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Teletherapy for Alcohol Problems During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Practitioner’s Toolbox of Moderation and Harm Reduction Strategies
Friday, May 29, 2020, 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM EDT
Category: Outside Group Program

Teletherapy for Alcohol Problems During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Practitioner’s Toolbox of Moderation and Harm Reduction Strategies
Live Webinar 
Date & Time: Friday, May 29th, 9am - 12:30pm EST
Instructor: Arnold M. Washton, PhD
Instructional Level: Introductory
Price: $55

3 CE Credits for Psychologists
3 CE credits for NJ Social Workers
3 CE credits for NJ Drug & Alcohol Counselors (CADC/LCADC)

Register Here

The COVID-19 pandemic has instantaneously shifted the delivery of psychotherapy and almost all other health care services from the office to the internet. The acute and lasting impact of this sudden change on both patients and providers is yet to be determined. Meanwhile mental health clinicians face a host of novel challenges and opportunities as they scramble to adapt their office practices to the new landscape of internet-based teletherapy.

Against the backdrop of this seismic shift, this webinar will describe how to provide harm reduction therapy for alcohol and other substance use disorders (SUDs) delivered on an internet-based video platform. The unique benefits and drawbacks of teletherapy and how to optimize its effectiveness will also be discussed.

Harm reduction is a paradigm-shifting approach based on the principles and practices of client-centered psychotherapy. In contrast to conventional abstinence-only approaches, harm reduction supports incremental change and the rights of clients choose their own goals including safer drinking, moderate drinking, or no drinking (abstinence). While acknowledging that abstinence is the safest course, harm reduction views any steps taken to reduce the risks and harms of substance use as steps in the right direction. For individuals wanting to cut down on their drinking rather than quit entirely, a professionally-guided attempt at moderation is one of the best ways for them to find out whether moderate drinking is realistic and sustainable or if abstinence is a better choice.

By accepting goals other than abstinence as a starting point, harm reduction opens the door to treatment for people who do not want or need a traditional “one size fits all” treatment program. Harm reduction is appealing not only to a broader range of prospective clients than traditional treatment programs usually attract, but also to many psychotherapists because it recognizes the therapeutic relationship as the cornerstone of treatment and the skills of well-trained mental health clinicians as highly applicable (with appropriate modification) to treating substance use disorders.

Participants will come away from this workshop empowered with a toolbox of evidence-based strategies and techniques they can apply immediately in their clinical practice- whether treatment is delivered online or in the office.

Learning Objectives
Through this webinar, you will be able to:
• Explain the theory, empirical support, and rationale for a harm reduction approach
• Describe how to conduct an initial assessment and develop an individualized treatment plan
• Describe how to help clients change when, where, and how much they drink
• List 10 behavioral self-control strategies that support moderate drinking
• Describe adjunctive medications that can enhance success in achieving moderation or abstinence
• Summarize common clinical dilemmas encountered in treating problem drinkers
Contact Us

For questions, please contact: [email protected]

Rutgers Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Rutgers Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.