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  • Benjamin Randolph

    Compassionate Interventions

    Benjamin Randolph, MS, CACD III, has worked in the addiction field since 2000. During his career, he's worked in a variety of settings, including mental health treatment facilities, inpatient addiction programs, juvenile corrections programs and outpatient DUII treatment programs.

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  • Brad Lamm

    Intervention Specialists

    Brad Lamm is a board-certified interventionist and the founder and president of Intervention Specialists. Brad has written a series of instructional books, such as, How to Help the One You Love: A New Way to Intervene.

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  • Brad Warner & Bob Reid

    Family Interventions

    Brad Warner is a Licensed Certified Social Worker who brings over 20 years of experience to the interventions he holds. Bob Reid has held over 800 successful interventions during his 17-year career as a licensed therapist and professional interventionist.

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  • Brian O'Shea

    Brian O’Shea

    Caring Interventions

    Services include, intervention, consulting, screening and referral, case management, transport, mentoring by a sober coach or sober companion and testing with monitoring and supervision.

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  • Danny McQuinn

    Danny McQuinn

    Clean Start Interventions

    At Clean Start Interventions we are a nation wide intervention company that goes the extra mile to help those families in need. We offer interventions, case management, sober transport, and referrals.

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  • Jeff Jay

    Jeff Jay

    Love First, Inc.

    Jeff Jay is a clinical interventionist and addiction specialist. He has been working with addicts and their families for more than 30 years. His work has appeared on CNN, The Jane Pauley Show, PBS, Forbes Online and many professional journals. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, he is a certified addictions professional and a […]

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  • If you're not sure who to call, let us find the right interventionist for you. (888) 312-3296
  • Joe Capela

    Joe Capela

    Capela Interventions

    Joe has utilized various methods of intervention and while he tailors the method of intervention to the client’s individual needs, he has found that the Johnson Intervention Model along with his motivational interviewing techniques tends to yield the best results for both the addict and family members alike.

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  • John Barnes

    Caring Interventions

    John Barnes received formal intervention training from Dr. Judith Landau and Heather Hayes, and he has interned with Brian O’Shea. He has been working in the field of addiction for more than 10 years, and he’s studied the Johnson Intervention, the Systemic Intervention and the ARISE Intervention models. John is currently a candidate member of […]

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  • Judy Sperling

    Judy Sperling

    Interventions of Sarasota

    Judy Sperling, MS, CAP, has more than 13 years of experience in helping both adults and adolescents who have addiction issues. Her clients often struggle with issues involving the use and abuse of substances like alcohol, but she can also help families who have been touched by eating disorders or other problems involving behavior, rather than chemicals.

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  • Ken Seeley

    Intervention 911

    A Board Registered Interventionist II and a Registered Addiction Specialist, He's been clean and sober since July 14, 1989 and has been in the business of recovery on a full-time basis ever since.

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  • Louise Stanger

    All About Interventions

    Dr. Stanger has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW, BBS #4581) for over 35 years

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  • Matt Brown

    Matt Brown

    Freedom Interventions

    I have been successfully doing addiction intervention work since 2006, and very proud to be a member of the helping industry of interventionists.

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  • If you're not sure who to call, let us find the right interventionist for you. (888) 312-3296
  • Tad Stringam and Tami Stringam

    Awaken Interventions

    Together, Tami Scarcella, CIIM, CADC-II, and Tad Stringham, CIIM, RRW, have formed New Leaf Intervention, and they have completed more than 1,000 successful interventions in the United States and Canada.

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80% to 90% of professionally conducted interventions lead to the addict seeking immediate treatment
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What an Interventionist DoesWhat Does an Interventionist Do?

Denial is a hallmark of untreated addiction. Without the mental ability to justify and rationalize one's behavioral choices and the related consequences, many addicts would experience too much emotional pain to continue feeding their addiction. The thought processes that help an addict deny and defend their addiction are comforting and protective, even if denial is confusing to the point sometimes of being out of touch with reality. Reality is, in fact, what the addict is trying to resist.

Intervention is a technique for breaking through an addict's denial processes. Rather than wait for the fabled “bottom” to bring an addict to his or her knees with the realization that there's a problem, some loved ones, coworkers and friends of addicts will engage in intervention tactics to break the addiction cycle before it's too late. Often, caring individuals will employ the services of a professional interventionist to facilitate the process.

Interventionists are addiction professionals who can assist people involved with an addict to confront the addict in an organized, meaningful and productive manner, with the goal of realization by the addict (sometimes called the “identified patient”) that a problem exists. A parallel goal of intervention is sometimes referred to as “raising the bottom,” a reference to older notions that before sobriety can be achieved, an addict must reach the end of their own level of tolerance for their addiction's consequences. Studies have demonstrated that both types of treatment patients – self-referred and those having gone through an intervention – have the same chance of experiencing inpatient treatment as a positive thing. Treatment of virtually any addiction – to drugs or alcohol, gambling, sex, spending, or eating disorders – might be started or re-started with such interventions. The Association of Intervention Specialists claims that more than 90 percent of addicts will accept treatment following a successful intervention.

A professional interventionist will initially consult with the first contact to explore:
  • The nature of the identified addict's dependency
  • Who are the influential individuals in the addict's life
  • Whether any documentation exists of past episodes that highlight the addiction
  • Existence of and access to resources to help bring about the desired outcome

Once a plan is established, individuals who can provide influence in the intervention (generally from among the addict’s coworkers, family members and friends) are contacted and informed of their role in the intervention. The interventionist trains the group prior to the actual time of intervention, and then facilitates the gathering.

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Are All Interventions the Same?

While there are some aspects of interventions that are quite similar across the board, each experience should be tailored for the needs of the people involved, both those of the addict and their caring individuals. There's more to a successful, compassionate intervention than simply confronting the addict without a plan. In fact, preparation is essential and an intervention that is not conducted skillfully can be more detrimental – to everyone involved – than helpful for anyone involved.

There are two basic models that professional interventionists might use as a foundation for their own services:

The Johnson Model.

Considered the introduction of the intervention concept, The Johnson Institute Model is based on the now-classic book I'll Quit Tomorrow published in 1973 by Dr. Vernon Johnson. The focus is on the addicted individual's traits and their behavioral choices that have resulted in the need for intervention.

The Systemic or Family Systems Model.

Twenty years after Dr. Johnson introduced intervention, his successor, Dr. James Fearing, fine-tuned the model to incorporate family systems theory into the intervention process. The addict is not the only person being served; rather, he or she is part of a group, all of whom participate in the recovery process. In this model, the interventionist's role is as liaison between the identified patient and their family.

Other models are often combinations of components from both of the original models, with variations of techniques or focus. In general, the earliest forms of intervention have transformed over the years toward being less adversarial in nature and more compassionate toward everyone's needs.

Intervention Techniques

  • Tough Love Intervention Approach
  • Confrontational Intervention Model
  • Johnson Model Intervention
  • Love First Intervention Approach
  • Systemic Family Model Intervention
Loving Approach Intervention

How to Find a Qualified Professional Interventionist?

According to Dr. James Fearing, the field of intervention has changed for the better in its relatively brief history, but there still is no formal certification program or even standardized testing to assure that professionals who hang the interventionist shingle are well qualified. He recommends hiring only interventionists who are certified as addiction treatment professionals, but he also points out that an estimated 50 to 70 percent of addicts being treated for substance abuse have additional diagnosable mental health problems. Therefore, clinicians facilitating interventions should either be trained in dual disorders or have immediate access to colleagues who meet those qualifications.

When looking to hire an interventionist, Dr. Fearing suggests inquiring about the following areas for each professional candidate:

  • Educational background
  • Certification in chemical dependency counseling or related field
  • Experience level in terms of time providing intervention services
  • Which model of intervention they use and how is it conducted, in general
  • Fees and how they are paid

Finally, it is customary to ask treatment centers for a referral list of recommended interventionist.

The Association of Intervention Specialists (AIS) provides a member listing on their website. The AIS is not a governing or certification organization; it is a network of professionals who agree to adhere to the AIS Code of Ethics, which describes appropriate stances and behavior regarding:

  • Non-discrimination
  • Competence
  • Legal and ethical standards
  • Client welfare
  • Confidentiality
  • Societal obligations
  • Remuneration

When Is the Right Time?

Enlisting the assistance of a professional interventionist feels like a big step and can be a difficult choice to make. The question of whether or not to call a professional for help is soon followed by the question of when. Loved ones who wish to intervene might wonder if they're pushing too hard, too soon.

The fact is that some forms of brief intervention have been demonstrated to be helpful even for people who are not severely addicted. In such cases, facilitated intervention might actually prevent someone with the potential to become an addict from going any farther down that path.

Additional Information

Read about the different types of interventionist and what they specialize in. There are interventions for a range of issues but not every interventionist might not be equipped or experienced in dealing certain specialties. It's important to find out what types of problems your interventionist has dealt with before going further.
To find an Interventionist that suits your needs:

View Types of Intervention Specialties

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