Harm Reduction Counseling
Harm Reduction refers to alleviating the harm from any given chemical or behavioral addiction, and is not synonymous with abstinence or a fully committed moderation management approach. While Harm Reduction is often associated, and part of moderation approaches, it can act as a stand along intervention.
Harm Reduction can be utilized for any problematic behavioral or chemical additions/compulsions. This approach’s main strategy is to help the individual reduce the negative consequences they are experiencing as a result of their addiction and does not imply the person wants to be abstinent. Working within this framework is hard work nonetheless, and requires a reorienting of one’s intention with their addiction, what they are currently doing, weighing the pros and cons of their use, and identifying what adjustments they would be willing to make to reduce the harmful, or potentially harmful, effects of their behaviors.
Harm Reduction often entails working from a team approach and assisting the client in obtaining ancillary services (medication support, community services, higher levels of care, group therapy, etc.) which can support this challenging process. It is not easy to reduce one’s use or behavioral additctions, but many have succeeded in reducing harmful behaviors and addictions and it is possible that you could too!