Create Your Path to Optimal Drinking

Andrew Tatarsky, PhD + Adam Frankel, PhD

(Educational skills focused class)

Tuesdays 6-7:30 in group room .  | . 2019: Jan 8,15,22,29, Feb 5, 19, March 5

The Center for Optimal Living . | . 7 sessions for $1000 (+ $49.95 service fee for credit card  | $19.95 for check


Designed to help you develop your optimal relationship to drinking, this class will also help you clarify if moderation is a realistic option. Our framework focuses on biological, social, and psychological factors that contribute to achieving moderate drinking as a goal.  By clarifying the many roles and meanings that alcohol plays in your life, you will better understand your current pattern of drinking and make the positive changes you desire. This class will provide specific skills for changing habits, including mindfulness and present moment awareness, urge surfing, and working with internal and external triggers. We will help you learn how to navigate challenging situations more effectively and help you foster an attitude of self-compassion and curiosity.

This class is for anyone- whether you’ve been concerned about your drinking or not, or have always wanted to get clear about how to have alcohol in your life in a way that maximizes the benefits and minimizes the risks.

For more information about the class, please contact us at or call 212.213.8905 x2.


Week 1:  Overview of Optimal Drinking, Cultivating an Attitude Conducive to Change, Intro to the Techniques and Strategies

  • Overview of our framework for understanding drinking including psychobiosocial factors
  • Developing a mindset and attitude conducive to moderate drinking and positive change.
    • Discussion of goals/intentions for class.
    • Addressing the impact of shame and guilt.
    • Cultivating curiosity, present moment awareness and self-compassion.
    • Strategies to monitor drinking behaviors and to successfully moderate drinking


Week 2:  Present Moment Awareness Training

  • Mindfulness and present moment awareness training
  • Practice with urge surfing and dialoguing with the urge. Relaxation techniques and strategies to enhance other life domains


Week 3:  Assessment/Gathering Information

  • Assessment of your current drinking pattern and your goals for the class.
  • Discussion of internal and external triggers and cravings.
  • Monitoring progress through charting, journaling and microanalysis.
  • Unwrapping the urge to clarify the meaning and function of drinking


Week 4:  Working with Ambivalence About Change/Creating Your Positive Change Motivation List

  • Exploration of motivational issues impacting moderate drinking goals and plans.  
    • Create your Positive Change Motivation List
  • Exploring the multiple meanings and functions associated with alcohol use.
  • Techniques to address barriers to progressing towards goals


Week 5:  Creating your Optimal Drinking Plan

  • Developing the Optimal Drinking Plan and lifestyle changes to support your plan
  • Working with internal and external triggers and cravings
  • Negotiating challenging situations (e.g., social/work events centered around drinking)


Week 6:  Fine Tuning the Plan and Long Term Planning

  • Practice with urge surfing and continued discussion of how to work with challenging situations.
  • Establishing regular practices to support the gains made in the class
  • Getting family and friends on board.


Week 7:  Taking Stock, Optimizing Your Gains and Planning for the Future

  • Review of Optimal Drinking Plan, problem solving and working with challenging situations
  • Review of skills and how to continue momentum after the course
    • Urge surfing and unwrapping the urge
    • Microanalysis
    • Self-Acceptance and Change Process