Harm Reduction Psychotherapy Certificate Program

  • IMG - Talley and Tatarsky

    This noncredit professional certificate program offers licensed and license-eligible mental health and substance abuse students and practitioners specialized training in the theory and application of harm reduction psychotherapy. Certificate participants will gain knowledge and practical skills to enhance their credentials and further their careers in this field.

    Classes for this program are co-taught by Dr. Andrew Tatarsky, the developer of Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (IHRP), and Dr. Jenifer Talley, a close collaborator in its continuing evolution. They are Founder/Director and Assistant Director, respectively, at The Center for Optimal Living, an outpatient treatment and professional training center in New York City based on IHRP. Guest lecturers (to be announced) with expertise in specific topics will teach several classes throughout the year. In addition, individual and group supervision from harm reduction experts is available for those who are interested.

    Applications are being accepted now; the deadline to apply is August 15, 2015.
    To be eligible for this program, applicants must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field of study, be a CASAC or CASAC-T (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor), or be in the process of obtaining an advanced degree in psychology, social work, or medicine. Students who have completed at least one year in a doctoral program in clinical psychology or who have finished The New School’s MA Concentration in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling are also eligible to apply. Tuition for the two-course program is $3,000 plus $160 in university fees.

    New School alumni are eligible for a 25 percent tuition discount for this certificate program.

    Classes will be offered from 6:00 to 7:50 p.m. on Wednesdays in the fall and spring semesters.
    Classes will start on September 16, 2015.

    For more information about this program, please email Dr. Jenifer Talley at harmreduction@newschool.edu.

  • Program Description

    This program is designed for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, graduate students, CASACs, LMHCs, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and those working in harm reduction settings to gain knowledge about the theory and application of integrative harm reduction psychotherapy (IHRP). We provide a comprehensive framework for conceptualizing and treating substance misuse and co-occurring disorders from an integrative harm reduction perspective. IHRP brings a harm reduction orientation to mental health and substance abuse treatment settings and a clinical treatment orientation to harm reduction settings. Offered through the Department of Psychology at The New School for Social Research, the certificate is made up of a two-course sequence. The first course is offered in the fall and the second during the spring, each course meeting weekly for two hours over 12 weeks. Students are taught by intensively trained professionals in harm reduction psychotherapy and will learn the theoretical foundation and practical application of this model.

    The curriculum includes lectures, experiential exercises such as role-play, case conferences, and opportunities for clinical supervision, along with direct contact with field experts. Those who successfully complete both courses will receive a Certificate of Completion.

    This program is open to advanced doctoral students in clinical psychology and graduates of the MA program’s concentration in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling who are eligible for a 25 percent discount on tuition as well.

    The New School for Social Research's Department of Psychology SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0199. Our program provides 48 hours of continuing education. This program has also been approved to provide 48 hours of continuing education credits for CASACs by the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). 

    Those who complete the program will gain expertise in the following areas:

    • Fundamentals for conceptualizing, assessing, and treating substance misuse and other risky behaviors
    • Integration of psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness, and relational approaches
    • Knowledge of the pharmacology of specific substances and how to tailor interventions accordingly
    • Review of current epidemiology and empirical findings related to substance misuse and co-occurring disorders
    • Discussion of limitations of the disease model and rationale for providing comprehensive services based on the psychobiosocial model
    • Increased awareness of the social and political context of harm reduction
    • Strategies for engaging diverse clients and collaborating around assessments, clarification of goals, and personalized clinical treatment plans
    • Application of emotion regulation strategies in individual and group therapy
    • Understanding of the connection between trauma and substance use disorders
    • Exploration of the roles of transference, countertransference, and enactments in treatment
    • In-depth practice with mindfulness-based interventions and ways it can be tailored for clinical practice in both individual and group therapy
    • Case presentations and opportunity to receive clinical supervision by program faculty


    Who is eligible to apply to the Harm Reduction Psychotherapy Certificate Program?

    We encourage psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, CASACs and CASAC-T’s, LMHC’s, those who have a bachelor’s degree in psychology or related fields of study, and individuals working in harm reduction centers to apply.

    What topics are covered in this course?
    We cover a wide range of topics pertaining to epidemiology, assessment, treatment, theory, and sociocultural and policy issues associated with substance use and misuse. We also discuss behavioral issues such as overeating, shopping/spending, gambling, sex, and self-injury, among other topics.

    How do I apply?
    Click here to complete the application form and contact Dr. Jenifer Talley at harmreduction@newschool.edu with any questions.

    How much does it cost?
    Each semester costs $1,500 plus $80 in fees. Students will be provided with a link to register for the program online and will pay for each semester separately (e.g., the fee for the fall semester is due in September and the fee for the spring semester is due in January). Since it is a noncredit program, we are unable to provide financial aid.

    All New School students and alumni are eligible for a 25 percent tuition discount.

    Where and when are the classes offered?
    For the 2015-2016 year, classes will be held on Wednesdays from 6:00 to 7:50 p.m. at The New School for Social Research (6 East 16th Street, NYC). There are 12 class meetings each semester.

    Will I receive continuing education credits for this program?
    Yes; this program has been approved for 48 hours of continuing education credits for CASACs by OASAS (Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services).

    We have submitted an application to offer continuing education credits for social workers through NYSED (New York State Education Department) and will update our website once we have obtained formal approval.

    Career Possibilities

    Clinicians who have this specialized training will no longer need to refer clients to other providers for treatment of substance use disorders and can offer harm reduction psychotherapy services as part of their practice. Knowledge gained through this program can be adapted and applied to a variety of other clinical settings, such as psychiatric hospitals, outpatient and inpatient treatment programs, substance abuse treatment centers, public health and advocacy agencies, harm reduction centers, and private practice.