understanding Johnson Model interventionsThe Johnson Model is an intervention technique that is considered a direct, confrontational approach to getting a loved one or friend to choose treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol. Generally best when other methods of seeking help have failed, this type of intervention is what popular culture television shows such as A&E’s Intervention generally use to get people into rehab. But is this the best choice for your loved one?

We’ll help you decide between the best intervention techniques for someone you love. Just give our helpline a call at 1-800-552-0697 today for help.

What is the Johnson Model?

Founded by Dr. Vernon Johnson, this model of intervention was first started in the 1960s as a way to help alcoholics quit drinking. The theory was that an addict had to “hit rock bottom” before he or she could get help and reasonably actually heal from an addiction. Sadly, there was one serious problem with this theory—death.

An addict who hits rock bottom is at serious risk for fatal consequences if he or she is left to succumb to the disease of addiction without help until the “rock bottom” is found. For some, “rock bottom” is not merely an accident, injury or time spent in jail—rock bottom may be death.

However, the Johnson intervention model views the fact that an addict does not just willingly choose to seek help most of the time. They actually seek help out of a series of crisis that leads to a crash in their lifestyle which most often leads to a perceived need for help. In essence, the crash forces the addict to consider help for his or her addiction.

The Johnson Model recognizes the crash that occurs in addicts and takes that into consideration in developing a confrontational approach to getting an individual to seek help. The technique involves bringing together a group of people to confront the addict about his or her addiction and show them how important it is to get help before additional consequences arise.

How Does the Johnson Model of Intervention Work?

This intervention technique encourages caregivers, loved ones, family or friends to urge the addict into treatment through a tough love approach. Anyone can participate in the Johnson Model but it is recommended that you have a certified interventionist help with the process of planning and executing the intervention. Call our helpline at 1-800-552-0697 today and we’ll assist you in finding a local interventionist that can guide your intervention process.

Here’s how the Johnson Model works:

  • The family member, friend, or loved one seeks the help of an interventionist to guide the intervention of a loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol.
  • The interventionist will help the family to coordinate the intervention through a series of planning steps and processes that ensure secrecy and effectiveness of the intervention.
  • An intervention team is formed—ONLY those who are close to the addict are part of the team and anyone that actively participates in the use of drugs or alcohol with the addict should be excluded from the intervention.
  • The plan is created—using the Johnson Model, the intervention plan is deeply rooted in the idea that rock bottom must be hit before an addict will truly begin to heal from his or her addiction. This plan helps to speed up rock bottom by taking away money, support, and other essential elements that the family has provided to the addict to support his or her addiction. The family will let the addict know that any and ALL support from them stops if treatment is not sought.
  • It is made very clear that the intervention is not about hurting the addict or causing him or her harm…but about providing a way to seek help rather than continue down this path of destruction.
  • The interventionist will help the family with seeking treatment, having a plan for treatment ready and in place, and fully executing the intervention.
  • IF the addict DOES NOT choose to attend treatment, the family evokes the consequences set forth to make sure that no further assistance is provided to the individual and that they are no longer facilitating the addiction.
  • IF the addict DOES choose to attend treatment, the family fully supports his or her decision and will help them to get to treatment. The interventionist will escort the individual to the chosen rehab center to ensure that the individual is properly admitted into the care of a professional.

Who is the Johnson Model of Intervention Best Suited For?

This intervention model is best for those who don’t believe that they truly have a problem with addiction. Because this model of intervention is confrontational, the family and friends involved must be prepared for the tough love approach and they should be ready and willing cut off any further support if their loved one decides NOT to choose rehab.

The Johnson Model is ideal for:

  • Individuals that are struggling with an addiction that is fueled by mental illness.
  • Individuals who have received excessive help from friends or family members and who may not be able to continue down an addictive path IF the help of friends or family were taken away.
  • Individuals that are close to “rock bottom” and have spiraled out of control as a result of their addiction—this includes having been arrested or incarcerated, having lost relationships or friends, and having been in other serious situations or crisis as a result of addiction.

Will Johnson Model Work?

Most of the time, the number one question that arises when discussing ANY intervention with a family member who’s seeking help for their addicted loved one is “Will it work?” Family members, loved ones, and friends naturally want to know if the efforts they take to get their loved one into rehab for an addiction to drugs or alcohol will work. While there are no promises, a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine and published in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, found that individuals who are confronted by family members or friends about their addiction are more likely to stay sober than those who are not confronted in this manner.

Want to learn more about rehab interventions that could help your family or loved one, and how this approach can help you get your loved one into treatment? Call our helpline at 1-800-552-0697 today and we’ll connect you with an interventionist that can assist you.