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Buyer Be Aware - Advertisements for Intervention Training need to be carefully considered – revisited!

September 22, 2014
by David Brown
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A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the fact that we see these offers for Interventionist Training all the time and I have become quite concerned that we are not telling our public that the training is a very small part of the overall picture with regard to the requirements to become a CIP. So if you are tempted think about all of the requirements not just the training.

Some of these offers say “If you are interested in becoming certified as an interventionist (CIP), this training will provide 25 CE hours approved by the Pennsylvania Certification Board.  This is one piece of the requirement for certification”!

And in the next breath they will mention what it will cost you to participate in the training in some sunny location – be prepared to open your wallet and let go of somewhere between $ 1500 and $ 2500 plus travel and hotel for the privilege of putting the training hours in the bank. For what a certificate?

So now we hear about the of a NCIP credential (Nationally Certified Intervention Professional)? I know there is a CIP currently issued by Pennsylvania Addiction Board, which is most widely accepted credential right now for the intervention field.  It even is recognized nationally! Remember AIS worked with the Pennsylvania Board over a long time to come up with a certification. I am very involved in interventions and interventionists and know nothing about this new deal. Remember when something seems too good to be true it usually is

I looked at the website to see what the run down would be on qualifications. I knew if this was a national accreditation that the qualifications were going to be exacting. I was wrong. What I read was that “If you have ‘the gift’ to help people get into rehab or detox and turn their lives around, this career as a Nationally Certified Interventionist is for you. You are probably in recovery yourself and have a true desire to help people by using your intervention training skills.”

That's all that is written on qualifications.....really?

So Bob Reid who is a nationally known interventionist and very well respected and I were talking with some other interventionists about this whole training issue and Bob wrote something which really got my attention.  I believe it should be reproduced as it so germane.

Bob said in essence that any masters level therapist with a 1,000 hours of experience is just getting started and should know enough that 16 hours of training is not at all enough to train anyone to become an interventionist...after 25 years and over a 1,000 successful interventions( maybe 10 to 15,000 intervention hours) his experience tells him in most cases people should NOT be doing interventions till they have their masters, and 5 to 10 years Post masters experience...treating addiction, mental health, couples, families, codependency, personality disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, paranoia, and clients that are suicidal and even intervening when someone is homicidal...which I have had to do more than once. To effectively & safely do interventions people need to be properly trained, have a lot of clinical experience and work closely with a supervisor...interventions are clearly a matter of life or death and all of their relationships are on the line even with the best of us, they can go belly up and it's an awful feeling, dangerous and extremely difficult for's like thinking one can watch or take a 16 hour course and go to perform heart surgery on someone!!




An Intervention is clearly a quick process and I do agree one should have a great deal of experience in Counseling to conduct an intervention. But I see the sharks responding to the scent of blood when money is in the picture. A Master's level? a Doctorate level education? really? that is serious overkill and an attempt to put providers with less education out of the picture. Is a simple process that involves a well trained counselor with a clear understanding of family dynamics, addictive disorders and treatment and a few days to complete. I have been to trainings where they want to push the idea that we now have to " engage the whole family" that are just scams to get more money out of the situation. Stop trying to push others out of the field and trying to squeeze more money out of people in a desperate position.

Live human study chest compressions only for drug overdose.
My letter Emergency Medicine News Dec. 2015

Beyond grey medical literature live human study in Ontario, chest compressions only for respiratory emergency Can. J. Public Health 2013;104(3):e200-4
'Development and implementation of an opioid overdose prevention and response program in Toronto, Ontario.'

Was also published in the 2015 AHA & ILCOR CPR guidelines about this life threatening intervention.
Read all comments under this deputation Toronto Board of Health

Best Wishes


David Brown


David Brown

David Brown is Director of Avenues to Recovery in Olathe, Kansas and is a certified...

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