The Johnson Model of Intervention started being used in the 1960’s. Named after Vernon Johnson, his intervention technique was designed to address the presumption that addicts live in heavy denial and must be persuaded to see the reality of addiction.
Addicts must recognize how addiction harms all people concerned, including the addict and everyone who cares for him. This confrontational approach is used to nudge substance abusers into treatment before their life deteriorates into a dangerous or fatal disaster.
The Johnson Model of Intervention Raises the Bottom
A main tenet of the Johnson Model Intervention is that addicts don’t seek help until they hit bottom. One of the primary goals is to effectively “raise the bottom” for an addict to prevent the terrible, likely consequences that lie ahead for an untreated addict. Family members, friends and other people important to the addict are invited to participate in an intervention. The goal is to show the addict how concerned everyone is for his health and to convince him to enter into treatment.
First Step for the Johnson Model of Intervention
The first step to take for families hoping to help a loved one is to hire a professional interventionist. A trained expert in this field can guide the whole process for the best possible chance to achieve success. In an emotionally-charged interaction like an intervention, the experience and objectivity that a trained professional provides is critical to keep the meeting productive.
See more on the different models of interventions.
Johnson Model of Invitation Rehearsal
Before the actual intervention meeting, the interventionist coaches participants to psychologically prepare them for the confrontation. It is a common practice for the family and friends attending to rehearse what they will say to the addict.
Being emotionally prepared for all the possibilities that can arise in an intervention provides participants with the tools they need to handle emotions in a productive manner. The professional interventionist guides the participants and reviews likely scenarios in preparation for the big day.
The Day of the Johnson Model Intervention
The day of the intervention, the addict is surprised by the group’s purpose for the get-together. He is confronted by each participant. Family members and friends tell the addict in their own words how worried they are for the addict and how the addiction has harmed them personally.
It is important for the intervention to be handled in a caring and loving way. Participants are told to use specific examples when citing the concern they have for the substance abuser.
Many addicts owe their life to an intervention that got them into treatment.