Raising the Bottoms

In 1976 one of the authors had the opportunity to engage in a two-year long training process with Vernon E. Johnson, the father of addiction intervention.  The process is remembered as the most personally demanding and professionally rewarding journey in his 46-year tenure in the addiction treatment industry.  He fondly recalls the love and support that Vernon and his staff extended to his students and the care with which each of the interventionist wantabees were intervened on.  He still remembers the terror directing the mock intervention his peers would use to evaluate his competency and have Vernon walk in and assume the role of the addict.

The Raising the Bottoms (RTB) intervention model takes the interventionist well beyond the traditional notion that the main objective is to get the addict into treatment.  The model holds that a successful intervention gets everyone involved in the intervention process help to match the needs identified in the assessment processes.

It is a unique blend of the most therapeutic aspects of the intervention model first developed by Vernon E. Johnson and a comprehensive series of task-oriented strategies that provides the interventionist with a clear framework for assessing the needs of the Core Intervention Team members (CIT), the Identified Person (IP) suspected of suffering with addiction and a protocol for monitoring the addict’s course in treatment. The model addresses the therapeutic needs of the CIT  in a way that greatly increases their self-awareness and reduces the IP’s resistance to getting help.  It promotes a systemic shared model of recovery rather than the “addict as the identified patient model” which can be shaming and often backfires during the intervention or after the addict returns home from treatment.

The RTB model is a three-phase intervention process that intervenes on the:

  1. CIT members to get off of the merry-go-round of discovery, shock, blame, shame and relapse that often hamper their efforts to help the addicted person see what he or she is unable to realize without help. The  awareness gained during the assessment and training processes enable the members to create plans for addressing areas of needed personal change which enable them to demonstrate to the addicted person that he or she is not the only one who needs help and is prepared to change.
  2. IP in a way that renders denial unnecessary since he or she quickly becomes aware that the CIT have begun to model and affirm, through their own transparency and vulnerable self-examination, that what they are asking of him or her is desirable and possible.  This intimate modeling promotes hope for the addict who may have thought themselves to be beyond aid.  The result is the promotion of a honest self-appraisal of what is wrong and what he or she needs to be do about it to regain what might have been lost in the progression of the addictive process.
  3. treatment process to ensure that the insight gained during the intervention process are not lost and the threats to prospective relapse identified during the process will be addressed during the addict’s course in treatment.

The model is easily adapted to a variety of substance and process addictions as well as other clinical problems.   It is especially suited to work with sex addiction, because it is designed to help the sex addict rise above the deep shame and accept help because each of the CIT members are addressing the three fingers that are pointing back at them before addressing what they believe to be wrong with the IP.

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RTB Intervention Training ©

If you are interested in learning more about this model we invite you to consider investing in our training that will enable you to Raise the Bottoms of individuals and the systems they live within.  We encourage you to go to this page to learn more about our two-day trainings: RTB Intervention Trainings


RTB Certification Process

If you are interested in learning about what is involved in becoming a Certified Raising the Bottoms Interventionist TM please proceed to this page to learn more: RTB Interventionist

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