Innovative, holistic and realistic. Dr. Andrew Tatarsky goes beyond long accepted models of approaching and treating addiction; expanding the focus beyond addictive behaviors exclusively and acknowledging abstinence as only one goal on a broad spectrum of solutions in his book Harm Reduction Psychotherapy. This clinical guide provides a new perspective on the ongoing and complex issue of treating addiction by professionals.

The Book

“This ground-breaking volume provides readers with both an overview of harm reduction therapy and a series of ten case studies that vividly illustrate this approach with a wide variety of clients, treated individually and in groups by different therapists. The stories are framed by commentary from Dr. Tatarsky, who draws out their therapeutic features and builds towards a powerful argument for harm reduction as an approach that meets clients where they live.” (Moderation Management)

A New Approach

“In harm reduction therapy, any treatment goal that helps reduce harm to an individual is valid… Both abstinence and moderate drug and alcohol use fall under the umbrella of harm reduction. This approach tailors the treatment to fit the individual, rather than forcing the individual into a treatment model… Key to this is helping the client, who is viewed as unique, not part of a problem population, to unlock the hidden meanings that his or her behavior expresses.” (Read the full review by Moderation Management)

10 Chapters, 10 Case Studies

“Each of the ten chapters is written by a different practitioner, each with a client case study (five dealing with alcohol, one with opiates, one with amphetamines and three with multiple substances) and each with an analysis by Dr. Tatarsky. The net effect is to bring the audience into the authors’ process and experience as professionals: This is a book by clinicians and for clinicians (and students), only secondarily for the policy makers and the lay-activist audience, and only indirectly meant to communicate with the scientific community.” (Read the full review by Neal M. Goldsmith and John H. Halpern)

Praise for Harm Reduction Psychotherapy

“No longer do therapists have to send people away to become abstinent before they can work with them; no longer do therapists have to feel responsible to set goals for their clients’ drug use. This is a must read for today’s psychotherapists who want to practice state-of-the-art-healing.” (Edith Springer, CSW; harm reduction consultant and master trainer)

“Harm reduction represents a new, but timeless, way of approaching substance abuse…help people where they live, by recognizing and addressing the multitude of their problems, and by accepting all progress as beneficial and something to be built upon. In addition to the valuable techniques and information in this book, the cases present a primer in the realities of substance abuse treatment and its failure in the United States.” (Stanton Peele, PhD, JD; psychologist, attorney and author)

“Personal dignity and responsibility as well as compassion and the recognition that one’s steps take place one day at a time are fundamental to both harm reduction and the 12-Step approaches to drug addiction. Tatarsky’s excellent new paradigm rescues these principles with courage, compassion and intellectual rigor. Harm reduction psychotherapy has come of age.” (Ethan Nadelmann; executive director, The Drug Policy Alliance)

“Some would say that harm reduction embraces a paradigm shift in addiction treatment, as it has moved the field beyond the traditional abstinence-only focus typically associated with the disease model and the ideology of the twelve-step approach. Others may conclude that the move toward harm reduction represents an integration of what Dr. Tatarsky describes as the “basic principles of good clinical practice” into the treatment of addictive behaviors.” (Alan Marlatt, PhD, Director, Addictive Behaviors Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle)

Buy the Book

To purchase, click here to buy a copy of Harm Reduction Psychotherapy on Amazon.

Download the Free Spanish translation of Harm Reduction Psychotherapy made available as a PDF by Fundacion Parentasisand Facultad in Santiago, Chile under the Leadership of Executive Director, Dr. Paulo Egenau.