Addiction Intervention Assessment:
Family Action Planning Process
The motivational planning and preparation process will typically follow three fundamental steps to assure success.
Each step in the Family Action Planning Process involves careful clinical planning and a dedication to taking compassionate actions toward life-preserving change. Intervention helps save lives, livelihoods, and marriages!
1. Assessment and Treatment Planning
Our initial briefing will provide you with a comprehensive assessment and with treatment recommendations. You will come away with:
(A) An accurate statement of the problem (the Assessment)
(B) A decisive statement for a solution to this problem
(C) A clearly established and compassionate plan of action
Having practiced as an independent intervention specialist for the past twenty years, I am prepared to help you select the approach that is most appropriate to your situation. We will review the viability of each available method and gain clarity as to what will work best. We must carefully evaluate the challenges and vulnerabilities implicit in your case by anticipating all potential defensive maneuvers and legitimate objections to accepting appropriate help following our intervention.
We must establish clear safety precautions and determine appropriate treatment-matching recommendations. Numerous methods are available and we will carefully assess your case. Well-justified clinical recommendations will be provided to you that are “tailor-made” to the challenges that confront both you and your loved one.
2. Rehearsal: Safety and Defense Precautions
We must fine-tune our actions and clarify all of our intentions. Every predictable challenge will be anticipated in advance. Ultimately, you will know exactly how to respond when we make non-confrontational contact with your loved one during our session.
3. Formal Motivational Intervention Session
Conducting and closing the actual meetings.
What to Expect: Choosing a Strategy and Planning
1. Assessment and Planning Meetings
Initially, our group meets for an extended session to initiate our discussions and establish the general nature of the strategy we will use. Decisive and clear recommendations will be provided to the members.
Such sessions are usually quite intense, and two or three hours are routinely necessary (one long session!) to construct a point of readiness for our rehearsal session. It clearly works best to schedule our rehearsal session within the next couple of days. Steadfast attention will be paid to safety precautions, and we will work to minimize all predictable risks. .Predictable risks include such things as the risk of triggering unanticipated defensive reactions in the individual we are gathering to help.
Task-oriented and specific actions will be suggested to individual family members when this is deemed appropriate for the success of our strategy. All members will be offered my clinical guidance throughout this process. Essentially, my role is to assist you in formulating a compassionate and strategic “contact plan” (which are the timing and logistics of the actual session) and to help you deliver a powerful and effective message that mobilizes your loved one to move toward immediate change. This receivable and compassionate message will be an awakening to reality.
The quality of the actual intervention is determined by the nature of the messages that individuals present to their loved one. My role involves managing the “contact-quality” of your interaction with the family member you are gathering to help. This gathering is not to be coercive, combative, or shaming! Instead, you will want to extend your health-bound wishes, and offer appropriate care. I will provide you explicit recommendations and you may follow them at your own discretion.
A written outline suggesting message content will be provided to team members. This helps structure the messages from each individual participant. This written outline provides the general structure for participants’ communications at the time of the intervention. The content of the written outline that I provide to your team members will be tailor-made to respond to emotional “style” of each individual participant.
Our training will ensure that you engage yourself in the formally-planned intervention session knowing exactly what you will say, and that you will have a strong sense of exactly how you will say it. You will also be clear about your motivations to help yourself as well as to help the recipient of our well-intended message.
2) Rehearsal Sessions
Our next meeting involves a rehearsal, or “dry-run,” of the formal event. This event will may involve either a direct invitation to your loved one, inviting him or her to participate, or may, in some cases, be a surprise contact plan. Regardless of the appropriate choice, the contact must be elaborately planned. This rehearsal is critical and is intended to diminish any unforeseen risks that might occur during the intervention itself. Practicing the actual message provides the team with a sense of their potency and reinforces their commitment to mobilize change.
3) Prepared and Confident – We Intervene!
Somewhat surprising is the fact that a well-conceived intervention is usually quite brief. The formal meeting never engages argumentation or debate. All of our planning is organized to minimize conflict and intervention is never intentionally confrontational. Our planning has yielded clear answers to old patterns of defense. New and productive actions of change will be clear to you.
The doors to an appropriate facility (for formal assessment and/or treatment) must be wide open (immediately available) so that recommended care is available directly following the formal session.
In many cases the treatment plan involves suggestions for on-the-spot admission to a well-matched recovery center. This typically involves a complete evaluation; safe, medically supervised detoxification; and an extended stay on an in-patient basis. All arrangements for care must be clearly established at the time we intervene. As part of our planning, I will help the team establish a clear and specific contact plan – the time and place that we engage in the actual formal meeting.
Families and concerned others should realize that some intervention contexts do not point the individual toward formal in-patient care for an extended stay in a recovery center. Many alternatives exist, and I will provide you with appropriate recommendations. Treatment-matching is one of my primary functions in managing your case.
Many substance-impaired individuals can benefit from an honest, unified, and truthful message – a matter of fact – an extension of concern, support, and hope.
I will provide you with clearly justified, specific, and helpful referral options. These frequently suggest formal evaluation and corresponding care. Some teams warmly extend their message of hope and provide a clear path to appropriate and useful resources for personal change. The intervention process should never involve hostility, threats, or coercion. It is first and foremost a realistic and motivationally enhancing extension of hope – and authentic help!
Seattle Based National Family and Corporate Specialist