An Intervention is an orchestrated attempt by one, or often many people (usually family and friends) to get someone
to seek professional help with an addiction or some kind of traumatic event or crisis, or other serious problem.
The term is most often used when the traumatic event involves addiction to drugs or other items.
This activity can also refer to the act of using a technique within a therapy session.
This technique has been used to address serious personal problems, including, but not limited to,
alcoholism, compulsive gambling, drug abuse, compulsive eating and other eating disorders, self-mutilation,
tobacco smoking, "workaholism", and various types of poor personal health care.
This technique has also been conducted due to personal habits not as frequently considered seriously
harmful such as video game addiction, excessive computer use and excessive television viewing.
This activity has increased both serving a wider and more varied population and addressing a broader
range of issues. And along with this increase has been an increase in several other areas including the
numbers of people conducting this course of action and in refinements and variations on the technique itself.
The use of this technique originated in the 1960s with Dr. Vernon Johnson. The Johnson Model was
subsequently taught years later at the Johnson Institute. This model pioneered the way for this treatment,
but has come under some scrutiny because of the "ambushing" nature that the model falls under
The Johnson Model is named after Vernon Johnson who is thought by some to be the father
of this activity. Johnson believed that it was a myth that individuals would wake up one day and realize
all of their own volition that they needed to seek treatment for their alcohol or drug problem.
This lead him to believe that forceful confrontation will nearly always be necessary to break through
the denial that is so pervasive among alcoholics and addicts.
Interventionalist, The List
In the Johnson Model a professional interventionist help family, friends and even employers to confront
the chemically dependent individual. Many interventionist today will have each family member express their
care for the person in their own words.
This will be followed by statements of how the chemically dependent person is hurting his or her self
as well as hurting the speaker. This will be followed by guarantees of support for the positive behavior
of entering treatment, but also an explanation of negative consequences if the individual refuses
The List of Interventionalist
In this way the proverbial "bottom" is raised so that the chemically dependent person may seek
help before doing further damage
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