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A Harm-Reduction Approach to Addictions

Average Rating:
Andrew Tatarsky
1 Hour 53 Minutes
Mar 22, 2019
Psychotherapy Networker
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More than one-third of Americans struggle with problematic substance use and other risky or addictive behaviours, but they often have a great deal of ambivalence about changing them.

Even with clients whose issues are mild on the severity spectrum, it’s difficult getting to the heart of the complex reasons, unique to each person, for this roadblock to change.

This workshop offers a comprehensive psychobiosocial model for understanding and working with these behaviours through Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (IHRP), which can be immediately incorporated into your practice.



This online program is worth 2.0 hours CPD.



Andrew Tatarsky's Profile

Andrew Tatarsky Related seminars and products

Andrew Tatarsky, PhD, is developer of IHRP and author of Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems. He’s founder and director of the Center for Optimal Living, a treatment and professional training center based on IHRP.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Dr. Andrew Tatarsky maintains a private practice. He is the founder and director of Optimal Living Psychological Services, and he is a consulting clinical officer for Integrated Services for Behavioral Health. Dr. Tatarsky is co-facilitator of the IHRP 15-week Certificate Program. He receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial: Dr. Andrew Tatarsky is a member of the Association for Harm Reduction Therapy, the American Psychological Association, and New York State Psychological Association. He serves on the advisory board for the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Support and Compassion for Addiction.



  1. Assess how addictive behaviour reflects the interplay of biology, meaning, habit, and social context 
  1. Determine why the harm-reduction stance is essential to effective treatment across the spectrum of addictive severity 
  1. Evaluate seven therapeutic tasks that combine relational psychodynamic, CBT, and mindfulness interventions to address addictive behaviours and the whole person. 
  1. Use strategies to address risky behaviours including Urge Surfing, Unwrapping the Urge, Microanalysis, Embracing Ambivalence, Decisional Balance, and the Ideal Use Plan. 



  • Addiction as a Dilemma
  • Valerie Case Study

Compassionate Pragmatism

  • Compassion
  • Pragmatism

Harm Reduction Principles

  • Curiosity, Respect, Acceptance
  • Small Incremental Change
  • Collaboration
  • Public Health/Medical Harm Reduction

Challenges & Diversity of People with Risky & Addictive Behaviour

  • Clinical Challenges
  • Limitations in the U.S.
  • The Tyranny of “Abstinence-Only”
  • Motivational Stages of Change
  • Scientific Revolution/Paradigm Shift

Theoretical Models

  • Multiple Meanings Model
  • Relational Psychoanalysis & Meaning
  • Cyclical Psychodynamics
  • Psychobiosocial Model

Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy

  • Seven Therapeutic Tasks of IHRP

Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Physicians
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Behavioral Health Professionals



Overall:      4.5

Total Reviews: 755


Carol S

"Helpful content and well presented"

Samantha R

"no comments to provide"

Anna P

"I wish we could have seen the slides along with the presentation"

Chelsea H

"great presenter"

Julieann P

"I was very impressed with the knowledge gained through this seminar using an Informed Approach to Harm Reduction Therapy. Much insight was gained through the speakers multicontextualized model on HRT, especially from a Strength-Based and Empowerment Paradigm Shift Perspective. Would highly recommend this seminar to my colleagues. "

Paula C

"Very helpful and well articulated seminar"

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