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GSAPP Webinar: Treating High-Functioning Problem Drinkers in Office-Based Psychotherapy Practice: A Clinician’s Toolbox of Moderation, Harm Reduction, and Abstinence Strategies

February 2 @ 9:00 am - 12:30 pm


Participants attending this skills-training workshop will come away with an enhanced understanding of the spectrum of alcohol use disorders that vary along multiple dimensions, how to meet the special needs of high-functioning clients who want an alternative to traditional abstinence-only treatment programs, and how to utilize a toolbox of evidence-based alcohol moderation, harm reduction, and abstinence strategies they can apply immediately in office-based clinical practice. The use of pharmacological adjuncts to enhance the efficacy of behavioral interventions will also be discussed.

The integrative client-centered approach described in this workshop advocates a harm reduction perspective that supports incremental change and individualized treatment goals including less risky drinking, moderate drinking, and abstinence—and it views any steps taken to reduce the risks and harm associated with substance use are steps in the right direction, whether or not abstinence is the immediate or ultimate goal. This approach is intuitively appealing and readily adapted for use by psychotherapists from all backgrounds and specialties because it is fundamentally a psychotherapeutic approach founded on the principles and practices of client-centered psychotherapy, including meeting patients “where they are” and working collaboratively with them to empower positive change rather than demand compliance with pre-determined goals. It is also intuitively appealing to high-functioning individuals who are able to maintain their daily responsibilities despite having clinically significant problems with alcohol and/or other drugs and do not want or need a traditional “one size fits all” addiction treatment program that pressures them to accept the identity of “addict” or “alcoholic” and embrace lifelong abstinence as the only legitimate goal.

Participants of this workshop will learn how to help clients take a closer look at their alcohol use, set realistic goals, change their drinking patterns, and acquire a better understanding the role and meaning of alcohol use in their lives. Lecture material will be brought to life with numerous case examples from the presenter’s practice. Most of the material presented in this workshop is described in the presenter’s most recent book: Washton A.M. and Zweben J.E. (2022) “Treating Alcohol and Drug Problems in Psychotherapy Practice: Doing What Works.” (Guilford Publications).

For more information, click here.




Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology
(848) 445-3577