5 Tips for a Smooth Intervention

Hours of effort go into preparing for an intervention, and yet you will probably still be nervous when the day arrives. Things might not go as planned. These things happen, and your team will have to be flexible. However, there are many things you can do to keep an intervention running as smoothly as possible, even if you can’t predict the future.

1. Hold At Least Two Rehearsals

The success or failure of an intervention is all in the planning. Most intervention specialists mandate at least one rehearsal is performed before the actual intervention; we suggest at least two. The first one to talk out all the details from start to finish–where to meet, how to sit, reading order, reading and critiquing letters, formulating back up plans–and the second rehearsal to run it through start to finish with as little interruption as possible.

Talking through it and actually doing it are two completely different things. You may plan to meet at Grandma’s house and park the car in the back–only to discover road construction and a no-parking sign. A full-out dress rehearsal will significantly decrease the chances of any unwanted surprises on intervention day.

2. Select a Chairperson

The chairperson is the leader during the rehearsals and intervention. He is host, guide, and spokesperson. This is someone who is focused, calm, and someone the addict deeply respects.

The chairperson is the one to start off the intervention, the one to follow the addict should he walk out, the one to introduce bottom lines, and the one to answer objections.  Sometimes the addict will make irrelevant remarks to provoke team members. A designated spokesperson calmly responding to all attacks keeps the conversation on track and prevents emotions from getting out of control.

3. Have Tissues Available

Many people find that reading their letters are a very emotional experience. Just in case you or someone else becomes overwhelmed (sometimes it’s the addict), have a box of tissues nearby.

4. Eliminate Distractions

Many people find that reading their letters are a very emotional experience. Just in case you or someone else becomes overwhelmed (sometimes it’s the addict), have a box of tissues nearby.

5. Be Ready to Leave For Treatment

As soon as your loved one agrees to treatment, you should have everything ready to leave right away. The addict will usually protest at the thought of going to treatment immediately, but he will be more willing to change his mind once he realizes Grandma is on the phone confirming his reservation, his boss has given medical leave, his suitcase is packed, and Aunt Sue is waiting for him in the car.

For more information on intervention, visit our intervention page.

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