To learn more about the New Canaan Urgent Assessment Program, visit its webpage.

Virtual Grand Rounds: Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Paradigm for Treating Addiction

Silver Hill Hospital
Dr. Andrew Tatarsky’s Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (IHRP) provides a framework for effective therapy with people along the entire spectrum of risky and addictive behavior, in all stages of change and working toward all positive change goals.

IHRP invites people into therapy wherever they are ready to begin their positive change journeys and emphasizes empowerment and collaboration to support people in discovering their truth and what goals and positive change pathway best suits them.

IHRP is based on a psychobiosocial model that views biology, personal and social meaning and function, habit and social context as contributing to the addictive process. Each factor must be considered for therapy to be maximally effective.

A central focus on therapeutic alliance and relationship creates a context in which to clarify the meanings and functions of problematic behavior, enhance self-regulation and develop alternative healthier, self-affirming solutions. IHRP addresses related personal and lifestyle issues concurrently with the problem behavior.

This introduction to IHRP will cover basic definitions of harm reduction, an overview of IHRP, its clinical rationale and theoretical foundation, and its Seven Therapeutic Tasks. We will end with a focus on creating safety and alliance and discuss IHRP engagement skills, the therapeutic expression of “starting where the person is.”

As a result of watching this presentation, learners will be able to:
1. Describe some realities of people who struggle with problematic drug use
2. Discuss limitations of traditional abstinence-only treatment
3. Recite five basic principles that define the harm reduction frame