hiring, they can begin to dig deep and understand how the person works and what sorts of talents they might bring to the table. Finding out more about the person’s education and ethics could be vital.
Some people delve into the field of intervention after overcoming their own battles with addiction. People like this may be quite effective in a discussion about addiction, as they have their own stories of strife to share, but a truly skilled intervention has much more than simple life experiences. Skilled interventionists also have an education about addiction, and they have clinical experience that allows them to guide a family without causing more trouble.
Families can ask interventionists about their clinical backgrounds, or they can look for certification. Someone who holds a BRI-I status from the Association of Intervention Specialists, for example, has:
- At least two years of experience in conducting interventions
- At least three evaluations by peers
- Agreed to perform five hours of continuing education each year
- Completed at least 14 hours of training on interventions
- Passed a written or oral exam (in some cases)
If you’d like to find out more about what you’ll need to look for in an interventionist or you’re interested in hearing a few recommendations about interventionists who might help your family, please call us at Black Bear Lodge. We’d love to help.