There are a lot of different models and types of different intervention that you can choose from when trying to figure out how to best help your addicted loved one. Different situations with different addicts will call for different types of programs and different types of interventions. Make sure that you pick the style of intervention that best suits your loved one as to personality, substance abuse situation, level of willingness to go to treatment, level of pleasant relations with other family members, level of resistance and stubbornness, etc. It is important to make the right choice when it comes to intervention, as you might not get a second chance at this.
For many American families, the Johnson Method is often selected as a powerful and really very effective way to get through to the addict that he or she needs to go to rehab and to get him or her to admit to a problem and accept help. This is not always easy, but the Johnson Method provides a very unique and customizable approach to intervention that can provide stunning results.
The Johnson Method is all about family. It is a stellar intervention method for an addict who cares a lot about his or her family and who wants them to be happy. This intervention model works really well on parents and on teens and on young adults too. The main purpose behind the Johnson Method is to essentially confront the addict by motivating and encouraging him or her to change his or her lifestyle for the good of not only themselves, but for the good of the family around him or her.
Dr. Johnson, a priest and addiction specialist who pioneered this intervention method wanted the addict to be confronted true, but in a very specific way that would not act so much as a forceful confrontation but more so of a compassionate and caring one that would lower the addict’s defenses. He basically recognized that the addict’s defenses are already raised when they are confronted in a surprising way. He wanted to see that the addict’s defenses get lowered as smoothly and as carefully as possible so that real intervention could occur. For example, to continue to throw blame and insult would only cause the addict to break down and ultimately stop listening to those around him or her. When this happens, the idea of sobriety is no longer an option because their defenses are so high that nothing will convince them to change their mind. When you employ the Johnson Method, you should be careful to never let any part of the intervention get to openly and aggressively confrontational, as this could run the risk of creating a very tense and potentially worthless situation.
Dr. Vernon Johnson, the founder of the method, immediately saw the value in family and loved ones being used in an intervention no matter who was available for such an occurrence. During the 1970s, this was something new and very unconventional compared to other intervention methods. Now it is very commonplace. With the Johnson method, instead of family members “ganging up” on the addict and blaming the addict for hurtful feelings as well as memories, actions, crimes, and damages, Dr. Johnson encouraged caring, love, compassion, understanding, and above all a desire to help as the priority. For example, He asks the family members involved in the intervention to confront the addict with letters that focused on how much they care for the addict, not how mad they are at him or her for his or her actions as an addict.
The Seven Steps of the Johnson Model
The Johnson Model of addiction intervention inboxes seven main steps and components. These steps are very important and definitely need to be followed to a point. If they are not, one simply opens the door to an unsuccessful intervention, which should be avoided at all costs for obvious reasons.
This team is organized by a counselor that specializes in intervention. It also includes family members, colleagues, loved ones, as well as friends who are in the addict’s life. The team has to be people who will show love and compassion and not play the doom and gloom blame game.
During this stage, the time of the intervention is determined as well as exactly what is going to be said through the letters written by each intervention team member.
3. Focused on Care:
This component is imperative and must be followed throughout the whole process, (as it is one of the most important), from beginning to end. It should be thought that the entire intervention needs to focus on care, compassion, love, understanding, and a desire to help. No yelling, no accusations, no condemning, no blame game.
4. Addiction Only:
During the process, the only thing that should be talked about is the issue of addiction; nothing else from their past. You must keep the intervention simple to the addiction itself and not include other aspects of factors.
Make sure that it is made very clear to the addict exactly why he or she needs to go to rehab. Each member of the intervention needs to make this clear in a very detailed and all inclusive manner. All past events should be spoken of and described in a very detail related manner.
6. Primary Goal-Treatment:
As a team, the end result of the intervention must be the agreed-upon goal that the addict must seek out treatment at a qualified rehab center. This should not be explained or discussed as a punishment; rather this is to help improve the addict’s life and potentially even save his or her life.
7. Treatment Options:
Ideally, each intervention will end in the addict seeking out treatment. In order for this to happen, the team must put together three different options when it comes to treatment. The only option can be treatment. The Johnson Model does not leave room for other options, it is a treatment only type of intervention model.
Notes on the The Johnson Model of Intervention
This is a family based form of intervention, and the way it is set up is to really focus on the key individual family members who are very, very close to the addict. This method typically involves a strong start with a handful of closed and private meetings with a professional counselor or interventionist who preps and educates the family members for an inevitable confrontation with the addict. The idea here is to do this in a way that will subtly ease the addict into conversation instead of motivating a defensive reaction. Some addicts do not respond well to random people confronting them, and this model of intervention is perfect for those situations because it keeps the intervention within the family only.
The Johnson Model for intervention is successful, proven by time, and very flexible. For any addict who is strongly connected with his or her family, this intervention model is probably the best by far. You should consider the Johnson Model if you know your loved one still holds strong ties to the family and if you would like to confront him or her with love and compassion rather than accusation and blame.