Are Interventions Really Like The TV Show?

16. February 2016

If you are like countless other people who watch television, particularly reality television, you’ve probably caught at least one episode of the hit television show “Intervention.” This show has gained a large audience and its own share of controversy. Why is the show so popular? The answers no doubt vary from person to person.

Some people who watch the show have addiction problems themselves, whether they are currently using or are in recovery. Some may be family members of addicts and alcoholics, watching and hoping to find answers, or to know they aren’t alone. Some people watch out of pure curiosity, having never dealt with such things. One question that probably everyone has had at one point or another is: “Is a real intervention like the TV show?”

It’s Real Life, Not Hollywood

family intervention

Although some of the mechanics are accurate, and the people are indeed real people with real problems, it’s important to realize this is still television, and television shows need ratings if they are to continue.

The producers of the show explained that they hand-picked people, not based on the usual Hollywood standards of beauty but in their ability to tell a story. They likely chose candidates that they thought may make for a dramatic episode, as well. While the people in the show may very well be real addicts, you can’t form your idea of an addict in need of help based on those who are on the show. Again, people were specifically chosen for what they could bring to the show. The more dysfunctional, far-gone and dire the case, the better. In real-life, things may not be so far gone. It’s important to realize that many addicts are “functioning” and may still be holding things together. You don’t have to wait for things to get worse before staging an intervention.

Another key difference between interventions in real life and interventions on television is the climactic ending. Generally, it ends with either a tearful, heartfelt surrender on the part of the addicted person, or a volatile, defiant and explosive ending, with the addicted person storming off, and the family left devastated. Sometimes, it’s the family that gets out of control. Again, you must realize this is entertainment, of sorts. People want to fireworks or happy endings, and they want an end result.

Interventions Aren’t Always Dramatic, And The Results Aren’t Always Immediate

A quick fix isn’t necessarily the outcome of an intervention, as much as people would like it to be. Often, an intervention does result in the loved one getting the help they need, but not always, and even when they do, the work is just beginning.

A well-planned intervention mediated by a professional can spur major change in an individual’s life. Sometimes, the person may not go to treatment that day, but it does not mean the intervention was a failure. Often, it can take days, weeks or months for the seed that was planted to take root.

So What Is An Intervention REALLY Like?

The process begins with a phone call. The intervention service will take some general information and answer questions. Interventions are just as much about family support as they are getting your loved one into rehab, so you may feel an enormous sense of relief from the very first contact.

There will be a meeting, in which the interventionist will get to know you and your family, iron out the details of the intervention, let each person who will be present know what to do and when, and learn as much as possible about your addicted loved one.

Then what? Well, each person is different, and each family is different. One person’s experience is just that. The presence of a professional helps keep things on track, and helps the family stick to the main issues, without trailing off into resentments and anger. Much of it is about breaking down the denial that is such a  strong and formidable characteristic of addiction. In the end, nearly 90% of professionally facilitated interventions will result in the loved one getting help. Many people don’t realize just how effective an intervention can be.

Don’t Try This At Home

Informal interventions happen all the time. Families will often get together and try to reason, plead, bargain and bully their loved one into getting help. Any time you confront you’re loved about his or her addiction, it is an intervention of sorts. This is fine, however if you are at a point where you feel that it is critical that your loved one get help, or if you want to approach the situation more formally, consider enlisting the help of a professional.

Getting Help From An Intervention

If you are concerned about your loved one and you want them to get help, or if you have had no luck in getting them to stop, or even admit they have a problem, an intervention can help. From the moment you pick up the phone and call, you will feel supported, and you and your family will begin the healing process. Don’t wait for things to get worse, call 1-877-478-4621 today.