Planning for an Invitational Intervention

Landing on this page is the first step to finding peace-of-mind. Updated July 9, 2022.

I know what you’re going through. You’re probably here because you have a loved one who is struggling with alcohol or drug concerns and you are at your wits end.

You’ve tried everything in your power to help, and you don’t know what else to do to help your family member find themselves again.

If you’re in crisis-mode and feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, or lost – look no further.

I want to tell you that you don’t have to live like this anymore.

Family Members & Friends Need Help Too

Helping a husband, wife, parent, sibling, or any loved one through an addiction with alcohol or drugs is taxing on everyone involved.

Of course we want to help our loved ones in their struggle with misusing substances.

But it is important to remember that everyone involved in the process needs support too.

By turning outward for help, you are opening yourself and your loved one up to accountability, structure, and triumph in this battle.

Is An Intervention the Right Approach?

It can be difficult to know which direction to go in helping your loved one access the help being offered.

An invitational intervention can sometimes feel like a lot, and you may not know what other options you have.

Whatever stage you are at with your decision to conduct an intervention – whether you are researching to find out if an intervention is right for your situation, or if you are ready to dive in and plan an intervention for a loved one – I want to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.

There are many different approaches to supporting a loved one dealing with substance use issues. Interventions are effective because they help people make a connection between their substance use, the problems they are experiencing, and how it affects the people around them.

The Power of an Invitation

I focus on facilitating invitational interventions.

As a well-trained interventionist, I have managed many drug and alcohol interventions and helped families bring peace and love back into their homes.

Interventions present a unique opportunity to a struggling individual to:

  • See their situation in a new lens
  • Visualize the road ahead in recovery; and
  • Realize the support and love they have around them

A person who is actively misusing substances is often in denial and unable to see the deeper issues that are necessary to face.

By inviting your loved one to see and examine the impacts they are having on themselves and the people around them, they are able to make connections and changes without feeling judged.

The support and understanding of the family is monumental in accepting help and getting life back on track.

An intervention starts the process of moving out of the chaos and into stability.

Surprise Interventions vs. Invitational Interventions

Surprise interventions are what people typically imagine when they think of an intervention.

The model often portrayed on TV is called the Johnson Intervention model. The Johnson Intervention involves a confrontation – typically when someone is at their worst – pushing them to accept treatment in the face of social pressure and ultimatums.

In contrast to this model, an invitational intervention is just that: an invitation.

The invitational model of intervention:

  • Is based on engaging with your loved one with open arms and minds
  • Centres around a family meeting to address concerns about their substance use and explore options
  • Encourages open dialogue, rather than accusation

Empathy Is Key to an Invitational Intervention

An intervention is not easy.

Keeping a composed emotional atmosphere is challenging, yet extremely important to ensure the message of acceptance and encouragement comes across at all times.

We manage and contain the emotional atmosphere during an intervention so you and your family don’t have to do it alone.

The importance of empathy is integral to the invitational model. The model is built on the belief that most people are more receptive when treated with kindness and respect. An invitation makes people feel valued and cared for, as opposed to deceived or ambushed. This difference means a lot – and goes a long way in paving the road to recovery.

Invitational Interventions Cultivate Hope

Someone feeling valued is exactly why invitational interventions are so powerful.

Recovery probably feels impossible to your loved one, but with an open invitation given with love and encouragement, they are able to feel hope.

The goal of an intervention is to present the loved one with a safe and structured opportunity to receive help before things get worse. If we can get them to agree to the process of recovery with an open invitation, they are more likely to follow through with treatment and achieve the change they need.

Recovery Doesn’t Look The Same For Everyone

When families reach out to me for help, I start by analyzing the situation so I can understand their needs and find the best solution.

In the cases where an intervention doesn’t seem like the best option, we can work with families by providing consulting on a situational basis, or by working with a Family Coach using the CRAFT Model of Addiction.

When the situation does call for an intervention, we always use the invitational model.

Invitational Interventions Send a Clear Message

Many families fear that their loved one will refuse the invitation.

But whether or not they accept the invitation, positive change will come from sparking the discussion.

If the loved one decides not to participate, we move forward with the family meeting anyway. We will create a plan of action.

Because the family is changing – with or without their loved one.

The process sends an inspiring message to your loved one that you care about their wellbeing, but you are no longer willing to live in chaos. This is a vital boundary that families need to set in order to encourage tangible change.

This will help lift the fog of addiction, and help your loved one to reevaluate their relationship to drugs and/or alcohol.

Get Started with a No-Pressure Call

If an invitational intervention sounds like it might be right for your situation, reach out.

Your family has an opportunity to regain control and start enjoying life again, together.

We always offer a complimentary 30-minute call to discuss your situation and options, with no pressure to move forward unless you are ready. Let’s chat about your goals for your situation, and how I can help. We will find hope in your situation.

Whenever you’re ready, we’re here.

Contact Michael Walsh

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About the author

Michael Walsh

When I say I’ve been there, I mean it. I am a different person now, and I am fired up about helping other people get to the place where they, too, are living better, healthier, and bigger lives.

1-on-1 Recovery Coaching & Sober Companionship

Did you know I can also work directly with your loved one? To learn more about Recovery Coaching or Sober Companionship, please visit my partner site at