EXPLORE OUR SIX STEP GUIDE
Discover how our process can help create your healthiest relationship to substances whether that means reduced, safe, moderate controlled use or none at all.Learn More
Discover how our process can help create your healthiest relationship to substances whether that means reduced, safe, moderate controlled use or none at all.Learn More
We believe that effective therapy “starts where the person is.” The process unfolds in ways that are unique to each person and embraces both incremental and exponential change.Start Here
Discover how this innovative approach to treatment can enhance your practice or organization.Learn More
We offer individual, couple, family and group therapy, depending on the specific needs of the person. Read more about our programs and group therapy schedule.Find Out More
This book shows how simple changes in emphasis and expectation have dramatic implications for improving the effectiveness of psychotherapy.Learn More
Emerged out of Dr. Andrew Tatarsky’s over 30 years of experience working with people with substance use problems. We recognize the need to create an alternative to traditional abstinence-only substance use treatment programs.
The Center for Optimal Living is built on innovative, personalized treatment. Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy is for individuals and families struggling with substance use issues, other risky or addictive behaviors, and a wide range of mental health issues.
Recognizing the complexity and multiple meanings of these issues, we promote healing and positive change through the principles of compassion, collaboration and empowerment.Learn More
Founder and Director
Andrew Tatarsky is an internationally recognized leader in the treatment of substance misuse and other potentially risky behaviors. He has specialized in the treatment of addiction for 30 years as a counselor, psychologist, program director, trainer, advocate and author. He has devoted his career to developing a comprehensive understanding of the broad spectrum of substance use problems and an integrative harm reduction psychotherapy approach to treating this spectrum. This treatment is described in his book, Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems, and several professional papers and book chapters that extend the approach. The book has been released in paperback and Kindle, published in Poland by the Polish Office of Drug Prevention and is currently being translated into Spanish and Russian. He trains professionals nationally and internationally. Dr. Tatarsky is Founder and Director of the Center for Optimal Living, where treatment and professional training is based on Integrative Harm Reduction Therapy (IHRP). He earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from the City University of New York. He is a Clinical Advisor to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services of New York State, Founding board member and President-elect of the Division on Addiction of New York State Psychological Association, Board Member of Moderation Management Network, founding board member of Association for Harm Reduction Therapy and Chairman of Mental Health Professionals in Harm Reduction and Faculty, Advanced Specialization in Family and Couple Therapy, The Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, New York University. Specialities: Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy; Emphasis on Therapeutic Alliance Email Andrew: email@example.com Phone: 212-213-8905 x101
Dr. Jenifer Talley is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of trauma and co-occurring substance misuse. Working from an integrative harm reduction framework, Dr. Talley's approach is interactive and focuses on the development of practical skills to manage intense emotions, reduce self-judgment, and promote self-compassion. Mindfulness skills are integrated into an active exploration of the interrelationship between thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and behaviors, along with their contribution to substance misuse and relationship issues. Dr. Talley is also interested in how yoga can be used to enhance the connection with the body and support the development of emotion management skills. She is the Assistant Director of the Concentration in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling at the New School for Social Research where she participates in the training and supervision of graduate students in psychology. In addition, Dr. Talley was a Supervising Psychologist at the Women's Health Project of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital for four years. Specialties: Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy; Emotion management skills; Trauma and grounding skills; PTSD, mood and anxiety disorders Email Jenifer: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 212-213-8905 x106
Licensed Social Worker
Eddie Einbinder is an internationally recognized educator of harm reduction within drug use. His work in this field is presented through lectures, literature and film, and is targeted towards youth and young adults. He started his formal research in drug use and associated risky behaviors while obtaining his B.A. in Psychology at Lehigh University. This research was the basis of his book, How To Have Fun And Not Die, which won the grand prize at the 2008 New York Book Festival. This event was the catalyst for a lecture tour that found him at over 100 universities and high schools over the following two years. In order to reach a larger audience and greater level of detail, Einbinder directed a drug education documentary film series, called Play Safe. Each episode observes individuals using their drug of choice and utilizing harm reduction tactics to teach safest practice. Play Safe debuted at the Harm Reduction International conference in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2013. The film continues to screen at institutions around the globe, and is partially made available online. Einbinder continued his education in mental health focusing on clinical work with substance users and their families at New York University's Masters in Social Work program. He has worked as a Substance Abuse Therapist in group and individual settings with young adults who use drugs, many with co-ocurring psychiatric disorders and criminal records. Acceptance and understanding of meaning and purpose behind one's drug use, and working with patients to identify and succeed with realistic strategies towards achieving their goals, is integral to his work. This is his focus at The Center For Optimal Living. He is continuing his training in the Harm Reduction Psychotherapy Certification program at The New School, taught by Dr. Jen Talley and Dr. Andrew Tatarsky. Specialities: Harm Reduction and Drug Education based Group Work. Young Adults with Substance Use Disorders. Family dynamics of people with Substance Use Disorders. Mental illness and Criminal behavior. Motivational Interviewing. Email Eddie: email@example.com Phone: 212-213-8905 x108
Dr. Adam Frankel is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of substance misuse and co-occurring anxiety and mood problems. He employs an integrated harm reduction framework to help clients gain a greater sense of agency in their own life through the development of practical coping skills and self-understanding. To this end, Dr. Frankel integrates psychodynamic, dialectical, motivational, and cognitive behavioral therapeutic approaches. Additionally, Dr. Frankel has a particular interest in group psychotherapy and its relationship to the improved capacity for managing difficult emotional states, interpersonal intimacy, and personal creativity. Dr. Frankel is a Certified Group Psychotherapist from the American Group Psychotherapy Association, and is a graduate of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Training Society. Dr. Frankel received his PhD in clinical psychology from Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. He completed his internship at Beth Israel Medical Center, and his post-doctoral fellowship at the Addiction Institute of New York at Mt. Sinai-Roosevelt Hospital. Dr. Frankel has been a clinical supervisor and teacher to advanced PhD students in clinical psychology, and psychiatric residents throughout the New York Metropolitan Area. Specialties: Substance misuse; Group therapy; Mindfulness Email Adam: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 212-213-8905 x103
Dr. Miller received her doctorate from George Washington University and completed her training in sex therapy at Downstate Medical Center. She is also a graduate of the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Dr. Miller is trained in Sue Johnson's Emotionally Focused Couples therapy and has been a clinical psychologist in private practice in New York City for twenty-seven years. Currently, Dr. Miller is on the teaching faculty of the Women's Therapy Centre Institute where she supervises and teaches a therapeutic approach to working with eating problems. Dr. Miller has a passionate interest in working with couples that stems from her appreciation of the difficulty of emotional and sexual connection for many individuals. She works from a deep belief in the healing potential of relationships. Specialties: Sexuality and couples; Emotionally Focused Couples therapy; Eating Problems Email Wendy: email@example.com Phone: 212-475-3151
Dr. Ingmar Gorman is a clinical psychologist who specializes in assisting populations who have had experiences with psychedelics and other psychoactive compounds. He is the Administrative Director of the Psychedelic Education and Continuing Care Program at the Center for Optimal Living, where he leads groups, trainings, and works with individual clients. Additionally, Dr. Gorman has extensive training in treating substance misuse, drawing upon mentorship by Dr. Andrew Tatarsky and Dr. Jen Talley, in Harm Reduction Psychotherapy and Mindfulness based approaches. Dr. Gorman received his PhD in clinical psychology from the New School for Social Research. He completed his internship at Bellevue Hospital Center and is currently an NIH funded postdoctoral fellow at New York University's Behavioral Sciences Training in Drug Abuse Research Program, which is NIDA’s largest and longest-standing training program. Dr. Gorman is also site Co-principle Investigator and therapist on a Phase 3 clinical trial studying the potential psychotherapeutic utility of MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder. Specialties: Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy, Trauma, Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Integration Email Ingmar: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 212-213-8905 x109
Director of the Psychedelic Education and Continuing Care Program
Katherine MacLean, PhD. is the Director of the Psychedelic Education and Continuing Care Program and a trained research scientist with a long-standing interest in the brain and the science of well-being. At the University of California, Davis, Katherine was supported by a NSF research fellowship to study the effects of mindfulness on well-being and brain function. As a postdoctoral research fellow and faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, she worked with Dr. Roland Griffiths and his team. Her research on psilocybin and personality change suggests that this class of medicines may play an important role in enhancing mental health, promoting emotional well-being, and creativity throughout the lifespan. Her current focus is the role of psychedelics and meditation in preparing individuals for end-of-life and healing trauma related to grief. Email Katherine: email@example.com Phone: 212-213-8905 x2
Dr. Allison Mitchell is a clinical psychologist who is dedicated to working uniquely with each patient by creating individualized treatment plans and setting goals collaboratively. She has particular interests in helping patients navigate identity development and manage difficult relationships. In addition, Dr. Mitchell has specialized training in both trauma and substance use treatment. Dr. Mitchell received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the New School for Social Research. She completed her internship at Mount Sinai Medical Center/Elmhurst Hospital and her post-doctoral fellowship at The Karen Horney Clinic. She has experience working with adolescents and adults as well as with families and couples. Dr. Mitchell is also a clinical psychologist at Fordham University’s Counseling Center where she provides psychotherapy to students and supervises trainees. Specialties: Trauma; Substance Use Treatment Email Allison: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 212-213-8905 x102
Dr. John Pasagiannis is a senior psychologist with over 10 years' experience working with substance misuse issues, mood disorders, and other problematic behaviors. He works from an integrative harm reduction model that draws upon psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral and motivational enhancement traditions. He believes that this approach is best suited for the development of a collaborative therapeutic relationship that promotes safety, empowerment, development of coping skills, insight and well-being. Dr. Pasagiannis specializes in working with artists and young adults. His work with actors, photographers, musicians, artists and young adults is guided by a deep appreciation of the complex biopsychosocial factors contributing to substance misuse and the importance of developing alternative coping skills that contribute to positive change. Dr. Pasagiannis worked as the Supervising Clinical Psychologist at Cumberland Diagnostic & Treatment Center's Chemical Dependency Outpatient Program and liaison between Cumberland and the Buprenorphine program at Woodhull Hospital. He was a Leopold Schepp Foundation and Glass Institute Scholar and served on NYSPA's Division on Addictions Executive Committee. Currently he serves on the board of directors of Moderation Management and is a consultant at LA PALESTRA, Center for Preventative Medicine. He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from Adelphi University's Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies. Email: email@example.com Phone: 212-213-8905 x2
Licensed Social Worker
Mari is a psychotherapist and yoga instructor and is passionate about integrating talk therapy and movement in her work. She received her master's degree in clinical social work from New York University and has taught therapeutic yoga for clients with co-occurring disorders as well as young women involved in the juvenile justice system. Email Mari: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 212-213-8905 x114.
Dr. Devora Reichman is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of substance misuse and above all, aims to create a collaborative and individualized treatment environment with a focus on integrative harm reduction. In individualizing treatment, Dr. Reichman pulls from her training and experience using psychodynamic, dialectical, motivational, and cognitive behavioral therapeutic approaches. She also has specialized training using mindfulness and dialectical behavior therapy to aid in establishing healthier relationships with one's self and the surrounding environment. Dr. Reichman received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, and she completed her internship at Mt. Sinai - St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, and her postdoc at the Addiction Institute of New York at Mt. Sinai. Dr. Reichman has experience working with people of all ages. Currently, in addition to her work at the Center for Optimal Living, Dr. Reichman is also a clinical psychologist at City College Counseling Center New York, where she provides psychological services to young adults, and she is also a clinical supervisor at Isabella Geriatric Center in Manhattan, where she provides therapy for older adults and their families. Her main specialties are: Substance Misuse, Relationship Difficulties, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Email Devora: email@example.com Phone: 212-213-8905 x115.
Molly is a clinical social worker, specializing in therapy with couples and families. Molly received her degree in Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work, and completed the Clinical Externship in Family Therapy at the Ackerman Institute for the Family. She brings to her role over 10 years of experience in the substance use treatment field, including counseling in a residential program, treating adolescents and their families in community mental health centers, and providing individual, couple, family and group therapy in an outpatient substance use treatment center. Molly is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. In addition to her clinical work, Molly conducts research on the long-term outcomes of evidence based practices for adolescent substance use in real-world settings, adherence and process research on family intervention models, and the distillation of family therapy techniques across different evidence based family therapy models. Molly is currently a Teaching Fellow at the Ackerman Institute, teaching in the Foundations of Family Therapy Course. Molly is deeply committed to the belief that clarity, meaning, and motivation can be found in the healing power of relationships. Email Molly: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 212-213-8905 x116
Dr. Elizabeth Nielson is a clinical psychologist and credentialed alcoholism and substance counselor with a holistic, compassionate, and integrative approach to psychotherapy. She specializes in treating addictive and mood disorders with a blend of of mindfulness-based interventions, dialectical behavior therapy, psychodynamic therapy, community reinforcement and family training (CRAFT), and principles of psychedelic-assisted therapy. Dr. Nielson’s work is guided by the idea that each individual has within them the capacity for growth and change, and sets out to support the natural healing process by building awareness, autonomy, and self-compassion. Dr. Nielson completed her doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Walden University, a post-doctoral fellowship in psychodynamic psychotherapy at Adelphi, and an NIH funded addiction research fellowship at NYU’s Behavioral Sciences Training in Drug Abuse Research Program. She is part of the Experimental Therapeutics Research Laboratory at NYU Langone School of Medicine where she is a therapist on the psilocybin-assisted treatment for alcohol dependence trial and on the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD clinical trials. Dr. Nielson’s professional experience includes teaching substance abuse counselors in training at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY). She presently affiliated with the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR) at NYU School of Nursing and an active member of the New York State Psychological Association. Specialties: addiction, trauma, eating disorders, harm reduction, mindfulness, psychedelic therapy, CRAFT. Email Elizabeth: email@example.com Phone: 212-213-8905 x107
Dr. Lazarevic graduated from St. George's University School of Medicine and completed her residency in psychiatry at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Division where she served as Chief Resident. She is a graduate of the Integrative Medicine Fellowship at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucson, Arizona and the Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at New York University in New York City. Dr. Lazarevic is ABPN double board-certified in general psychiatry and addiction psychiatry, and ABPS integrative medicine board eligible. Prior to medical training, Dr. Lazarevic earned an M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University and an Advanced Yoga Teacher Certificate from the Integral Yoga Institute of New York. Her unique style and training reviews the patients life through an integrative lens, blending allopathic (conventional) and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies to address the patient’s mind, body, spirit and emotions. Dr. Lazarevic is available for appointments at The Center for Optimal Living on Mondays. To learn more about Dr. Lazarevic visit www.evo-md.com.
Gabrielle Revlock has worked as an administrator for Dance/USA Philadelphia, the Dance Coalition of Philadelphia and is currently the studio and company manager for REDHORSE STUDIO/Susan Rethorst. She is also a dancer-maker. Email Gabrielle: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 212.213.8905
by April Wilson Smith, Guest Blogger I just completed my second silent retreat…
On July 14, 2017 we discussed mindfulness, urge surfing and unwrapping the…
by Eddie Einbinder, LMSW Last week I accompanied a client through…