Professional Interventionist

What is an interventionist?


An interventionist is a trained professional in the field of addiction and family systems. Interventionists help identify people in an addict’s life that can be most influential in a recovery team. The team is usually composed of family, friends and co-workers who can help an individual accept and receive treatment. Family interventions are the most commonly requested service, though concerned friends and colleagues have become more involved in the process.

Often, people seek out the help from a professional interventionist when they’ve reached the end of their rope. Watching a loved one struggle with addiction can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair. Denial is a part of most addiction, with approximately 50% of addicts in complete denial. As a result, an addict’s relationships with family and friends can become tense and difficult, and communication breaks down. Attempting an intervention without help can be intimidating, overwhelming and most often unsuccessful.

An interventionist helps to bring hope and acceptance to a difficult reality.

They can provide a new perspective and create an opening to facilitate a loved one getting help. Family and friends can begin to learn new ways to take care of themselves and support each other and healing can begin.

What does an interventionist do?

The interventionist begins the process by learning more about the addict, the situation and the most significant relationships in the addict’s life. The interventionist then identifies the most appropriate people be part of the intervention meeting and recovery team. The right approach will be determined based on the client’s unique circumstances and mental health conditions.

Then, your interventionist will create a plan, set a date for an intervention and facilitate it. Throughout the process, the interventionist will provide education, support and guidance.

Your interventionist will help evaluate different treatment options and potential aftercare programs specific to the addict’s needs and situation. Each plan will be designed to ensure that the client’s process is beneficial for all involved.

What is the cost for a professional interventionist?

The cost varies based on services, interventionist, and each specific situation. Interventionists can charge either flat fee that includes planning and follow up care or charge an hourly rate. The cost does not include any costs associated with a treatment facility.

Your interventionist should be able to discuss the specifics of your situation with you to provide an estimate of what the intervention will cost.

How long does an intervention take?

It’s important to understand that the intervention process is often more involved than people realize. The intervention itself may only take a couple of hours. However, the planning is a critical part of the process and may involve multiple meetings and counseling to prepare family and loved ones for the intervention itself. Interventionists will provide coaching for vocabulary and encourage patience as family members learn the right words to communicate effectively during the intervention. It may take several days or even weeks to plan and organize for a successful intervention. Once an intervention is completed, coaching may continue for up to 12 months.


What’s the success rate?

Interventions have an incredible 90% success rate when led by a professional interventionist. Shockingly though, less than 10% of families will make the decision to seek out professional help.


US families with at least one addict among their immediate family members.


Addicts in complete denial about their addiction.


Successful interventions when led by a professional interventionist.


Families who will make the decision to seek out professional help with an intervention.


How to choose an interventionist


If choosing to work with an interventionist, look for one who is both credentialed and experienced. While anyone can call themselves an interventionist, professional interventionists will be licensed and/or Board Registered. There is only one nationally recognized certification board, the Pennsylvania Certification Board. This means these individuals have not only completed training specific to the intervention process, but they are held to high standards within the field and have signed a Code of Ethics.

Also look for additional credentialing or licensure. Many interventionists will hold Masters degrees or licenses for mental health or substance abuse issues. Many times addiction is coupled with other mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Interventionists with advanced education and experience in counseling can address each person’s individual needs.

Experience is imperative. Ask the interventionist how many interventions they have done and inquire about success rates. Finding someone with a history or proven success will bring you confidence and relief through this difficult process.


Are interventions confidential?

Despite what is seen on television, interventions are not meant to be dramatic events. Confidentiality is essential and discretion keeps the intervention a respectful and safe environment for all.


Can an interventionist help with my family?

An interventionist helps family problems by educating family members and friends on the disease of addiction. They also provide support and guidance as family and friends learn to create healthy lifestyles and boundaries. They can help diffuse tense relationships and improve communication.

Interventionists can help a variety of families in crisis – from those struggling to cope with substance abuse, mental health, chronic pain, process disorders or other complex behavior issues.

Interventionists often work closely with other professionals, physicians, therapists and treatment centers to insure an individual and families success during their journey.