Do you have a loved one, such as a close relative or friend, who is struggling with a difficult addiction?
If so, you may feel compelled to help them, especially if this addiction is negatively affecting other people besides your loved one themselves.
But if this person is reluctant or outright resistant to the idea of seeking help for their addiction, or outright denying their addiction entirely, helping them may seem like a lost cause.
This is exactly the scenario when it may be a good idea to hold an intervention to compel your loved one to admit their addiction and take action to correct it.
An intervention is simply where a number of close friends and relatives gather to try and persuade a person to seek help for their problem. This can be for anything from alcohol addictions to drug abuse to eating problems and so on.
That being said, it’s very important for you to do interventions the right way.
“Failed interventions are risky,” the Northeast Addiction Treatment Center notes. “This is not to say that interventions are ineffective. They are extremely effective, if they are done in the right way.”
Here are the top tips for running interventions to help out family members:
Be Selective About Who You Include
Not only do you want to be selective about who you include in the intervention, you also want to limit the number of people as well.
A golden rule to follow is to have a maximum of ten people join the intervention, but a smaller number of around five or so could be more preferable.
As far as who you actually include in the intervention, stick with close friends and family members of the loved one, and specifically those who have a personal relationship with them and are concerned for their well being.
Be Selective About The Time and Location
Besides being selective about who you include in the intervention, you also want to be selective about the time and location too.
You need to choose a time when people are not busy or have too many other commitments. The participants need to have plenty of time to actually sit down at the intervention and take part in it so distractions are kept to a minimum.
Determine Your Goals Before The Intervention
Before the intervention takes place, you will want to meet with each of the participants to discuss your goals for the intervention, the order people will speak in, and what role people will play.
One person especially needs to be selected as the leader, and each participant should agree on the order in which they will speak. Your goal also needs to be clearly defined.
For example, are you trying to convince the loved one that they have an addiction that needs to be corrected, or are you trying to convince them that they need to take action to correct it? There’s a big difference there, so again, your goals need to be defined.
Avoid Being Judgmental
There is no more effective way to completely ruin the intervention then by being judgmental.
Yes, you need to be firm and each participant needs to clearly communicate what they want to say, but the overall tone of the meeting needs to be one of optimism and support rather than confrontation. This way, the loved one with the addiction will be far more willing to sit down and listen rather than stand up and storm off.
Examples of how you can avoid being judgmental include not using words such as ‘failed’ or ‘failure,’ and using your loved one’s name more often instead of using ‘you’ repeatedly.
Watch Your Body Language
The loved one you’re trying to help is going to pay close attention to the body language of each of the participants as well.
Examples of body language tips that the participants will need to follow include keeping their limbs uncrossed, avoid having their hands clenched in a fist, maintaining proper eye contact, sitting upright, avoiding angry or frustrated facial expressions, and leaning in when you want to emphasize a point.
Running Family Interventions
Interventions are nothing to take lightly. You can’t just gather a bunch of friends and relatives to try and talk your loved one into seeking treatment for their addiction. It’s not that simple, so you’ll not only want to keep the tips we have covered in mind, you’ll actually want to apply them.