Group Psychotherapy

These groups are available at the Center to support individual psychotherapy and create a more intensive level of care, if needed. They can also be utilized in conjunction with services from providers outside the Center.

To join one of our groups, please contact us at info@cfol.org or call 212.213.8905 x2 to schedule an initial evaluation so we can collaborate to determine which of our groups would be the best fit for your needs. You are also welcome to contact our group leaders if you have specific questions about their groups.

Our groups are open to clients pursuing a range of goals as each client develops their own personalized plans for positive change. Some members are pursuing moderate drinking or substance use while some are working on abstaining from substances and other problematic behaviors.


 

 

WOMEN’S GROUP

Allison Mitchell, PhD

Mondays, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

This group is designed to be a supportive and safe environment for women at various points on the continuum of change to explore the function and meaning behind substance use and other problematic behaviors. Goals may be different for each member and include reduced use, moderation, and abstinence. As part of this group, members will gain a more nuanced understanding of how certain thought patterns, emotional states, and relationship dynamics may be impacting them.

Group members will explore the origins of their use while developing skills to identify and manage urges and cravings.  Members will learn to assess harm, understand ambivalence about change and set personally-defined goals for success.


PSYCHEDELIC HARM REDUCTION & EXPLORATION GROUP

Mondays,  5:45 – 7:00 p.m.

Elizabeth Nielson, PhD

The Psychedelic Harm Reduction and Exploration Group is a psychotherapy group for people who have used psychedelics, or are considering using them, for therapeutic and/or recreational purposes. Given that psychedelics are being tested in clinical trials but are not FDA approved for any indication at this time, this group is for people who wish to explore their own individual and unique relationship to psychedelics including the relative safety and potential helpfulness or harmfulness of using psychedelics, strategies for promoting positive experiences, and minimizing the possibility of negative consequences should they decide to do so on their own. Principles of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy are incorporated into a group process in which participants can explore motivations, intentions, and outcomes of psychedelic use in a safe, supportive environment. Group discussions focus on integrating the profound insights, lessons, and even difficult experiences of psychedelic journeys into one’s broader life.


MEN’S HARM REDUCTION PROCESS GROUP

Adam Frankel, PhD

Mondays, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Members will explore how substance use and risk taking may arise from the circumstances of one’s life or nature and how these behaviors relate to other life issues. Discussions will focus on how to assess harm, come to terms with ambivalent feelings about change, set harm reduction goals, and develop an individual plan for positive growth. Group discussions also focus on issues around personal identity, loneliness and intimacy, and learning about one’s interpersonal patterns when interacting with others.


YOUNG ADULT GROUP

Mari Dickerson, LMSW, RYT

Tuesdays, 2:00 – 3:15 p.m.

This group will provide an introduction to principles of harm reduction for young adults, including psychoeducation about substances and strategies to reduce risk and increase safety. Members will be encouraged to explore the meaning behind substance use in a supportive environment, in addition to discussing safer ways to manage use including moderation, reducing use, or abstinence. Group topics will include family and peer relationships, mindfulness, skills for managing cravings, self-esteem, motivation, and goal-setting.


YOUNG ADULT GROUP

Eddie Einbinder, LMSW

Tuesdays, 8:00 – 9:00 p.m.

This group will provide an introduction to principles of harm reduction, including psychoeducation about substances, along with strategies to reduce risk and increase safety. Members will be encouraged to share and reflect on their experiences and explore safer ways to manage substance use, which may include moderation, reduction in use, or abstinence. Sessions will be semi-structured with special topics introduced each week based on members’ needs and interests. Members can also choose to focus on a particular drug to learn about via discussion, literature and film.


ABSTINENCE ORIENTED GROUP

Eddie Einbinder, LMSW

Wednesdays 12:30-1:30 p.m.

This group is designed to support members who are working on maintaining abstinence from substances and/or other problematic behaviors. Members will learn useful strategies that can be applied to daily life to help them pursue their goal of abstinence. Group discussions will also address the underlying meaning and function of substance use and the challenges associated with maintaining abstinence. The group will include a combination of skill-based practices and open processing of issues members are currently working on. Contact Eddie Einbinder, LMSW at eddieeinbinder@cfol.org.


DROP IN GROUP

Eddie Einbinder, LMSW

Wednesdays, 5:40 – 6:40p.m. 

This group is for Center for Optimal Living clients who may want additional support during the week. The group will provide an opportunity to refine harm reduction strategies and tools to support them in meeting their needs and therapeutic goals. This group may be particularly useful for those clients who cannot commit to attending groups every week as there is no attendance requirement for this group. Clients are encouraged to become recurring members as they wish.


HARM REDUCTION PROCESS GROUP

Adam Frankel, PhD

Wednesdays, 7:15 – 8:30 p.m.

Members will explore how substance use and risk taking may arise from the circumstances of one’s life or nature and how these behaviors relate to other life issues.  Discussions will focus on how to assess harm, come to terms with ambivalent feelings about change, set harm reduction goals, and develop an individual plan for positive growth.


PROFESSIONALS & EXECUTIVES PROCESS GROUP

Andrew Tatarsky, PhD

Thursdays, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

This group aims to explore how substance use and risk taking may arise from the circumstances of one’s life or nature and how these behaviors relate to other life issues. Members will learn to assess harm, come to terms with ambivalent feelings about change, set harm reduction goals, and develop an individual plan for developing one’s ideal relationship to substances and working toward other important personal goals. Common themes include emotion management, relationships, effective communication, and learning a variety of skills and strategies for making positive behavior change including mindfulness, urge surfing, and embracing ambivalence.


MINDFULNESS GROUP

Adam Frankel, PhD

Thursdays, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Mindfulness practices provide an opportunity to slow down, observe our moment-to-moment experiences non-judgmentally so we can respond in more effective ways. Mindfulness has been shown to increase self-compassion and enhances self-care capacities. By learning to attend to your experiences with greater acceptance, you will be able to navigate life’s challenges with more ease. Join us to learn more about these simple practice and how you can apply them in your daily life. The group includes a combination of skills-based practice and discussion so that members can adapt the skills to suit their needs and goals.


WEEKEND PLANNING GROUP

Eddie Einbinder, LMSW

Thursdays, 7:40 – 8:40 p.m.

The group provides a safe space for members to seek support, reflect on goals, and develop strategies prior to starting the weekend. The group helps members create a structured plan of activities throughout the weekend to maintain the healthiest relationships with alcohol or drugs, as identified by each individual. Members will discuss and share healthy, positive alternatives that help them achieve their overall goals, from substance use, to work, relationships, and general health. We explore the roles that isolation, socialization, and other variables play in our thoughts, emotions, and actions around drug use and other risky behaviors. Members pursuing a variety of positive change goals (e.g., moderation, safer use, abstinence) are welcome to participate.


 

View our Psychedelic Program Groups.