If you have a loved one that needs addiction treatment, he or she may benefit from the Johnson Model of intervention.

If someone in your life is unable to stop drinking or using drugs, you are probably in a lot of pain. Addiction is a cunning disease, and those suffering from substance use disorder do not realize just how much they are hurting both themselves and those who care about them the most.

One of your options is to have an intervention, which is an organized, planned meeting with your loved one so that you can let him or her know your concerns and offer help at an addiction treatment facility. There are many different ways to approach an intervention, but the most commonly used method is called the Johnson Model of intervention.

What Is the Johnson Model of Intervention?

The idea of using an intervention to reach an addicted loved one has been around for years, but the methods have changed. In the past, and still sometimes today, an intervention could be a brutal event that seeks to shame and humiliate the person with a substance use disorder. Not only does this often not result in the person getting help, but it also creates additional feelings of anger and resentment among all involved.

Dr. Vernon Johnson thought that there could surely be a better way to approach this important event. An Episcopal priest, Johnson developed his “Model” for interventions in the 1970s after surveying recovering alcoholics to see what motivated them to get sober. The catalyst was essentially a series of troubling events related to drinking.

There had been a long-held belief that a person needed to hit “rock bottom” before seeking recovery. Johnson believed that some sort of decision was still necessary, but that a properly formed intervention could deliver that bottom to the alcoholic or addict instead of leaving them in a potentially dangerous situation.

How a Johnson Intervention Is Done

Johnson believed that a person addicted to alcohol or drugs is out of touch with reality and that his method of intervention could present the reality of the situation in a way that is receivable. There are seven main components to an intervention based on the Johnson Model:

  • Team. The intervention should be planned and carried out by a team.
  • Planning. Successful interventions result from a thorough plan.
  • Care-Focused. The event should be centered on love instead of anger or blame.
  • Addiction-Only. Participants should only highlight past transgressions if they directly relate to addiction.
  • Evidence. Everything mentioned should be specific and backed by evidence.
  • Clear Goal. The goal of an intervention is to have the individual enter treatment.
  • Treatment Options. The best approach is to provide the individual with three treatment options so that he or she feels like there is a choice.

Tips for Setting Up an Intervention for a Loved One

If you decide to go forward with an intervention for a loved one, it is helpful to plan ahead as much as possible. You may only get one chance at this vital meeting, so spend some time preparing with other loved ones before you begin.

The most beneficial way to do this is with the help of a professional interventionist. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), interventions that are done with a trained professional are successful in enrolling individuals in treatment more than 90 percent of the time.

Contact The Recovery Village now to find out more about our addiction treatment programs and speak with one of our specialists about the options that you can offer your loved one during an intervention.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.