How do I know I am getting a qualified interventionist?
There really are currently no preset qualifications for interventionists. Some states are moving toward legitimate credentialing. Initially, check to see if your potential interventionist is certified through a national credentialing board to practice chemical dependency, or other compulsivities care provision. Not only will they know the potential complications inherent with addiction, but they can interact with treatment programs to insure your loved one is getting what they need from treatment, and to help ensure there is an adequate continuing care plan in place. They also will be able to help the remainder of the family and friends find resources for their own ongoing care, as needed. Secondly, ask about experience. "How many interventions have you done". "What has been your "success" rate? "How long have you been providing intervention service"? There is really no good way to check "references" due to the confidential nature of addiction care. Many treatment programs maintain an ongoing database of interventionists and secondary service providers that they have deemed as professional, dependable, and providing high quality care and service. These programs are usually a good source of information for you.
How do I know whether outpatient or inpatient treatment is appropriate for the person of concern?
This is a more complicated question than it may seem. There are numerous factors that go into the decision. A qualified professional can help with this question. We are proponents of inpatient treatment in the aspect of a holistic assessment process. What can be done in under ten days at a good facility can literally take months on an outpatient basis. Coordinating chemical health, mental health, physical health and withdrawal monitoring, spiritual health, nutrition, social history and dynamics, and work/ career/academics are just some of the "life issues" that need coordinating. There are also gender specific related issues, sexual orientation, and return to work parameters that may enter the assessment continuum.
Who should participate in our intervention?
The "old style" intervention was somewhat dependent on gathering a fairly large number of people in the hopes of "overwhelming" the person of concern. Four to six participants is optimum, although more is okay too. It's just not the numbers that "do the trick" anymore. Spouses, parents, young adult children, family friends, business associates, clergy, 12 step sponsors, and extended family are all appropriate for an intervention, assuming they are willing to participate. If someone cannot be physically present for the actual intervention, they can still be part of the intervention.
Why do we read letters to the person of concern, rather than speaking to them spontaneously?
This is a two part answer. First, it will help you keep your train of thought in what can be a very stressful occasion. Secondly, we believe that most (all?) people struggling with addiction or other compulsive activities know they are an "addict", and that is the root of their unmanageability. They also know they need help.Due to the nature of the disease, denial, rationalizing, minimizing, blaming others, and other defenses become entrenched. It is almost as if there are two distinct personalities. We draft letters to be more able to speak with the person at their core, rather than directly address the addict in denial. Of course, we usually have to manage that personality too, but letters, done correctly, minimize that.