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Digital Recording

Rethinking Addiction: The Integrative Harm Reduction Approach

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Andrew Tatarsky, PhD
1 Hour 59 Minutes
Audio and Video
Feb 16, 2022
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Media Type:
Digital Recording
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The truth about illegal drugs is that most people use them for pleasure, connection, enhancing creativity, and coping with life’s many physical and emotional challenges. Of course, drugs have serious inherent risks. But given the prevalence of the “Just Say No” culture, do we really understand the best way to minimize those risks? For many therapists, the answer is no. In fact, therapists are often so uncomfortable dealing with drug use that they’ll immediately refer a client out, despite having established a solid therapeutic relationship. This session offers a psychobiosocial approach that demystifies problematic drug use, as well as an integrative harm reduction approach that provides a road map for helping therapists help their clients rethink their relationship with substances. You’ll explore:

  • Seven therapeutic tasks for engaging and promoting positive change for clients who struggle with drug use and other risky and addictive behaviours
  • Harm reduction principles that facilitate healing relational experiences
  • Approaches to help drug-using clients overcome the shame and guilt that often derails therapy
  • Mindfulness-based strategies for sitting with uncomfortable urges and feelings



This online program is worth 2 hours CPD.



Andrew Tatarsky, PhD's Profile

Andrew Tatarsky, PhD 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 is the founder and director of Tatarsky Institute and maintains a private practice. He receives royalties as a published author. Dr. Tatarsky receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Andrew Tatarsky is a member of the American Psychological Association and the New York State Psychological Association. He serves on several journal review boards, for a complete list contact PESI, Inc.


  1. Justify how the harm-reduction stance is essential to effective treatment across the spectrum of addictive severity.
  2. Catalogue seven therapeutic tasks that combine relational psychodynamic, CBT, and mindfulness interventions to promote positive change with addictive behaviors.
  3. Utilize the Microanalysis to assess how addictive behavior reflects the interplay of biology, meaning, habit, and social context.
  4. Demonstrate Urge Surfing to improve affect acceptance and tolerance.
  5. Demonstrate Unwrapping the Urge to explore the meaning and function of the addictive urge.


  • The journey to Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (IHRP)
  • A harm reduction frame as essential to effective helping
  • Challenges of working with people who struggle with drugs in clinical practice
  • The maligning of addiction
  • A re-humanized understanding of problematic substance use
  • Selected techniques demonstrated

Target Audience

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



Overall:      4.7

Total Reviews: 114

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