Intervention Styles (John Heron)

Knowledge Center

Summary, forum, best practices, expert tips and information sources.

Intervention StylesWhat is the Intervention Styles model? Description

The Intervention Styles framework by John Heron distinguishes between 6 possible means of analyzing a range of possible therapeutic interactions between a client and a helper. Heron defines an intervention as an identifiable piece of verbal and/or non-verbal behavior that is part of the practitioner's service to the client (2001).

Origin of the Intervention Styles Framework. History

John Heron (b. 1928) is a pioneer in the creation of a participatory research method in the social sciences. Heron is known for his work on intervention styles.

An early model (1975) by Heron was called the Six Category Intervention Analysis or Six Facilitative Interventions and had six intervention styles in two main categories:

  1. Authoritative Interventions. The practitioner takes a more dominant or assertive role, taking responsibility for and on behalf of the client.
    1. Prescriptive Intervention. Directs client by giving advice and direction.
    2. Informative Intervention. Seeks to give knowledge, information and meaning to the client, by giving instruction.
    3. Confronting Intervention. Challenges behavior or attitude of the client by direct feedback.
  2. Facilitative Interventions. The practitioner seeks to enable clients to become more autonomous and take more responsibility for themselves.
    1. Cathartic Intervention. Helps client to express and overcome powerful thoughts or emotions. Empathizes.
    2. Catalytic Intervention. Helps client to reflect, discover and learn. Asks questions.
    3. Supportive Intervention. Builds up client confidence. Praises, values and supports the client.

Later Heron refines his model to 6 dimensions and 3 decision-modes, and calls it: the Intervention Styles Model. (Figure).

Usage of Intervention Styles. Applications

Strengths of the Intervention Styles Model. Benefits

  • Creates awareness of current and possible helping styles.
  • Framework to communicate and discuss teaching or consulting styles.
  • Can be used at both individual and group level.

Limitations of the Intervention Styles Framework. Disadvantages

  • To be able to change in intervention style towards autonomous modes requires shifts in behavior, values and skills.
  • From lecturer to facilitator, from expert to mentor, from control to risk, from structure to ambiguity.
  • Not all people will be ready for advanced ways of help. "I just need you to tell me what to do now".

Book: John Heron - Six category intervention analysis. Human Potential Research Project. University of Surrey (1975) -

Book: John Heron - The Facilitator's Handbook (1999) -

Book: John Heron - Helping the Client: A Creative, Practical Guide (2001) -

Interventions Special Interest Group

Special Interest Group (135 members)

Forum about Interventions  

The most recent topics about: Interventions.

🔥 NEW Corrupt Interventions after Heron
Heron was keen to ensure that the ethical aspect of caring was maintained throughout the client journey and so included (...)
0 reactions
How to Become an Authority as a Consultant?
I am currently researching the development of a model which maps the process of becoming an authority in some chosen fie (...)
23 reactions
Best Practices about Interventions

Here you will find the most valuable ideas and practical suggestions.

🥇 Facilitation Styles of van Maurik
J. van Maurik argues good facilitators are those who are able to give accurate and flexible responses to their teams. He (...)
2 reactions

🥈 Four Sets of Activities of Donaghue
John Heron's work focused on the relationship between the helper and the client. In 1992 Charles Donaghue incorporates (...)
0 reactions

Expert Tips about Interventions

Here you will find professional advices by experts.

All 3 Forms, 2 Classes and 6 Categories of Intervention in Detail (Heron)

Interpersonal Relationships, Therapeutic, Coaching, Mentoring, Counseling, Facilitating, and Consulting Interactions (...)

Building an Organizational Coaching Capacity

Developing an Organizational Coaching Capacity, Learning Organization, Developing Coaching as an Organizational Capacity (...)
Information Sources about Interventions

Here you will find powerpoints, videos, news, etc. to use in your own lectures and workshops.

John Heron 6 Category Intervention Analysis (6CIA)

Interpersonal Help, (...)

NLP: The 6 Neurological Levels

6 layers to view at the reality of a person or issue (...)

Building the Helping Relationship

10 Principles for Facilitative Consultancy (...)

Increasing Group Participation: The 3 I's of Participation

Increase Participation in Groups (Workshops, Trainings, Project Teams) (...)

Facilitation Styles Diagram

Facilitation, Consultancy (...)

Tips for Internal Consultants

Internal Consultants Issues, Internal Consultants Activities,Internal Consultants Tips (...)

Compare with Intervention Styles: Coaching  |  Mentoring  |  Managerial Grid  |  4 Dimensions of Relational Work

Return to Management Hub: Change & Organization  |  Communication & Skills  |  Human Resources  |  Knowledge & Intangibles

More Management Methods, Models and Theory

Special Interest Group Leader

Are you an expert in Interventions? Sign up for free

Link to this knowledge center

Copy this code to your web site:


About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
© 2020 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V15.6 - Last updated: 28-10-2020. All names ™ of their owners.