Using Models of Interventions in Recovery


smart model of interventionOur intervention plan is based on the S.M.A.R.T. Model, this intervention is in essence, a combination of two different approaches.

  1. A cognitive behavioral model to understand the behaviors and operating basis of the substance abuser.
  2. A systemic model to understand the complex family dynamics that occur when a substance abuser is forming their addiction.

It is important to understand that it is impossible to successfully conduct the exact same intervention plan on various types of people and expect the same outcomes. A 19 year old experimenting with prescription pills reacts much differently than a 55 year old successful businessman whose drinking has finally caught up with him.

Many attempts have been made to create a one-size-fits all approach to intervening. Unfortunately, intervening in the wrong way can have disastrous and sometimes long-lasting results, ruining a chance for success later on.

Intervention Services has successfully intervened on thousands of clients. These clients have been composed of every socio-economic bracket imaginable. 90% of our clients are located in the United States, 9% are in Canada, and less than 1% are international. In addition to this variety of locales and cultures, we are also one of the few intervention providers that have tried to work with the families on what is the best fit for the client in terms of treatment.

In the majority of cases, a 12-step program is an excellent fit. However, some clients respond better to a faith-based Christian alternative, and others respond to cognitive therapies. To argue that one-size-fits all in terms of treatment is also a grave misconception. Most intervention providers are limited and will offer you one style of intervention…and only one solution for treatment options.

The S.M.A.R.T. Model of Interventions assumes many things. Before we explain in detail, let’s break the acronym down: S.M.A.R.T. or Systemic Modular Approach to Recovery and Treatment. Now, what exactly does this mean?

  • Systemic: Systemic, in this sense, means “Family Systems” or a system that operates in a healthy or unhealthy manner. Intervention Services assumes that if we focus the majority of our energy on empowering the family first, then the substance abuser has a greater chance of getting and staying sober.

  • Modular: Intervention Services is a full Continuum of Care Intervention Service Provider. Using a Continuum of Care approach, we feel that treatment and recovery are composed of interlocking “puzzle pieces” that, when successfully put together compose an optimal path for recovery.

  • Approach to Recovery and Treatment: It needs to be stated that there is a world of difference between Recovery and Treatment. Looking at them as the same, can cause a world of problems. Some clients simply need treatment, others need a much broader long-term approach where the goal is active and life-long recovery.

The S.M.A.R.T. Model of Interventions

S.M.A.R.T. Model Interventions use a cognitive-behavioral model of interventions. In other words, we look at the behaviors common to most substance abusers, and we seek to understand these common behaviors by discovering a primary underlying cognitive (or mental) operating basis in life. S.M.A.R.T. Model Interventions understand that there are at least 3 types of interventions:

1) Recovery Intervention: This type of intervention plan has, as it’s end goal, active and usually life-time participation in recovery. Although most commonly using traditional approaches such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, a Recovery Intervention may also include Christian or faith-based alternatives such as Celebrate Recovery or other support groups.

A Recovery Intervention may include many aspects of our continuum of care, including inpatient treatment followed by sober living residency for up to 6 months, followed by active participation is support group meetings, outpatient, etc. The goal of a Recovery Intervention is a complete lifestyle change and dedication to active recovery.

2) Crisis Intervention: A Crisis Intervention only seeks to handle the immediate unhealthy behaviors of a loved one. When a child is only experimenting in drugs, binge drinking, or maybe only showing a few signs of abuse, it can sometimes be counter-productive to have one family member dedicated towards pushing a teenager into a lifetime commitment to participation in recovery meetings, and the rest of the family thinking that this is only an unhealthy phase that must be addressed.

Intervention Services uses a Systemic form of interventions, which means that we have to work collectively as a family unit. To disintegrate the family and work against each other is one of the worst things that can occur with any intervention. A Crisis Intervention has treatment as the goal. In terms of any active participation in recovery afterwards, that is to be determined within the family.

3) Closure Intervention: A Closure Intervention allows a family to feel that they have done everything possible before moving on to a different stage in their life. Sometimes family members call us and they are rather blunt. “This intervention plan isn’t about Jim…it is about us.” Occasionally there are issues of child custody, years of alcohol and drug abuse, feelings of apathy, major illness surrounding a loved one who has “given up”, or just the understanding that the substance abuser has a short time left and we all need to know that we tried.

Closure interventions are a way for a family (or family member) to become “unstuck”. Historically very powerful experiences for all involved, it is an honor for Intervention Services to help guide a family that needs an Intervention of Closure. The goal of a Closure Intervention is to try to begin the healing of the family outside of the addiction.

In essence, it is important to have an intervention plan service provider that is willing and able to tailor the intervention towards your needs and expected outcomes. Although we, at Intervention Services, are considered an authority on interventions, that doesn’t mean we must be inflexible. Allow us to guide you through making a choice that has the ideal solutions for your loved ones.

Click here to learn more about our Intervention process.

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Intervention ServicesUsing Models of Interventions in Recovery