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Family Systemic Model of Intervention (SMI)

The Educational portion of this intervention can occur anywhere.  Preferably a neutral place.
It is the Interventionists responsibility to keep the educational sessions going in a safe and non judgemental manner. 
The essential component is the transfer of knowledge and the acceptance of help within the family system.

The Family Systemic Intervention Approach is focused on family involvement with the treatment process rather than focusing solely on the person with the addiction. 

  • This is also called the Invitational approach as it addresses the entire family together, with the addicted individual invited to attend the intervention.

  • This model is based on the idea that if the system changes, every individual within the system will also change, including the addict.

The invitational approach is designed to be a non-confrontational and non-judgemental form of intervention.

  • The goal is the entire family will become motivated to seek treatment for themselves and to teach and educate the family healthy traits and empowerment of healing.  This is done . through a two day workshop.

The workshop is conducted, and each family member learns about their different treatment options.

These may include addiction or codependency treatment, among others

  • The interventionist usually maintains contact with the family for up to 2 years.  Follow up is done either in person, group meetings, or weekly via telephone.

Process of Systemic Approach Interventions:

​The family holds a series of meetings in which they plan what they'd like to say, and then they invite the untreated person to the meeting.  Here they outline all of their family's recovery commitment and they encourage/include the untreated person to accept treatment and outline limitations and healthy boundaries that include the whole family.

Important points about the Family Systemic Model:

  • There are no planned meetings that are hidden from the untreated person.  In fact, when a meeting is set up with a trained interventionist the untreated person goes to the first one.  If they refuse, the meeting continues.

  • During the meetings, all family members and the untreated person discuss openly, the way the others' behaviour has impacted each one's lives.  It is not a one-way conversation.  It can go back and forth in a controlled manner.

  • Instead of having one big meeting for the intervention, there could be several meetings a week and the process can last months at a time.

  • Both the untreated person and the family commit to entering some form of counselling.  Most likely the addict will go to inpatient treatment to get over the addiction.  Afterward the untreated person will join the family sessions that occur when they are in rehab.  The family commits to therapy sessions while the untreated person is in treatment as well as afterward as one family unit.

Intervention and Preparation Process:

  • Invitational: With this intervention, the interventionist leads the way to recovery rather than pushing anyone.  There are no surprises, no hiding, no sneaking, no deception, and no dishonesty.  This difference is critical for everyone involved and a key beginning of recovery. Addiction has caused considerable damage to family relationships; healing begins with the workshop.

  • Educational: This is a 2 day educational and interactive family workshop where all participants learn about the disease of addiction. 

  • Treatment Options: Ideally, each intervention will result in the untreated person going to treatment.  For this to happen, the team must put together three different options when it comes to treatment facilities.

  • The interventionist will devise an aftercare plan with the family that will include 6 months to 2 years of recovery-oriented treatment for the whole family.