Harm reduction is a public health policy and social justice movement that is aimed at reducing the negative outcomes associated with substance misuse and advocating for the rights of people who use drugs. Although it was formed around substance misuse, harm reduction ideals can be applied to most behaviors that are potentially harmful.
Harm Reduction Psychotherapy
Often people are told to go to one place to get help for substance use/misuse and another place to address mental health concerns. This can fragment treatment, limit recovery, and perpetuate the social stigma around substance users. Harm Reduction Psychotherapy combines the principles of harm reduction with those of psychotherapy; which allows concern around substance use and additional concerns (ex: depression, anxiety, or trauma) to be treated simultaneously.
By removing abstinence as the assumed goal of substance misuse treatment, it requires the therapist to start treatment and goal setting based on the individual clients needs. This means that the relationship between the therapist and client is paramount to treatment and is often where the treatment begins.
My harm reduction work extends beyond addiction and is integrated into my work with chronic pain, impulsivity, or any behavioral patterns that feel risky.
If you or someone you know is curious about increasing their understanding of their relationship with risky behaviors, impulsivity, or chronic pain I would love to provide support