Interventionist Phil Scherer is the owner and founder of Intervention Resources, a private practice in Peoria, Illinois. It provides addiction intervention services and consulting for those struggling with drug, alcohol and gambling addictions. Scherer is also the director of the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery and the chief clinical officer at New Directions for Women, a residential treatment facility for female alcoholics and addicts, located in Costa Mesa, California. Scherer is a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC), a Nationally Certified Gambling Counselor (NCGC), Mental Illness/Substance Abuse professional (MISA) and a Board Registered Interventionist (BRI). He was the Past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Association of Intervention Specialists. Besides working with alcoholics and addicts, Scherer provides services for clients with eating, gambling and co-occurring disorders. He works with clients on a national level, and is also a well-known interventionist trainer.
Scherer founded Intervention Resources in 2006, and has worked in the field of addiction since 1991. In a 2012 article published in the Peoria Journal Star, Scherer opened up about how he ended up in jail on Christmas Eve in 1987, after driving under the influence and colliding with a series of cars. He has been clean and sober ever since December 25, 1987. He uses his own experiences to demonstrate to still-suffering alcoholics and addicts that as long as they are breathing, there’s hope.
Scherer was originally certified in the Johnson Model of Intervention in 1996. Since then, he trained in both the Systemic Family Systems and the Arise models. He is also skilled with the Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training (CRAFT). Scherer and a colleague developed their own technique—Family Meeting Approach, which combines elements of all of the models. He operates on the belief that families and loved ones need to become educated and empowered about the disease of addiction, as well as have options if the client refuses treatment.
His approach includes gathering participants who will be part of the intervention, researching residential treatment and detox facilities for the client and appointing a designated escort for the client. He sets up a time and place, and decide whom to invite to the intervention. Finally, participants rehearse what they plan to say to the client. This is also accomplished with compassionate letters that provide proof on the damaging effects of the client’s addiction. Scherer advises against blaming or shaming or passing judgment. All of those negative actions can cause an intervention to fail.
Participants must be prepared to set boundaries, and consequences, if the client refuses treatment. Penalties include not providing the client with financial help, ending a romantic relationship and restricting interaction with children. Finally, the intervention time and place must be organized, and the client is notified on the family meeting in advance. Scherer does not like to use the word “interventionist,” and advises that participants tell the client that they have “engaged a person to talk to us about family problems.”
Scherer works closely with families, and helps them identify core problems, as well change family dynamics. He makes them become aware of their roles in the client’s addiction, and helps them build new relationships with the addicted client.
Post-Intervention and Summary
Scherer is well-versed in the field of addiction. Approximately 80% of his intervention clients go on to attend treatment. He also prioritizes their families, making sure they are provided with empowering tools, which help them overcome depression and other issues which surface due to a loved one’s addiction.
2210 W Malone Ave
Peoria, IL 60605
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