An intervention is an orchestrated attempt by one, or often many, people (usually family and friends) to get someone to seek professional help with an addiction or some kind of traumatic event or crisis. The term intervention is most often used when the traumatic event involves addiction to drugs or other items. Intervention can also refer to the act of using a technique within a therapy session.

Interventions are either direct, typically involving a confrontative meeting with the alcohol or other drug dependent person (the most typical type of intervention) or indirect, involving work with a co-dependent family to encourage them to be more effective in helping the addicted individual. The use of interventions originated in 1960s with Dr. Vernon Johnson. The Johnson Model was subsequently taught years later at the Johnson Institute. This model pioneered way of intervention however has always come under scrutiny because of the "ambushing" nature that the model falls under. Despite some of the negative beliefs of the Johnson Model, it is still responsible for thousands of lives that have been turned around as the result of a Johnson Model Intervention. It should be noted however that in the last 20 years 3 other major models of intervention have been created and utilized within the field of intervention. The Heart to Heart Model/Storti Model is similar to the Johnson Model in that the element of surprise exists, however it takes out the component of confrontation and is a very loving and caring display of intervention.

Two of the major models of intervention that are utilized today are known as systemic and A.R.I.S.E. model of intervention. Both use an invitational approach to intervention and rely heavily on having the family as a whole enter a phase of recovery. This helps take the focus on the addicted individual and notes the need for the entire family unit to change in an effort for everyone who is involved to get healthy. This model places an emphasis on treating the addicted individual with dignity and respect.

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Intervention. The Official Guide to Intervention is Debra Norton. Ms. Norton has worked in the field of chemical dependency for 12+ years and has held positions from Intake Coordinator, Quality Improvement Director, Executive Director to Chief Financial Officer. Her love for people and serving those in need as well as her personal life experiences with chemical dependency has resulted in her developing OUTREACH SERVICES. OUTREACH SERVICES is now her passion because it affords the ability to help so many more people rather than just serving one facility. Her experience in marketing, personnel, intake, clinical management and quality improvement allows Outreach Services to continue to grow as a reputable placement organization.

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Debra Norton, The Official Guide to Intervention