Models of Addiction Intervention

Models of Addiction Intervention


There are different models of interventions that are used to help a person with an addiction. These models include the Johnson Model, the Invitational Model, and the Field Model. There are also interventions that a friend or family member can use to assist the addict in getting the help they need.

Johnson Model

This model of intervention has been popularized in the media on the television show, “Intervention”. This approach is confrontational and has been around since the 1960s. An interventionist leads the family and other close friends to a planned confrontation, which is not known by the addict beforehand. Most other interventions are more thoughtful; however, the Johnson approach believes that by using force the addict will agree to treatment for their addiction. The Johnson approach is confrontational and can be highly emotional for the family and for the addict. The addict and their negative behavior is confronted while encouraging treatment at the same time.

There are two possible outcomes with the Johnson model, which are either the addict will accept help or they will not accept help. If the addict does not accept help, then the family can receive help themselves. This model is useful for those who live without boundaries and where the family member enables the addictive behavior.

Invitational Model

A close friend or family member can contact an interventionist to plan workshops for the addict. One family member is coached on how to invite the addict to the workshop and the workshop will take place whether the addict decides to attend or not. This model is not a surprise intervention and was designed to heal and educate both the family and the addict.

Field Model

The Field model is a mix of the Johnson model and the Invitational model. It trains on techniques that one can use in the field during an actual intervention. The Field model is best suited for crisis interventions where there is a risk of violence which could sabotage the intervention.

All interventions should only be conducted by a trained professional who specializes in interventions. They will most likely select the type of intervention that will be used based on family dynamics and the needs of the addict. Whichever is used, the family needs to be engaged and prepared to do whatever they can for the addict to accept treatment.

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