Harm Reduction Therapy

Or Call Us: (347) 983-2233

What is Harm Reduction Therapy?

If you’re interested in changing your relationship to drugs and alcohol, harm reduction therapy may be right for you. Harm Reduction Therapy includes abstinence as an option as well as moderation or reduction in use. We work with you to define what is best for you.

People use substances like drugs or alcohol for a variety of reasons. And, while many people engage for recreational or social reasons, others become dependent on drugs or alcohol to “take the edge off,” to relieve stress, or to block out unpleasant thoughts or feelings. Regardless of whether someone experiments with drugs or alcohol as a child or an adolescent, or if they begin to use these substances as an adult, we know for many people the relationship with drugs or alcohol has the potential to become unhealthy. And when it does, it can destroy lives, families, and relationships.

Total elimination or abstinence isn’t always possible nor is it always a desired outcome. Many people want to be able to achieve a healthy balance in their life without eliminating the drug or alcohol use entirely.

Harm Reduction Therapy is designed to help you identify and adopt ways to reduce and cope with drug or alcohol use in a way that is manageable and sustainable in your life.

At Kathryn Grooms & Associates Psychotherapy in New York City, we know not everyone that uses drugs or alcohol has a problematic relationship with these substances. Many people are engaged in the social or recreational use of drugs and substances to enhance their life in some way. However, when drugs or alcohol use causes harmful effects in our personal or professional lives, working with a highly trained professional therapist can help.

Our practice is focused on helping people reduce or eliminate the negative or harmful effects of drug use or alcohol consumption. We offer a nonjudgmental, safe environment for people to discuss and resolve issues of substance abuse or misuse.

We do not view or label drug use or alcohol use as inherently bad or as addictive. Rather, we see it as a bio/psycho/social experience or phenomenon. Our role is to help you make the changes you desire to mitigate the negative or harmful effects and ultimately achieve a sense of balance and wellbeing.

We do this by defining the harmful behaviors, identifying and assessing the risks to change, and then putting strategies and supports in place to help reduce harm in a way that is realistic and, most importantly, sustainable over the long term.

Harm Reduction Therapy is not in opposition to abstinence or step programs; it is simply an alternative, modern treatment for people seeking a nuanced solution to their struggle. In fact, Harm Reduction Therapy is intended to support, complement, and enhance 12-step programs.

While Harm Reduction Therapy is not focused on sobriety, please know that we actively support anyone that is committed to recovery and achieving and maintaining sobriety in 12-step programs and our therapy can be a complement to these and other kinds of recovery programs.

Working together with you, our focus is on healing the emotional and psychological reasons for harm and to begin to identify those environmental circumstances which may trigger renewed use.

Our team of therapists at Kathryn Grooms & Associates Psychotherapy are highly trained to help you identify the purpose or rewards of the use as well as the risks. What value, benefits, or rewards do you get from using drugs or consuming alcohol? And what are the risks — or, the negative emotional, physical, and social effects of drug or alcohol use?

By employing this kind of risk-reward or pros – cons tactic, we can identify the patterns and habits of the role substance use plays in daily life. And through this cost benefit analysis we can consider and weigh the benefits of substance abuse versus the costs of changing behavior.

The goal of harm reduction therapy is to reduce the risk of harm to you and others. We work with each client individually because every situation is unique. Depending on your personal goals and reasons for entering therapy, we can work to identify the change in behavior that feels most realistic and attainable to you and then together, we help you put supports in place to reinforce and sustain that change. We respect your journey and each person’s dignity to live their life as they choose. We do not judge your choices. Our trained therapists will embrace the path you wish to take and help you by providing supportive tools and proven methodologies to help you reach your goals.

There are stigmas around drug or alcohol use and abuse which can make the decision to enter into therapy seem a bit daunting. Our team at Kathryn Grooms & Associates Psychotherapy does not judge and welcomes every person, regardless of their situation or circumstance, to the table. Our therapy is holistic in nature in that we invite the whole person to the conversation. We examine all the different parts of a person, including past or present trauma in any form, which may contribute to harmful choices and harmful behaviors. When these are identified and named, they can be resolved and challenged with coping tools. These tools can be used to help a person continue the activity they desire while also reducing harm to themselves and to others.

In harm reduction therapy, we can work with you to achieve whatever goal you have in mind. If your goal is to reduce the amount of drug use or alcohol consumption and help reduce the risk of harm to yourself and to your loved ones, we can provide resources, support and tools to help you achieve that goal. If your goal is to eventually abstain from drug or alcohol use, we can provide the resources and support and tools to help you achieve that goal, Reduction Therapy is a very individual practice. There is no particular formula for success. Rather, the approach is based on the individual…you. We focus on where you are now, what you are struggling with and trying to modify or reduce, and where you would like to be. You are the driver.

We take the time to get to know you and understand you as a whole person. This requires professional skill as well as the ability to listen and process all the different aspects of your life that contribute to your behaviors. We will often compliment or augment our Harm Reduction Therapy with other therapies such as Parts Work or Internal Family Systems and even relational or trauma therapy because we know that there are many different facets to a person and many contributing factors which need to be addressed to achieve the outcome you desire.

We offer professional guidance and compassionate support in a judgement-free, stigma-free setting that welcomes you as an individual. There are no labels and no requirements other than your willingness to share your story and your concerns as openly as is comfortable.

Our process of providing Harm Reduction Therapy is relaxed and conversational — not prescriptive. Our goal is to work with you to determine the best tools and strategies that are right for you in a holistic approach. And our practice is always centered on helping you achieve your highest levels of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.


During this unprecedented time, you may be experiencing increasing feelings of uncertainty, loss, anxiety, fear, grief or rage. We are all experiencing a different reality and it can and will affect everyone very differently.

Whether you’re performing an essential job that requires long hours and potential risk to your health, or you’re navigating school re-opening, returning to work or continuing to work from home and practicing social distancing, please know that you are not alone.

We are pleased to offer the same level of compassionate care through the convenience and confidentiality of TeleTherapy services, accessible on your computer, tablet, or phone. We are welcoming fully vaccinated clients to return to the office for in-person sessions on a case by case basis.

Please stay safe and know that we are with you.

Have Questions?

Payment can be cash, check or credit card. (Please note: there is a surcharge of $2.50 per invoice.) Payment is expected at the time of each session. We are an out-of-network provider with all insurance companies. On a monthly basis we will be happy to provide receipts and/or completed insurance forms for you to submit for out of network reimbursement.
We request that you provide no less than 3 days (72 hours) notification to cancel appointments. We will make every effort to reschedule cancelled sessions within the same week, at no additional fee. If you cancel within the 72 hour period, and we are not able to reschedule within that time frame, you will be responsible for paying the full amount of our session. Note: this cannot be submitted to insurance for reimbursement.

Free Phone Consultation

We offer a free phone consultation prior to making an in-person appointment. Schedule online or call us today to get started.

Call Us: (347) 983-2233