Johnson Model, Un invitational Intervention Approach

What is the Johnson Model (Uninvited Intervention Approach)?

The Johnson model, named after its creator, Dr. Vernon Johnson, is one of the most prevalent types of intervention. Johnson discovered that most recovering alcoholics made their decision to stop drinking after experiencing a series of little but significant life events after studying a group of them.

Johnson discovered that addicts need the people closest to them to help them recognize the consequences of not seeking recovery, and that requires a well-defined and well-thought-out plan.

The Johnson Treatment Plan is perhaps the most used type of intervention plan. To nudge addicts towards treatment, this style of mediation employs a personal and oppositional technique. Caregivers can come in many forms; for addicted persons, they may be family members, friends, or coworkers.

Many addicts believe that they must reach rock bottom before accepting help. Rather than waiting for the addict to damage their life by suffering events such as bankruptcy or jail time, the Johnson method of intervention helps to speed up the process.

Addiction is a sickness that affects the entire family, not just the addict. Though it may be tough for you to be so blunt with someone you care about and even more difficult for them to hear. It is necessary to tell the truth about how their substance abuse has harmed your relationship.

Though the Johnson model is helpful in a variety of settings, it is often the best option for addicts who do not recognize that they have a problem and are unaware of how severely their condition is affecting those closest to them. This type of care is also appropriate for people who have co-occurring mental health conditions.

During a Johnson intervention, the role of a professional interventionist is not to make an inspiring speech that completely changes your loved one’s attitude toward accepting help. Instead, the interventionist is there as a neutral third party to guide the conversation and keep things moving in a positive direction.

The goal of the Johnson model is never to make the addict feel ashamed of their behavior. Instead, family members clearly articulate what they will do if their loved one refuses to accept treatment, and emphasize that they are doing this from a place of concern, compassion and love.

Johnson Model Beliefs

  • Coming from a place of care and love is a priority
  • Focus is on addiction as a priority
  • No ganging up on the IP, using shame or guilt
  • Help bring the IP to a bottom at the intervention
  • Family members to confront the IP with letters
  • Focus on the love and care for the IP
  • List of consequences if the IP would not accept treatment


If you feel as if someone you care about has lost control of their lives due to a drug or alcohol addiction, let the CanAm Interventions team help you turn things around by empowering you to plan a coordinated intervention. Stop letting your loved one’s substance misuse make you feel powerless. Reach out today for the tools you need to get started.



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