What is an Intervention Specialist?

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If someone needs, but refuses to get, professional help for an addiction, an intervention may be necessary. To ensure that this process has the best chance of succeeding, many people enlist the services of an intervention specialist.

What is an Intervention? 

When used in relation to substance abuse and addiction, the term “intervention” is defined as an organized gathering of loved ones with the goal of getting someone to enter a rehab program. 

Interventions typically involve a group of friends, family members, and others who are close to the individual who has the substance use disorder (addiction). They may also include someone who assists with the planning and help the event run as smoothly as possible.

What is an Intervention Specialist? 

As we mentioned in the intervention definition in the previous section, loved ones who are preparing to conduct an intervention often rely on the guidance of a professional such as an intervention specialist. Depending on several factors, this professional could also be a counselor, therapist or spiritual advisor.

Intervention specialists can bring a wealth of training and experience to both the planning process and the intervention itself. This can be especially valuable to people whose only prior exposure to an intervention is via films or television productions (including so-called “reality” shows), where these events are often portrayed in a skewed manner, either to heighten the drama or to provide comic relief. 

How Does an Intervention Specialist Help People Get to Rehab for Addiction?

The specific contributions that an intervention specialist can offer will depend on a variety of factors. These are usually unique to the group that is participating in the event. In general, though, including an intervention specialist offers the following benefits:

  • A specialist will have previously participated in several interventions. They are familiar not only with how a successful intervention should proceed, but also with the challenges and obstacles that can threaten to derail the process.
  • Since the intervention specialist will not have a close personal connection with any of the participants, they can serve as an objective source of guidance and – if necessary – conflict resolution.
  • An intervention specialist may also assist with planning. This assistance may include selecting an appropriate venue, determining who to include, and helping participants prepare the statements that they will read during the intervention.

During both the planning process and the intervention itself, a specialist can offer the following services to increase the likelihood that the individual will agree to enter a drug rehab center:

  • Ahead of time, the intervention specialist can educate participants about what to expect during the intervention, what to say (and not say) when speaking to the individual who is the focus of the event, and how to conduct themselves if the individual responds with denial, anger, or aggression.
  • At the event, the presence of the intervention specialist can signal to the individual with the substance use disorder that this is a serious matter, and that their loved ones are truly concerned about their well-being.
  • If the intervention is successful and the individual agrees to enter treatment, the intervention specialist may transport or accompany them to the rehab center.
  • If the individual refuses to enter a rehab program, the interventionist can meet with participants to process what occurred during the session and provide informed recommendations for how they can continue to support their loved one.


Find the best intervention specialist

How to Find the Best Intervention Specialist Near You

Finding the best intervention specialist is similar to finding the ideal rehab program. You should focus on finding a reputable individual whose skills and philosophy align with your needs, expectations, and preferences.

When you’re evaluating intervention specialists, here are questions that can help you determine which person is right for your group:

  • What is the extent of the intervention specialist’s education and training?
  • Is the person licensed and/or certified?
  • How many interventions has the specialist participated in?
  • Is the individual affiliated with a specific rehab center?
  • Can the intervention specialist help you find the right rehab for your loved one?
  • What services can the intervention specialist provide to help friends and family members?
  • Does the intervention specialist accept insurance?

Any reputable professional should be happy to answer these and any other questions you have. Be wary of anyone who refuses to provide you with the information you are seeking. You should also be concerned if a person makes unrealistic promises or guarantees success. As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

How to Become an Intervention Specialist

The process of becoming an intervention specialist can vary from state to state. In general, people who wish to pursue this career should meet criteria such as the following:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a relevant field, such as psychology or social work
  • Meet all state-level registration and/or certification requirements
  • Have experience caring for people who were addicted to alcohol or drugs
  • Be a compassionate person with strong communication and conflict-resolution skills
  • Work well under pressure and in challenging circumstances

Contact Renewal Health Group in Los Angeles, California

If you are planning to host an intervention for someone who has become addicted to alcohol, opioids, or another substance, Renewal Health Group may be the ideal place for your loved one. Our network includes trusted treatment centers at multiple locations throughout the Los Angeles area. At each our treatment center, your loved one will receive personalized care from a team of highly skilled professionals. 

To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please complete our Contact Us form or call us today.