Interventions are a powerful tool to aid someone suffering from a substance use disorder.
However, conducting one is a delicate, difficult task.
In practice, an intervention is quite different than the overly dramatic shouting matches that take place on TV or in movies. That is why a trained professional is the best person to facilitate the process. For the most positive intervention results and the highest chance at beginning a path towards recovery, you should consult an experienced professional interventionist.
What Is an Interventionist?
The Association of Intervention Specialists offers this definition of interventionist: “The interventionist is the individual who helps identify the appropriate people in the life of a person who is experiencing substance use, mental, or behavioral health problems that will become an influential part of a recovery team… The interventionist supports, educates, provides guidance, direction, and training, as well as the facilitation of the intervention and aftercare.”
In the simplest terms, an interventionist organizes and facilitates interventions.
To join the Association of Intervention Specialists or similar organizations, an interventionist must earn accreditation through an official body. For example, in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Certification Board is responsible for granting credentials. There is an exhaustive process that one must complete to gain certification.
The board refers to these practitioners as Certified Intervention Professionals (CIP). A CIP credential is “for professionals who have the primary role of facilitation and participation in substance use interventions. Intervention professionals guide families, friends and others through an intervention process where the substance user is encouraged to accept help. The CIP is not a marketer or recruiter for a treatment facility; rather they are a front-line professional who is directly engaging an individual and family to help guide them to treatment and is a part of the recovery team.”
In order to get board certified, the applicant must already have significant experience and knowledge in the field. Take note of the following qualifications for the CIP accreditation:
- Two years of work experience providing direct substance use intervention and related services 50% of the time.
- Participation in five interventions and facilitation of five interventions within the last three years for a total of ten interventions.
- 150 hours of education relevant to domains. The following hours must be included within the total number of hours required: 20 hours in intervention theory and practice; 12 hours in family systems; 12 hours in motivational interviewing; 12 hours specific to addiction; 6 hours in crisis intervention; 6 hours in behavioral health ethics.
The above is an abridged list of all CIP requirements. The bottom line is that the most committed interventionists also commit to earning this certification.
How to Choose an Interventionist
The best way to select an interventionist is through a personal recommendation or from a consultation at a rehab facility. As has been explained already, the most qualified interventionists are those who have earned CIP status.
At DK Solutions, Daniel Krasner, CIP, is the professional in charge of intervention services. Accredited since 2013—and sober since 2005—Krasner possesses a unique blend of hard-earned skills and personal experience. If he or someone else on the DK Solutions team cannot offer you their services, they may be able to refer you to a reputable alternative.
However you choose, it is important that you trust the professional who will play a vital role within your family’s fabric. An interventionist will work with you, your loved ones, and other specialists to improve the chances of a positive intervention outcome.
Before, during, and after an intervention, a CIP is there for support. They bring expertise on substance use disorders, recovery, and relapse. A well-trained interventionist is also an expert in conflict management. Overall, they provide a third-party perspective—one that is not as emotionally charged as those held by close family members can sometimes be.
- The Waypoint Recovery Center wrote on the subject of choosing an interventionist in 2017.
- To learn more about interventions, as written by the Association of Intervention Specialists, click here.
- The Pennsylvania Certification Board website offers even more details about the many requirements necessary to earn and maintain CIP certification.