Practicing Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: An Alternative Approach to Addictions

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9781572305557: Practicing Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: An Alternative Approach to Addictions
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Demonstrating that traditional approaches to addictions fall short for many substance abusers with psychological problems, this book shows how effective therapeutic work can be conducted with clients still using alcohol or other drugs. For the first time, the goals and methods of harm reduction are incorporated into a comprehensive psychotherapeutic approach - one that can be initiated without waiting for, or insisting on, abstinence. Clinicians learn concrete strategies for assessing the client's personality, behaviors, and resources; enhancing motivation for change; making collaborative treatment decisions; and implementing a range of different interventions.

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Review:

"Harm reduction has been recognized as an evidence-based practice component, and Patt Denning's book provides social work students an alternative view of substance abuse and recovery. The book's emphasis on reducing the harm of substance abuse is a long overdue alternative to the disease approach. In addition, it is consistent with a strengths perspective as it emphasizes progress over pathology."--Tom Broffman, PhD, LICSW, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, Eastern Connecticut State University "This book is recommended reading for all therapists, social workers, counselors, and students training for these professions. For too long, practitioners have worked out of extremist, 'all or nothing' models whose strategies have proven to be unsuccessful with most clients who come to us with problems and also happen to use drugs or alcohol. Based in research data and clinical experience, Denning's model truly reflects client-driven therapeutic practices and interventions. The book broadens the clinician's understanding of the role of drug use in the person's life and the effects of chronic drug use on the person's capacity for self realization. Liberally peppered with case vignettes, it provides a full 'tool kit' of strategies and interventions to help clients maximize their health, happiness, and contentment with their lives." --Edith Springer, ACSW, Senior Trainer, Harm Reduction Training Institute (a joint project of the Harm Reduction Coalition and the Lindesmith Center/Open Society Institute), New York City "An excellent and long overdue work. While interest in harm reduction has burgeoned over the past decade, relevant professional resources have barely kept up with the pace. This book is highly integrative and inclusive, inspired by the disciplines of public health, cognitive-behavioral therapy, personality theory, traditional addiction treatment, motivational interviewing, relapse prevention, and more. Denning makes extensive use of case examples, and these examples reveal that she is a seasoned, well-informed clinician. Along with clinical success stories, she courageously presents the 'failures' that led her to the practice of harm reduction psychotherapy. Clinicians will recognize their own patients (and clinical struggles), and they will learn harm reduction strategies that make sense. I recommend this book to anyone interested in addiction treatment." --Bruce S. Liese, PhD, ABPP, Professor of Family Medicine and Psychiatry, University of Kansas Medical Center "This courageous and compellingly honest book is at once a professional autobiography, a primer on addictive behavior, a casebook, a reminder about the basics of the psychotherapeutic relationship, and a call to action. Denning is a mature clinician who shares with us the process and fruits of her development as a psychotherapist specializing in addiction and multidiagnosis clients. To replace the outdated conception of addiction as a disease, she explicates harm reduction psychotherapy, an invaluable, empirically supported, practical, and flexible alternative. All practicing psychotherapists need to be familiar with it." --A. Thomas Horvath, PhD, FAClinP, President, Practical Recovery Services, La Jolla, California "This book provides a blueprint for therapists who wish to provide...an integrated approach to the treatment of a variety of addictive behaviors, with or without the co-occurrence of other psychological or behavioral disorders. For the first time, clients who wish to receive therapy to help them cope with an ongoing alcohol or other drug problem will not be turned away at the door by either substance abuse counselors (who insist upon abstinence as the only acceptable treatment goal) or by mental health therapists (who often refer active drug users to substance abuse treatment before they will accept them for psychotherapy)....Denning provides a trail-blazing journey into the new world of harm reduction therapy." --from the Foreword by G. Alan Marlatt, PhD, University of Washington "Denning's book has a number of strengths. It is written clearly and in sufficient detail to be accessible to a wide array of practitioners, which is important for a book whose prime audience is mental health and addiction treatment providers....Another outstanding feature of the book is its combination of discussion of research and theory with clinical case application; the latter includes extensive review of the processes that go into treatment planning, implementation, and modification based on patient responses. The book also presents views of addictive behavior and its modification that reflect current research and theory. As such, the book delivers on its promise of presenting an approach that is an alternative to the status quo in American SUDs treatment services....the first detailed account of application of an important public health model to developing a SUDs treatment approach. Accordingly, the book has much to offer to clinical practitioners and researchers who are interested in learning about treatment approaches that are alternatives to the SUDs treatment establishment in the United States."--"Clinical Psychology Review" ""Practicing Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: An Alternative Approach to Addictions" introduces the reader to a new and innovative way to view addictions and provides a nontraditional approach to the treatment of individuals with substance abuse difficulties. The author utilizes her extensive experience in the fields of mental health and substance abuse to inform this theoretical orientation, impart practical knowledge and skills, and cause the reader to reexamine his/her beliefs concerningaddictions....The use of clinical case examples and step-by-step guidelines for assessment and treatment makes it a must read for all mental health and substance abuse practitioners. Moreover, the book's extensive appendices make it a handy source of reference and an invaluable addition to one's personal library."--"Canadian Journal of Counselling" "This is a great book that has radical reform implications for treating drug users and addicts....This is a very important book, providing new ways of looking at things in an area where there is a lot of pessimism. The pessimism is likely due, in large measure, to the assumptions about treatment of drug users that we currently hold, and which are just wrong, according to this book."--"American Journal of Psychiatry" ., ."an essential tool for the modern practitioner who treats any patient using drugs. Harm Reduction is a port in the storm. But far better that the storm would end and we stopped making the life of the drug user a living hell--where the substance abuse problems are compounded with the social harms of criminalization. When that day comes, these clinical models and methods will become the standards of future practice and, I believe, will help make many of the worst drug problems we see today a thing of the past."--"Addiction" "This book is highly integrative and inclusive of clinical intervention models and approaches. Denning's model is empirically and clinically supported....A highly recommended reading for all social workers, counselors, therapists, and students." --"CASW Bulletin" "Thiswell-written book presents an approach for integrating harm reduction therapy into everyday psychotherapeutic practice....This text is written primarily for general psychotherapists wishing to add substance abuse treatment to their practice. It would also be useful in training graduate students in the integration of addictions treatment into everyday clinical practice--a useful skill to possess given the high rates of addictive disorders in the general population....The author presents the material in a nonthreatening manner that allows the reader flexibility in applying aspects of this intervention to his/her own clinical work....This book provides clinicians, educators and graduate students with a practical approach to treating addictions in the context of other mental health issues. It is hoped that, having read this book, more psychotherapists will be willing to provide addictions treatment in the context of their general practice." --"Journal of Studies on Alcohol"

Synopsis:

This work presents an innovative model for the treatment of clients with alcohol and substance abuse problems. The goals and methods of harm reduction are incorporated into a multidimensional psychotherapeutic approach. Denning demonstrates that traditional, abstinence-based approaches are inappropriate for many persons who seek help for psychological or emotional problems, and shows how effective therapeutic work can be conducted even with individuals who are still using drugs. The focus is on reducing the damage done by drug use while respecting each client's needs, priorities, and life choices. A comprehensive clinical rationale is provided, and readers are taken step by step through assessment and treatment. Intervention strategies are described in depth, illustrates with extended case examples. Topics covered include addressing the difficulties with affect and trust that are often found in substance- using persons, neurobiological aspects of addiction, and working with dual-multidiagnosis patients. Applications to consultation and training are also discussed.

Grounded in psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural, and public health principles, this text should be of use in a wide range of settings.

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9781593850968: Practicing Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: An Alternative Approach to Addictions

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Publisher: Guilford Press, 2004
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