Tips for Holding an Intervention for Your Teen

a parent holds a teen intervention for their child

If your teenager is struggling with their mental health or has a behavior issue that is becoming dangerous to themselves and their loved ones, you may find yourself needing a teen intervention. With the help of our crisis intervention services, you can safely and effectively begin this conversation. If your teen is suffering, reach out to Imagine Fort Collins online today or call us at 888.291.2309 to learn how a crisis intervention program can help your family.

What Is a Teen Intervention?

No parent ever imagines needing teen intervention services but the reality is that many mental health challenges emerge during adolescence. Additionally, a significant portion of American teens who begin using drugs and alcohol will develop an addiction later in life. If you believe your teen is struggling with a mental health disorder or behavior issue, or if you’re worried they are turning to drugs as a way of self-medicating, know that you are not alone. Taking decisive action to intervene and help your teenager is the best thing you can do.

An intervention is not a confrontation. Rather, a teen intervention is a conversation, one that could save their life. While you may reach out to us for help from our crisis intervention program, this process is not a punishment for what your teen has or is doing, nor does it necessarily mean that your teen needs rehab or a partial hospitalization program. A teen intervention should be, first and foremost, approached as a level-headed discussion where you express your concern about your teen’s struggles.  

Tips for Holding an Intervention for Your Teen

If you have observed severe behavioral problems or fear mental health disorders are causing your teen to suffer, you need to start preparing your next steps for a teen intervention. To help prepare, here are tips we use with our teen intervention services:

Build Your Case

Before you attempt to have a breakthrough conversation during a teen intervention, you must build your case. By preparing yourself, the evidence of what you are seeing in them, and establishing the point(s) you hope to make, your teen intervention will have a better chance at a successful outcome. Some questions to ask yourself as you build your case for the teen intervention:

  • What is the reason for this intervention?
  • Why are you addressing this concern now?
  • What are the specific actions or behaviors that have you concerned?
  • How are the issues your teen is experiencing negatively impacting them (at home, school, work, with friends, etc)?
  • What is your plan for when your teen gets defensive?
  • What will you say when they try to talk their way out of telling the truth?

By having your story straight and your case airtight, you will be more likely to hear a true story from your teen. If you feel you need help at this or any stage of preparing for a teen intervention, our crisis intervention program may be able to assist. 

Prepare Your Reactions

Your gut reaction to observing your teenager struggling with destructive behavior issues or a substance use disorder may be anger. That is natural but it will likely not help you get the reaction you want for your child. Adolescents are at a delicate age, so in order to get a point across, a teen intervention must be approached equally as delicately, with care and compassion. 

You want this conversation to flow freely. Putting up roadblocks with anger may give them cause to flee or shut down. Our teen intervention services can help you develop a strategy to have a healthy reaction to the harsh truth you want to hear from your teenager concerning their issues. Remember that your ultimate goal is to help them get better. Your anger will likely work against accomplishing this goal. 

Get Ready to Listen and Steer the Conversation

Although they may know it is necessary, your teen will likely not want to have this conversation. They may try to steer the conversation in a different, more comfortable direction. Get ready to listen but also, to steer the conversation. To do this, have a list of questions to ask your teens before the intervention takes place. As a concerned parent, one big overarching question may be, “Why?” Try to get a sense for their situation, and to understand the issues from their perspective. Listening openly and without immediate retort is key because this is an intervention, not a lecture.

Know Your Desired Outcome

What do you hope to accomplish with your teen intervention? Before you start, establish what a successful teen intervention would look like. For example, ask yourself: 

  • What do you want to achieve from the conversation?
  • What happens next if your goal is not achieved? For example, do you set stiffer limits on your teen’s movements and activities?

Teenagers need limits to help guide them in the right direction. By setting these rules, they can make more practical decisions. Rules help your teen see that you are serious about their issues and serve as a reminder of the behavior you wish to see from them going forward.

Get Professional Help From a Crisis Intervention Program

Our teen intervention services exist to help parents who need professional support from people who have been there and done that. Our Imagine Fort Collins team knows that early intervention is key and can help guide you and your teen in the right direction toward getting the care and treatment needed. The sooner you intervene, the more pain and danger you will save your teen and your family. Don’t hesitate to seek out a crisis intervention program to get your teen the treatment they need.

Reach Out to Imagine Fort Collins for Help

With these teen intervention tips, your family can begin the journey towards a happier, healthier life. To learn more about our teen intervention services, contact us today online or call us at 888.291.2309.