Our Story

Our Story

The Center for Optimal Living is a treatment and training center for addiction and mental health issues. Our approach utilizes Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (IHRP), developed by our founder and director, Dr. Andrew Tatarsky. The Center for Optimal Living, with its team of twelve dedicated clinicians, is the only private treatment center that offers this unique form of therapy. The Center for Optimal Living was founded in 2011 in New York City.

The cornerstone of IHRP is a collaborative, therapeutic relationship that “starts where the person is.” We specialize in helping people figure out whether moderate, less harmful substance use, or abstinence is best suited for them., We tailor our services to help our clients pursue their chosen goal.

The Center for Optimal Living also provides trainings, supervision, and consultation to professionals and organizations. We are actively involved in advocacy efforts to support the needs of those impacted by mental health issues and substance misuse.
 

Our Approach

Addiction treatment has long been dominated by approaches that require complete abstinence. We recognize that not everyone is ready to commit to abstinence at the onset of treatment and we specialize in engaging people to reduce risk and make positive changes based on where they are ready to begin. By expanding the focus of treatment to include risk reduction and moderation, our aim is to reduce stigma surrounding addiction treatment.

Our approach utilizes harm reduction which aims to reduce the risks associated with drug and alcohol use in a collaborative and empowering way. Abstinence, moderation, and safe use practices are embraced within the umbrella of harm reduction. We understand how shame and stigma may prevent people from seeking help and realize how important the therapeutic relationship is. We view that as a critical foundation of our work and strive to create a safe and non-judgmental environment where our clients can begin to make positive and lasting changes.

 

Meet Our Team
Andrew Tatarsky, Ph.D.

Andrew Tatarsky, Ph.D.

Founder and Director

Andrew Tatarsky, Ph.D.

Andrew Tatarsky, Ph.D.

Founder and Director

Andrew Tatarsky has developed Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (IHRP) for treating the spectrum of risky and addictive behavior. IHRP brings psychoanalysis, CBT and mindfulness together in a harm reduction frame. The therapy has been described in his book, Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems, and a series of papers. The book has been translated into Polish and Spanish. He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from the City University of New York and is a graduate of New York University’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. He is Founder and Director of the Center for Optimal Living in NYC, a treatment and training center; founding member and Past-President, Division on Addiction of New York State Psychological Association, and Member of the Medical and Clinical Advisory Boards of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. Dr. Tatarsky trains nationally and internationally. Email Andrew: atatarsky@cfol.org Phone: 212-213-8905 x101

Jenifer Talley, Ph.D.

Jenifer Talley, Ph.D.

Assistant Director

Jenifer Talley, Ph.D.

Jenifer Talley, Ph.D.

Assistant Director

Dr. Jenifer Talley is a 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. Together with Dr. Tatarsky, she created the Harm Reduction Psychotherapy Certificate Program and participates in the training and supervision of clinicians and graduate students. She was previously the Assistant Director of the Concentration in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling at the New School for Social Research. Specialties: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy; Emotion management skills; Trauma and PTSD; Mood and anxiety disorders Email Jenifer: jtalley@cfol.org Phone: 212-213-8905 x106

Adam Frankel, Ph.D., CGP

Adam Frankel, Ph.D., CGP

Psychologist

Adam Frankel, Ph.D., CGP

Adam Frankel, Ph.D., CGP

Psychologist

Dr. Adam Frankel is a 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 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 psychology, and psychiatric residents throughout the New York Metropolitan Area. Specialties: Substance misuse; Group therapy; Mindfulness Email Adam: afrankel@cfol.org Phone: 212-213-8905 x103

Allison Mitchell, Ph.D.

Allison Mitchell, Ph.D.

Psychologist

Allison Mitchell, Ph.D.

Allison Mitchell, Ph.D.

Psychologist

Dr. Allison Mitchell is a psychologist who is dedicated to working uniquely with each person by creating individualized treatment plans and setting goals collaboratively. She has particular interests in helping patients navigate intrapsychic conflicts and manage difficult relationships. Dr. Mitchell received her doctorate in psychology from the New School for Social Research. She completed her internship at Mount Sinai Medical Center/Elmhurst Hospital. Currently Dr. Mitchell runs a women’s process group and works with adults individually and as couples. Specialties: Trauma; Substance Use Treatment Email Allison: amitchell@cfol.org Phone: 212-213-8905 x102

Eddie Einbinder, LMSW

Eddie Einbinder, LMSW

Licensed Social Worker

Eddie Einbinder, LMSW

Eddie Einbinder, LMSW

Licensed Social Worker

Eddie Einbinder, LMSW, 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. He later obtained his Master's Degree in Social Work at New York University, with a focus on clinical work with substance users and their families. He has worked as a Harm Reduction Psychotherapist in group, individual and outside the office settings with young adults who use drugs, many with co-occurring psychiatric disorders and criminal records. He also works with individual adults of all ages with problematic relationships with drugs. Acceptance and understanding of the 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 at The Center For Optimal Living. Specialities: Harm Reduction and Drug Education-based Group Work. Engaging with Young Adults with Substance Use Disorders. Family dynamics of people with Substance Use Disorders. Mental illness and Criminal behavior. Motivational Interviewing. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Email Eddie: eddieeinbinder@cfol.org Phone: 212-213-8905 x108

Devora Reichman, Ph.D.

Devora Reichman, Ph.D.

Psychologist

Devora Reichman, Ph.D.

Devora Reichman, Ph.D.

Psychologist

Dr. Devora Reichman is a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of substance misuse and above all, aims to create a collaborative and individualized treatment environment with a specialized 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, dialectical behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, and CRAFT to aid in establishing healthier relationships with one's self and the surrounding environment. Dr. Reichman received her doctorate in 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, spanning the entirety of the lifespan. Currently, in addition to her work at the Center for Optimal Living, Dr. Reichman is also a psychologist, supervisor, and adjunct facultyaat City College Counseling Center of New York, where she primarily provides psychological services to young adults, Her main specialties are: Substance Misuse, Integrative Harm Reduction, Relationship Difficulties, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Email Devora: dreichman@cfol.org Phone: 212-213-8905 x115.

James Powers, DACM, L.Ac.

James Powers, DACM, L.Ac.

Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

James Powers, DACM, L.Ac.

James Powers, DACM, L.Ac.

Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Dr. James Powers is a doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine; he is a NY State licensed acupuncturist and was nationally board certified in oriental medicine which he began studying in 2001. Dr. Powers has had success in treating addictive disorders, emotional trauma, musculoskeletal pain, menstrual issues, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, depression and other common disorders. He utilizes the extremely effective NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) Protocol, which is promoted by various organizations such as the UN and Yale Medical School, for addictions and substance misuse. Dr. Powers is also a teacher of yoga and meditation; his yoga certification was received at the Vivekananda Ashram outside of Bangalore, India. He piloted the yoga program at Estee Lauder’s headquarters in Manhattan and taught yoga to the Estee employees for 13 years. Furthermore he has studied energy healing in the Philippines, acupressure in Thailand, and spiritual psychology in Japan at the center of world renown scientist/yogi/ psychologist/Shinto priest Hiroshi Motoyama. As a meditator for 30 years, Dr. Powers studied as a resident student at the Dai Bosatsu Zen Monastery studying with the monks for a total of 3 years. Dr. Powers is passionate about helping people to heal compassionately and naturally with a particular interest in the roots of addiction, the nature of consciousness and the potential benefits of psychedelics in the healing process; he is also enthusiastic about supporting the multifaceted, holistic goals of Integrated Harm Reduction Psychotherapy as advanced by Dr. Andrew Tatarsky and the Center for Optimal Living. Email James: jpowers@cfol.org, Phone: 212-213-8905x110

Wendy E. Miller, Ph.D.

Wendy E. Miller, Ph.D.

Psychologist

Wendy E. Miller, Ph.D.

Wendy E. Miller, Ph.D.

Psychologist

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 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: wmillerphd@aol.com Phone: 212-475-3151

Kevin Braga, LCSW

Kevin Braga, LCSW

Harm Reduction Therapist

Kevin Braga, LCSW

Kevin Braga, LCSW

Harm Reduction Therapist

Kevin Braga is a harm reduction psychotherapist and clinical social worker with extensive knowledge and background in working with substance misuse and co-occurring mental health disorders. He works collaboratively with his clients and has a compassionate and self- empowering approach. Kevin integrates motivational, dynamic, cognitive-behavioral and dialectical therapeutic approaches to meet his clients’ needs and goals. Kevin has a special interest in working with the LGBTQ population. He received his Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University and has additional post-graduate training in psychodynamic individual and group therapy work from the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society. In addition, Kevin was one of the first persons trained in Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy by Dr. Andrew Tatarsky and Dr. Jenifer Talley. Before coming to The Center for Optimal Living, he worked for over 10 years at The Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai where he facilitated multiple groups in different programs including the Intensive Outpatient Program and “The Crystal Clear Project.” Specialties: Group therapy, DBT, LGBTQ populations, Crystal Methamphetamine misuse, young adult/college population and relationship and identity concerns. Email Kevin: kbraga@cfol.org, Phone: 212-213-8905 x 118.

Jack Schapiro, PsyD

Jack Schapiro, PsyD

Psychologist

Jack Schapiro, PsyD

Jack Schapiro, PsyD

Psychologist

Dr. Schapiro specializes in treating adults and adolescents impacted by addictive behaviors and/or mood, anxiety, and traumatic disorders. He strongly believes that treatment needs to occur in the context of a strong therapeutic relationship, where long-standing problematic behavioral patterns can emerge and be addressed in a compassionate way. He is skilled in multiple forms of addiction psychotherapy, including Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family Behavior Therapy, and 12-Step Facilitation Therapy. He recently completed intensive training in Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy, which enables him to incorporate effective interventions from a wide range of therapeutic approaches, and meet clients wherever they are on the addiction spectrum and whether they want to moderate their drinking/drug use or abstain completely. Email Jack: jschapiro@cfol.org Phone: 212-213-8905 x117

Alyssa Walsh

Alyssa Walsh

Intake Coordinator

Alyssa Walsh

Alyssa Walsh

Intake Coordinator

Alyssa Walsh is the intake coordinator for the Center for Optimal Living. She earned her master’s degree in mental health counseling at Manhattan College and leverages this training to connect prospective clients with the most appropriate clinician. As the first point of contact, Alyssa aims to promote the development of strong therapeutic relationships between clients and clinicians that will ultimately help clients attain their desired treatment goals. Alyssa is also responsible for tracking client outcomes and makes use of her experience as the research director of an eating disorder treatment center to find ways to continually improve the practice for clients and clinicians alike. Email Alyssa: intake@cfol.org, Phone: 212-213-8905 x104 .