Our Therapeutic Approach

The Center for Optimal Living offers comprehensive, personalized therapy for the full range of substance use and mental health issues. We address both simultaneously in our approach. Daytime, evening, and weekend appointments are available. Some clients also benefit from our additional therapeutic services that are provided outside the office setting to support them in meeting their goals. Please call 212-213-8905 x2 or email info@cfol.org to request additional information or set up a consultation.

The Center for Optimal Living will help you to figure out whether moderate, less harmful substance use, or abstinence is best suited for you, and pursue your chosen goal. Our approach utilizes Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (IHRP), developed by our founder and director, Dr. Andrew Tatarsky. Our clinical staff have expertise in Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy and work collaboratively to address issues related to substance misuse, other risky and addictive behaviors, and mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and trauma. Our clinicians have training in a wide variety of therapeutic techniques and areas of specialization, enabling us to provide treatment that meets a range of unique needs and is individually tailored to each client.

The cornerstone of IHRP is a collaborative therapeutic relationship that “starts where the person is.” This relationship supports the development of practical skills and strategies to manage urges, cravings and difficult emotions, based on mindfulness and other empowering self-management strategies. IHRP also focuses on increasing patients’ insight and capacity to reflect on the meanings and functions of problematic behaviors and the development of alternative, healthier solutions.

We provide specialized services to adults, adolescents, couples and families, and our staff are trained to provide treatment options include individual, couples, family and group therapy.  Our clinicians also have expertise in working with LGBTQ communities and we strive to provide affirming and personalized treatment to all of our clients.

Our holistic approach considers that you may benefit from referrals for medical, psychiatric, nutritional, exercise, acupuncture, massage, and yoga consultations. These referrals are provided on an as-needed basis.

We work collaboratively with referring clinicians and view our role as supporting and enhancing their work.  We also often work as consultants to outside clinicians who may benefit from additional resources and support in addressing clients’ substance use issues.  Clients who have outside clinicians are welcome to join our groups and work with our clinicians individually and we maintain regular contact with referring clinicians to ensure the best care for our clients. You can begin your change process now by working through The Positive Change Pathway, a free six step guide developed by Dr. Andrew Tatarsky.


Our Treatment Options

Comprehensive evaluation

We believe that the initial evaluation process should itself constitute the starting point of each patient’s treatment. We evaluate each individual sensitively and respectfully, seeking to learn about their unique set of needs and perspectives. Our goal is for both patient and clinician to emerge with a framework for the journey they wish to take together, and the basis of a healing, collaborative relationship.

Individual psychotherapy
The majority of our patients, whether adults or adolescents, work with a member of our clinical team on a one-to-one basis. This provides the opportunity to develop a truly individualized, collaborative therapeutic relationship. All of our clinicians work with individual patients.

Group therapy
We offer group therapy to support individual psychotherapy and create a more intensive level of care, if needed. Group therapy can also be utilized in conjunction with services from providers outside the Center. All of our groups are mixed, with some members pursuing moderate drinking or substance use and some abstaining from substances. Read more about the specific groups that currently meet at the Center.

Couples therapy
Many people whose behavior around substance use and other mental health issues impact their intimate relationship find it valuable and healing to attend therapy with their partner. Several of our clinicians have extensive experience working with couples.

Family therapy
Problematic behaviors around substance use and other mental health issues can often directly or indirectly impact every member of the family. We provide families with the chance to work together in a therapeutic, healing environment. Several of our clinicians have extensive experience of helping families to address a range of issues and become closer in the process.

Holistic Health Services
Acupuncture, yoga, and holistic health can complement traditional psychotherapy to provide a truly integrative approach to healing from substance misuse, problematic behaviors and other mental health issues. We offer a range of individual and group-based acupuncture, meditation, yoga, and holistic health services to address a wide range of issues including: anxiety, depression, cravings, withdrawal symptoms, insomnia, chronic pain, trauma, headaches, smoking cessation, reproductive and menstrual issues, and other common conditions. Learn more about our programs.

Psychedelic Education and Continuing Care Program
The Psychedelic Education and Continuing Care Program is designed to assist people who have had psychedelic experiences and are seeking support in connection with those experiences, as well as people who would like to learn more about psychedelics but may not have had personal experiences with these substances. Our overarching intention for the program is to increase awareness and reduce risks of psychedelic use.  Learn more about this program here.

Please call 212-213-8905 x2 or email info@cfol.org to request additional information or set up a consultation.