5 Keys to Writing an Intervention Letter

Beth LeipholtzIntervention

lovesick young woman writing letter with broken heart
When it comes to an intervention, there are various ways people involved may choose to communicate with their loved ones, including writing a letter. Depending on the type of intervention being planned, a letter may or may not serve a purpose. Sometimes, if a person cannot be present at an intervention, they choose to write a letter for someone else to read in order to express their thoughts and opinions. Even those who are physically present at an intervention may choose to write a letter in order to keep them focused and remember everything they want to say without emotion getting in the way. When writing such a letter, it’s important to pay very close attention to detail and word choice. The following are points to keep in mind when formulating your thoughts into an intervention letter. Pay attention to tone. If you are angry or frustrated when writing your letter, the language you choose is going to come across that way. This will likely result in the addict or alcoholic feeling defensive immediately and not take to heart what you have to say in the rest of the letter. It’s best to write a letter when you feel calm and collected and your tone reflects that. Mention the good times. Rather than starting off by immediately listing the reasons you are concerned about your loved one, talk about the times you used to share and what you enjoyed about them. This may bring the addict or alcoholic back to that same time, allowing them to remember that they enjoyed those times also and that you used to be close to one another. Pick a bad memory or situation and explain how it affected you. Rather than rattling off every wrongdoing the addict or alcoholic is responsible for, pick just one instance that affected you greatly and do your best to explain why. While doing this, it is important not to come across as attacking or angry. Speak rationally and explain why you are hurt by your loved one’s actions. Make it clear that you understand addiction is not a choice. If you establish this early on, it’s less likely that your loved one will feel attacked in the letter or feel as if they have chosen this way of life. The more people acknowledge the powerlessness of the addict/alcoholic, the more likely he/she will feel as if getting help is in their best interest.  Ask your loved one to consider getting help. The point of an intervention is to convince someone they have a problem and need help from an outside source. Be sure to state this plainly in your letter and make it known that you will be there to support them as they are getting help. Better yet, have a plan established and give your loved one the choice of accepting that specific plan for help. In the end, there is no right way to write an intervention letter to a loved one, as every situation is different. However, with these key points in mind, your letter is more likely to serve the purpose it is intended for.