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ID: 189

Type of submission: Workshop

Conference track: Practice

Topics: Harm Reduction Services and Service Provision; Integrated Harm Reduction Services

Presenting author: Andrew Tatarsky

Presenting author biography:

Author, Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems. Founder/Director, Center for Optimal Living NYC. Professor, Certificate Program in Harm Reduction Psychotherapy, New School. Member, Clinical and Medical Advisory Boards of NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. Andrew has trained individuals and organizations in 14 countries.

Scientific Revolution in Addiction Treatment: From Disease Concept to Psychobiosocial Process and From Abstinence-only to Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy

Andrew Tatarsky

We are in the midst of a global paradigm shift in how we view substance users and the spectrum of problematic substance use. We are moving from moral, criminal and unitary disease models to viewing substance use as a health and human rights issue that varies on multiple psychobiosocial dimensions in ways that are unique to each person. This model shift implies the need for a personalized, collaborative integrative harm reduction approach to address the diverse needs of this large undertreated group of people. Dr. Tatarsky will introduce Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (IHRP), his integration of harm reduction principles into psychotherapy and substance use treatment. IHRP brings together relational psychoanalytic, active cognitive and behavioral skills building and mindfulness techniques in a harm reduction frame to support positive change in substance use and related issues. He will discuss how IHRP has particular power to attract, engage and facilitate positive change in a group of people that has traditionally been thought to be hard if not impossible to treat in psychotherapy.

Andrew will discuss the clinical challenges of problematic substance use and the limitations of the prevailing disease model-based abstinence-only treatment. He will explore the theoretical basis for IHRP including a psychobiosocial process view of addiction, the multiple meanings model and the Transtheoretical Stages of Change model. Finally, he will present an overview of IHRP’s 7 therapeutic tasks with emphasis on therapeutic process and technique. He will demonstrate specific skills that particiapants can begin using immediately including Engagement Skills, "Urge Surfing", "Unwrapping the Urge", Embracing Ambivalence and the Decisional Balance. Participants will have opportunities to practice skills, discuss difficult cases and discuss application to their settings.