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The Johnson Model
Addiction Interventions started out of a need to help addicts break through denial and become willing to enter treatment. Serious consequences including death have been the result for addicts who continue in denial of their addiction. Family, friends, and employers have struggled over the years with getting the addict to agree to enter a treatment program to receive professional help in getting sober. Many addicts are in such denial of their addiction that when they are confronted by family, friends, or employer about their addictive behavior, refuse to get help and continue in the addiction stating that they don't have a problem. Interventionists have become a useful resource for many in helping to present the facts in such a way that the addict can no longer deny that there is a problem. The Johnson Model is one of the oldest and most popular models for Interventions used today. Working with the family, friend, or employer without telling the addict is the beginning. The Intervention is planned by putting together a team of individuals who truly care about the addict. Letters are written to the addict coming from a place of love and concern. A time and place is worked out and the addict is invited often under the pretense of meeting for lunch, with a friend, family member, or any other reason to get the addict to show up on time. The Intervention starts by having everyone read his or her letter to the addict. This is followed by asking the addict to go to treatment right then. If the addict is not willing after a lengthy discussion, then negative consequences, (like no family contact), are presented to encourage the addict to seek help. A skilled Interventionist is successful in convincing the team and addict to follow through with what has been presented during the Intervention.
The Intervention Experts
Systemic Family Model Intervention
The Systemic model of Intervention is different than a tradition Intervention (Johnson model). Inviting the addict to a family meeting with the Interventionist and not surprising him or her with a secret Intervention is less threatening or stressful to the addict. Family members are educated on the importance of committing to their own ongoing recovery. The Interventionist works as a therapist in helping everyone see how the addiction has affected the entire family, not just the addict. Family members, significant others, and friends are taught about codependency and enabling behaviors. The addict is empowered to attend the ongoing family meetings and has the choice to attend or not. Often the addict will attend out of curiosity and because it is their choice, they are often more willing to get help with a positive attitude. It is important that the family continue with the meetings with the Interventionist as scheduled and attend recommended treatment programs along with 12 step programs in order to get better themselves. When this happens, the addict has two choices, join with the family on the recovery journey or stay in the addiction without the old family dynamics. This shift within the family system helps pave the way for the addict to get help and also return after treatment to a more functional family unit which helps prevent relapse.