Q. The internet has so many people advertising themselves as interventionists that I’m overwhelmed. How do I choose?
A. First of all you want to make sure they have had training specific to chemical dependency, other addictions, and interventions. They should be credentialed in a related field. A brand new credential specific to interventions is Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), granted by the Pennsylvania Certification Board. The advantage is those with a CIP have the required training, have professional liability insurance but most important adhere to a Code of Ethics. They also are required to get continuing education and re-certify every two years. So you’ll know they are up on the latest in the field. This is a safeguard for you, the consumer.
Q. Does gender matter when picking an interventionist?
A. Yes. If you are considering an intervention on a female I believe it’s in the patient’s best interest to have a female interventionist. The reason is so many addicted females have a history of rape, sexual abuse or molestation. They have been traumatized and can easily be re-traumatized. The problem is so many females have learned to “shut up and put up” in our male dominant society and simply don’t recognize when they’re being re-traumatized . It’s not that male interventionist do this knowingly, they are simply innocent bystanders. Another concern is when a male interventionist transports a female to treatment. The patient can perceive this as another male who has the power over her. As chemically dependent people are known to be manipulative, a male interventionist, transporting a female to treatment may be putting himself in a vulnerable position.
Q. Does that mean female interventionists shouldn’t do interventions on males?
A. It depends, but in my experience of doing intervention on males, the gender of the interventionist doesn’t seem to matter.