Andrew Tatarsky

Andrew Tatarsky

Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy

Dates: March 18-19th, 2016

Times: 9am to 5pm (break from 12:30 to 1:30 pm)

Location: TBA

Meals: Meals not provided, restaurant on-site

Languages: English only

Registration: $300


Problematic Substance Use/Addiction is one of the most challenging, complex and tragic problems that affects all of us and enters all of our clinical practices. Yet traditional abstinence-only treatments have not been helpful to the vast majority of people struggling with these issues and most clinicians have not received adequate training in this area.

Dr. Tatarsky’s Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (IHRP) provides a framework for effective therapy with people along the entire spectrum of risky and addictive behavior. IHRP is based on a psychobiosocial model for understanding addictive experience and behavior that presumes an interaction of psychological, biological and interpersonal/social factors that is unique for each person. This model explains the broad variability within the addicted population in severity, strengths and vulnerabilities, co-occurring issues such as trauma, motivation for change, effective treatments and recovery paths.

The harm reduction shift starts where people are, embraces the full range of positive change goals including increasing safety, moderation and abstinence and emphasizes collaboration between the provider and consumer/patient. IHRP brings a harm reduction orientation to psychotherapy and substance use treatment settings thus bridging these two worlds. Drawing on relational, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness therapies, IHRP techniques are uniquely tailored to each person. IHRP supports collaborative clinical decision-making around what modalities and plan for positive change are best suited for the patient (e.g. ibogaine vs. traditional medical detoxification vs. opiate substitution therapy). It is also well suited as follow up therapy for patients who have completed ibogaine therapy to address remaining issues to be integrated, underlying factors and urges and craving that may persist or return following ibogaine.

This workshop is an introduction to IHRP that will cover basic definitions, history, theory and the clinical and theoretical rationales for harm reduction psychotherapy. Special attention will be given to the relation between trauma, dissociation, problems with self-regulation and addiction. IHRP’s seven therapeutic tasks will be explored: Managing the Therapeutic Alliance, Relationship as Healing Agent, Enhancing Self-Management Skills, Assessment as Treatment, Embracing Ambivalence, Harm Reduction Goal Setting and Individualized Plans for Positive Change.  The workshop will combine didactic lectures and discussion, case presentations and demonstrations of specific techniques. Participants are encouraged to bring their most challenging case vignettes for discussion.


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