Systemic family intervention modelOften times, a loved one or family member is struggling with addiction and just won’t seem to make the “right” decision to get help. So what do you do? Where do you turn? Do you continue to watch as your loved one sinks deeper into an addiction that he or she may never fully recover from without help?

Of course not!

You seek help and you consider ways that you can support your loved one—through thick and through thin, right? An intervention can help you do just that. Many types of interventions exist to help families and friends approach a loved one that is addicted to drugs or alcohol. One of these types of interventions is the Invitational Model or Systemic Family Intervention.

The Invitational model of intervention is set up like a family workshop in which the family comes together to cover topics related to addiction and the impact it has on the family system. Many family members and friends don’t even realize that they are enabling the addict until they learn about this, and other important neurobiological elements associated with addiction during the intervention workshop.

Need help finding an interventionist? Call 1-800-552-0697 to be connected with a local intervention specialist that can help you and your family.

How Does the Invitational Intervention Work?

The Invitational Model of intervention assumes that if we can change the entire family, starting with the individuals that are enabling the addict first, then the addict him or herself will follow suit and change his or her behaviors too. This type of intervention has a more family-centered, “let’s work together to be better” approach than surprise or confrontational interventions such as the Johnson model.

The idea is that being combative and confrontational may work for some, but for many, it leaves a sense of deprivation and loss. You see, during a confrontational style intervention, the family members are able to learn about addiction and see how it impacts the lives of both the addict and themselves, but the addict is left out of this learning experience—otherwise, there would be no element of “surprise” when the intervention occurred.

With a Systemic or Invitational Model of Intervention the addicted person has an equal opportunity to learn about his or her addiction and the role that it plays in interrupting the family system. Discussions about the addiction and about how addiction impacts everyone in the family, not JUST the addicted individual take place with all members of the family (including the addict) involved.

While there is less element of “surprise” with this type of intervention, there are benefits to a Systemic Family Interventional approach. Some of the benefits include:

  • The ability for the entire family, including the addicted individual, to learn about the needs of the family system. This includes learning how the entire family can either help or hurt the recovery process of the addict.
  • The ability to learn about addiction and enabling.
  • The ability to learn how to identify situations that could otherwise lead to relapse or to identify situations that are directly enabling the continued substance abuse of the individual.
  • The ability to learn how to positively reinforce good behavior and what can be done to effectively downplay and push out poor behavioral choices.
  • The ability to work, TOGETHER, as a family toward a common goal—RECOVERY.

Is the Addict Always Present in an Invitational Intervention?

No. In fact, you may find that the addicted individual in your life never makes it to a single training session with the intervention specialist or has any interest in the workshops or meetings that you have as a family—and that’s “ok.” Remember that the Invitational Model of Intervention is based on an “invitation” to the addict and the family members and friends of the addicted individual to come together and learn how they can collectively work towards the goal of sobriety.

Even if the addicted individual chooses not to attend a single meeting, class or session with the family, change can still occur within the family unit. As the family learns how to recognize their enabling behaviors and STOP allowing them, and they gain emotional control over the situations related to the addiction that they CAN control, the idea is that eventually, the addict will follow suit.

In fact, with a Systemic Family Intervention, the premise is that the family becomes so strong that the addict really has no other way to go BUT to choose to accept help and overcome his or her addiction. By ensuring the commitment of every family member during the process, the addict will ultimately have nowhere left to turn, nobody left to help, and the addiction will diffuse itself—at least that’s the idea.

Does this Type of Intervention Actually Work?

Whether you try the invitational intervention technique or another approach, the effectiveness of any intervention is only as strong as the family involved and their decision to remain actively involved in the recovery process. Systemic Family Interventions actually have a VERY high success rate which further clarifies that confrontation isn’t always the ONLY option for recovery.

If you’re interested in learning more about Invitational intervention techniques or you’d like to find a local interventionist that can help you and your family, call 1-800-552-0697 today. We’ll connect you with an interventionist that can guide your recovery efforts.