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5 Mistakes to Avoid Making While Staging an Intervention

5 mistakes to avoid during an intervention

Watching your loved one struggle with addiction is never easy. It is extremely common for the loved ones of addicts to feel guilty, ashamed, or even responsible for their loved one’s addiction. If you can relate to this, the first thing you should do is remember that you are not at fault. While understanding that your loved one’s addiction is not your fault is a great first step, you are probably still wondering how you can help them. Convincing your loved one to attend addiction treatment is extremely difficult, especially if you do so without professional help.

The best way to get your loved one the recovery support you need is to host a professional intervention. When hosting an intervention, there are do’s and don’ts that you should be aware of. For example, you should never go into an intervention unprepared. This is why hiring a professional interventionist is so important. An interventionist can help you plan and stage an effective intervention while also avoiding the most common mistakes people make. Here are the top 5 mistakes to avoid while staging an intervention.

1. Being Unprepared

Addiction doesn’t develop at the spur of the moment and intervention shouldn’t either. Interventions should be carefully planned. When an intervention goes unplanned, emotions can get messy. Addiction is an extremely touchy subject and if you aren’t prepared, you can easily say the wrong thing. Interventions are most effective in a calm and loving environment.

The tone should always be supportive to avoid causing your loved one to become defensive. Because addiction causes so many people to suffer, if you go into an intervention unprepared, you could easily say something that comes off accusatory rather than supportive. Before beginning an intervention, everyone involved should write out what they want to say to their loved one. This allows each person to collect their thoughts calmly, rather than “winging it” on the day of. Additionally, having your statements written out shows your loved ones that you took the time and made an effort for them, making them more likely to be perceptive of your thoughts.

2. Including Too Many People

One of the most common mistakes you could make is including too many people. You have probably seen an intervention on TV and noticed a large group of friends and family members all sitting down to address their suffering loved one. This is only something you will see on TV. During a true intervention, a small and intimate group of family members and friends will gather together.

When someone is being asked to attend addiction treatment for their substance use disorder, emotions will run high and people may become overwhelmed. Imagine if you included 10-15 people in your intervention group, this would most definitely become too overwhelming for your loved one.

3. Using the Wrong Tone

When you are hosting an intervention, your tone of voice is extremely important. Your loved one will likely be experiencing distressing emotions and they may even feel like they are being ganged up on. If you allow your tone to become defensive, accusatory, or negative in any manner, you risk them walking out of the intervention altogether. Because of this risk, having a positive and supportive tone (no matter what your loved one says or does) is extremely important.

They need to know that you are here for them no matter what, even if they are not behaving how you would like them to. Being supportive in this manner will show them that you are here for them through it all, making it more likely for them to come to you when they are ready to attend addiction treatment.

4. Not Continuing Support After the Intervention

This is probably the most damaging mistake you could make during an intervention. If you are asking your loved one to attend addiction treatment and offering your support during the intervention, that needs to continue after the meeting is over. If you were to tell your loved one that you support them and then stop offering support once the intervention ends, this will make them feel like you aren’t there for them.

As a result, it is important to ensure that you plan out ways to support your loved one after the intervention – whether they accept treatment or not. Even after your loved one attends treatment and completes a program, they will still need your support. Familial support is a vital aspect of addiction recovery and can make your loved one’s recovery process go much smoother.

5. Not Hiring a Professional

Interventions are difficult to plan and hard to go through. A lot goes into the planning of an intervention, like having a treatment program for your loved one to attend already set up, writing out letters to read that will truly help your loved one see the need for treatment, and ensuring that everything runs smoothly during the process.

Planning to host an intervention without professional help is the biggest mistake you could make. Instead, hire a professional interventionist who is trained and experienced in planning and hosting interventions.

mistakes to avoid during an intervention

Get The Care You Need and Deserve

Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is a leader in the addiction treatment field, with proven success in facilitating long-term recovery. Our team of top clinical & medical experts specializes in treating addiction coupled with mental illness, ensuring that each person receives individualized care. Call us – we’re available 24/day, 7 days/week.

Intervention Support at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment

If your loved one suffers from addiction and is not seeking help for themselves, you are probably wondering what you can do for them. The best and most effective way to help them is to plan a professional intervention, where the admittance to a treatment program will be set up and ready to go immediately after the intervention ends.

Thankfully, programs like Woburn Wellness offer intervention support to help get your loved one into treatment and a top-rated addiction treatment program that can help your loved one stay sober. Contact us today for more information on how to get started.


Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC
Clinical Director

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