What is Intervention?

The word intervention may conjure up all sorts of pre-conceived ideas related to US Intervention programs and dramas. The reality of an Intervention is far removed from bundling someone off to rehab in a car against their will. An Intervention is NOT about forcing an individual into treatment against their wishes, nor is it about bullying or ganging up on the individual. An intervention is a process of fact baring and persuasion with a firm plan of treatment in place at the ready. When conducted by a professional an Intervention has an extremely high rate of success, resulting in the individual freely admitting the problem and agreeing to go to rehab immediately for professional treatment. If you are planning on conducting your own intervention, there are a number of factors that must be addressed in order for the intervention to stand any chance of success.

If you are worried for a family member, friend or loved one who is suffering from an addiction, it is important to act now. Addiction is a progressive and deadly illness that over any given period of time, only ever gets worse without the correct professional help and treatment Don’t leave it to chance that they may recover on their own, and don’t leave it until it is too late for them to make a full recovery.


  • An intervention needs to be highly structured and carefully planned in order to cover all possibilities.
  • There has to be a common objective with all participants singing from the same hymn sheet.
  • All participants must work together and co-operate to achieve the common goal
  • There has to be a set of firm boundaries with a willingness to follow through with consequences should the boundaries be broken
  • You will need to have reasonable expectations around your intervention working
  • An appropriate rehab treatment program will need to be secured for immediate admission the same day the intervention is conducted
  • Consider how you will defuse the situation should things spiral out of control
  • Consider how you will maintain a calm and not threatening environment for the duration of the intervention and also after
  • Consider the timing of the intervention, is the individual likely to be heavily intoxicated or not
  • Consider if the individual will take the intervention seriously if no professional is involved. What can you say that is different from what they have already heard before?

As you can see from the above examples, there are many considerations to take in to account when planning an intervention. A professional Interventionist will make all the necessary arrangements and planning for you. They will be present for the duration of the Intervention, giving direction and guidance whilst endeavouring to keep the situation calm and in control at all times. They will plan for all eventualities and smooth the pathways for the individual to enter rehab without any worries or concerns. They will also take the individual directly to the chosen rehab once the intervention has achieved the desired outcome. A professional Interventionist will have undergone years of training and experience to earn a good reputation in the service that they provide, so it is always worth giving serious thought to if you are able to provide the same level of expertise and skill if and when required.

Where do Interventions originate from?

Interventions have been around for many years and in varying forms, it is only in recent decades that more specific models have been developed and refined. The most commonly and successfully used models were originally developed in the 1960’s by an Episcopal Priest, Dr Johnson. Dr Johnson tirelessly worked with alcoholics and addicts helping them to overcome their affliction and find recovery. He developed a model called the “Johnson model” that was aimed at intervening in the addicts decline and getting them to a place where they were willing to accept help. His model was developed based on research that he conducted with many alcoholics who had found recovery. He was interested as to what had brought these individuals into recovery when there was so many more dying as a result of their illness. He found that it was not one big event that caused them to seek recovery from alcoholism, but rather a number of smaller and less catastrophic events that finally led them to seeing the truth and breaking the denial inside. Dr Johnson felt that it was a tragedy to see so many individuals die as a result of the denial around their illness, and based on his findings started to conduct interventions that prevented the individual from continuing on a path of destruction in their addiction and become willing to seek help. He found success in using his model and went on to write a book about it in 1973 called “I’ll Quit Tomorrow”

What models of Interventions are proven to be successful?

There are some common evidence based models and techniques that have been used for decades and are still used to their full effect today. Some Interventionists are trained in more than one model and others will use their own model derived from a number of different established models

The evidence based models that are commonly used today are:

The Johnson model

Love first technique

Tough Love approach

Systemic Family Model

Confrontational Approach

Success of Interventions

It is difficult to give an accurate figure of success on interventions. The definition of success is all dependent on the individual’s perception and what the common goal is that they are trying to achieve. Success will also be dependent on the quality of the individual Interventionist according to their experience, skills and the model of intervention that they use. Daniel Gerrard has been conducting successful interventions for the past 4 years, using mainly the Johnson model and Love first techniques he has a natural aptitude for this work. Daniel’s success rate of clients admitting to rehab treatment is 100 % so far. A very impressive statistic I’m sure you will agree, with 3 times more clients completing the full treatment program than those who enter a program with no intervention involved. Daniel’s objective is not just to get the individual into rehab treatment straight away, but to ensure that they stay there for the duration and willingly complete the treatment program.

Individual Case Management

Daniel Gerrard will ensure that the suffering individual received a comprehensive and intensive treatment program that is appropriate for their individual treatment needs. This is followed up with individualized aftercare sessions to help prevent relapse and ensure that the individual stays motivated and on the right path.

Daniel doesn’t believe in cutting corners and his success is based on his ability to cover all angles and pay specific attention to details. He will oversee the individuals treatment from start to finish and be on hand at all times to give support and guidance to all that are involved.

Who participates in an Intervention?

Anyone who has an interest in the individuals wellbeing can participate in an Intervention, this includes family, friends, significant others, children and healthcare professionals. Often when someone is afflicted with addiction they will try to divide the family by playing one family member off against the other. They soon learn who in the family they are able to manipulate to meet the needs of their addiction and these are the very people that they will stick closest to. Other family members or friends may have decided enough is enough and have turned their back or keep a distance. There may be neglected children or angry spouses involved. It can be difficult in light of the damage an addict can cause to their personal relationships to get family members and loved ones to participate in such a highly organised and structured event. They may feel it will be a waste of time or only serve to make matters worse. When relations are strained, there is a very good reason for a Professional Interventionist to become involved. This can avoid further resentment and misunderstanding amongst already strained relationships. It can also be useful for healthcare professionals that have been helping the individual to participate also. Someone such as a Counsellor, Drug worker or Doctor, someone who has already gained their trust and respect. It may also be beneficial and appropriate for a supportive employer, business partner or a member of their local church to be involved.

Arranging an Intervention:

When arranging an intervention, the first thing to agree is a time and place where everyone will come together to deliver the intervention to the individual concerned. The place where the intervention is to be held should be non-threatening and somewhere that is easy to get the individual to go to or is already likely to be at, such as their home or a family member’s home that they frequently visit. A public place is not appropriate due to the need for confidentiality and safety. Once a place has been agreed, a date and time will then also need to be arranged. Ideally an Intervention should be conducted first thing in the morning, before the individual has the opportunity to get too intoxicated. You should not prevent them from taking their usual fix of their substance of addiction as this could lead them to concentrate more on their withdrawal symptoms rather than on what is being said. Timing is vital to fall in with when they are usually more approachable and coherent.

When enlisting the services of a professional interventionist, the Interventionist will carry out a full and very in-depth assessment of the family dynamics and the individuals patterns of addiction before suggesting an appropriate date, time and place for the intervention to be booked. It is important that once a time and date is agreed that all participants make every effort to ensure that the intervention takes place then.

Step by step approach to arranging a successful Intervention with Daniel Gerrard :

If you have decided that you would like to proceed with an intervention using Daniel Gerrards services. Here is a basic breakdown of what you can expect to happen in the days and hours leading up to an Intervention

Stage One: Assessment

This is the most comprehensive stage of the intervention, it is where Daniel will gather all the information that he needs to enable him to carry out the intervention and minimize the risks involved of it not working.

Daniel will carry out an in depth assessment of the family and the dynamics with regards to their relationship with the client. A full and detailed record will be made of the client’s addiction history, their patterns of use, past or current treatments that they have tried, medical information and any reasons they are likely to give or have given to justify not going into rehab for treatment.

Stage 2: Advice

Having carried out a thorough assessment Daniel will give advice to the family on how to avoid colluding with and enabling the individual in their addiction. Advice and guidance will also be provided on adopting appropriate boundaries and the possible consequences that could be enforced if the individual chooses to break these boundaries. At this point Daniel will send through in-depth information to the family to read regarding how interventions work, and also suitable rehabs and treatment plans, so they begin to form a realistic idea of what to expect.

Stage 3: Objectives and Consequences

Daniel will agree with the family a set of reasonable objectives that they wish to achieve through the intervention. This will involve discussing bottom lines and the lengths the family are willing to go to in order to persuade the individual to go into rehab. For example, the family stating that if the individual chooses not to go into rehab, then they will have to move out of the family home. The objectives will need to be agreed by all participants and will involve agreeing on a plan of treatment as recommended by Daniel.

Stage 4: Preparation

Part of the preparation leading up to the intervention will involve each participant writing in their own words a let to be read out during the intervention. Daniel will send some examples of Intervention letters to the family to help with this important task. Once the letters have been completed they will be returned to Daniel who will carefully scan the letter for anything that may trigger the individual to shut down or become aggressive. This must be avoided where ever possible as can be hard to undo once done. Any changes or editing to the letters that is required will then be advised by Daniel. As part of the preparation Daniel will also contact and discuss the intervention with all of the participants and also those who are not willing but could be instrumental in the interventions success if they agree to take part.

Stage 5: Booking the Intervention

Once it has been agreed who will take part in the intervention and the letters have been written, a date, time and place will then be booked for the Intervention to go ahead. Daniel will also ensure at this point that the rehab of choice is available to deliver the required treatment with admission on the same day as the booked intervention. He will also ensure that there is an alternative rehab in place in case the individual decides that the chosen rehab is not for them.

Stage 6: Rehearsal

Once the date for the intervention has been booked, Daniel will travel to the family home to the night before to conduct a rehearsal with all participants. It is vital that every participant is clear on what is expected of them during the intervention and what role they will play. Daniel will also recap on the bottom lines and the objectives and talk through any fears or concerns that the participants may have. Daniel ensures that every foreseeable eventuality is covered and that the pathways to rehab are smoothed with employers and loved ones. Once everyone is clear on what is expected from them, a dummy run of the intervention will be carried out.

Stage 7: The intervention

Finally after all of the preparation and work involved in arranging the intervention, the time has come for the intervention to go ahead. It is during the intervention that it will become crystal clear why Daniel will have put so much time and effort into planning the event and hopefully as a result the objective of your loved one being admitted to rehab that day being achieved.