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An interventionist is a professional who helps “intervene” on a maladaptive system. Interventions provide a novel and effective approach when a client is treatment-resistant, however this is not their only function. Typically working with the families, employers or concerned Others, the interventionist works with the group to help identify realistic treatment options based on need, diagnostics, and benefactor. Forming a united front based on concrete goals, the newly formed group will help guide the afflicted individual towards treatment.

From an educational lens, the interventionist will provide direction and guidance on how to heal the system from the behaviors that are causing distress. Treatment can come in many forms, from coaching, intensive outpatient, residential, detoxification, long term care, and in some cases moderation.

An interventionist should be able to do the following:

  1. Assess the situation (family, workplace, lifestyle) to determine the level of care.
  2. Determine treatment options and unify the system that is concerned (family, workplace, friends).
  3. Educate the system on how to appropriately approach in a non-threatening way.
  4. Provide options for safe passage to treatment.
  5. Assist the family in making decisions on how to move forward regardless on if the identified patient enters treatment.

An interventionist should be licensed or certified through a credible agency such as the Pennsylvania Board or the Certified Intervention Professional (CIP). Ideally, the interventionist will have been exposed to ethical training and will be transparent with a client if there are any dual relationships (employed by a treatment center, owns a treatment center, paid by a treatment center for speeches, etc).


Adam McLean holds a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing.  He is working towards his PhD in Clinical Psychology from California Southern University. Additionally he is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) with the Pennsylvania Control Board.  He is currently the Executive Director of Life of Purpose in Phoenix, Arizona, which means he is overseeing the developing of Life of Purpose in Phoenix, AZ and serves as a liaison to families and the professional community.  Adam has a wide variety of experience, from community mental health, to long term extended care, to an outdoor adventure therapy program with traditional treatment modalities for treatment of substance abuse.  Additionally, Adam works with the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) to establish alternative sentencing for chronic drug offenders.