Ellenhorn to Address Paradigm Shift in Views on Addiction Treatment at First Annual Conference

Share Article

Ellenhorn proposes a paradigm shift in our model for understanding problematic substance use and the addictive experience. This conference addresses the need to consider concepts of harm reduction and moderation. It is an embrace of creativity, choice in treatment, and freedom in decisions about what to do in regards to substances in one’s life.

News Image
To think about just curing a symptom really isn’t what a person is looking for,” explains Dr. Ross Ellenhorn. “They’re looking to fix what the symptom has done to their lives, so that requires an approach that really looks at the whole person.

The Center for Optimal Living, Ellenhorn, and The New School announce the first annual Shifting the Addiction Paradigm: A Sea Change . . . A Change in Seeing.

Widespread is the notion that addiction is a disease. This outdated philosophy aims to protect substance user from moral judgment but has resulted in the image of a powerless ‘addict’ and ignores the complex interplay between psychological, biological and social issues that contribute to their struggles with addiction. For some in the United States, dropping the disease model is a long time coming as this current medical orientation often leads to poor outcomes in treatment, and a way of treating individuals that’s both coercive and primed to take economic advantage of the most vulnerable. To question the disease model is controversial and viewed by some as a form of blasphemy – dangerous and heretical.

This conference proposes a paradigm shift in our model for understanding problematic substance use and the addictive experience. This shift implies the need to consider concepts of harm reduction and moderation. It is an embrace of creativity, choice in treatment, and freedom in decisions about what to do in regards to substances in one’s life. It can also mean a decrease in stigma, and a more nuanced view of the use of drugs and alcohol. Fracturing a cookie-cutter approach to addictive habits, it allows treatment—if a person wants it—to be truly individualized. We are heading toward a paradigm shift.

“To think about just curing a symptom really isn’t what a person is looking for,” explains Dr. Ross Ellenhorn. “They’re looking to fix what the symptom has done to their lives, so that requires an approach that really looks at the whole person – all the different things that have been fractured or hurt. We want to help them keep purpose and meaning in their lives by keeping them in their communities.”

Organized by leaders in the mental health and addiction treatment fields, Ellenhorn and The Center for Optimal Living, this annual conference aims to hasten that shift by bringing together thought leaders, researchers and practitioners to present on new, innovative and liberating ways of approaching substance use and other habits, that are free from the yoke of the orthodoxy of disease.

The conference will take place May 31, 9:30am-5pm at The New School, Tishman Auditorium, 63 5th Ave, U100, New York, NY 10011. This year, our conference features prominent thinkers: Gabor Maté, MD and Andrew Tatarsky, PhD with opening remarks from Ross Ellenhorn, PhD. Conference registration costs $150-$210 and is available at paradigmchange2018.eventbrite.com.

ABOUT THE CENTER FOR OPTIMAL LIVING

The Center for Optimal Living is a psychotherapy and professional training organization that specializes in integrative harm reduction psychotherapy (IHRP) developed by founder, Dr. Andrew Tatarsky. IHRP integrates relational, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and mindfulness strategies. The Center has a speciality focus on problematic substance use, trauma, and the full range of mental health issues. The cornerstone of IHRP is a collaborative therapeutic relationship that “starts where the person is.” This relationship supports the development of practical skills and strategies to manage urges, cravings and difficult emotions. There is also a focus on increasing clients’ insight and capacity to reflect on the meanings and functions of problematic behaviors and working towards developing alternative, healthier solutions.

The Center offers individual, group, couples, and family therapy along with holistic health services including acupuncture and yoga therapy. Training and workshops are offered for professionals and the public.

ABOUT ELLENHORN

Founded by a psychiatrist and a clinically trained sociologist, Ellenhorn blends the most robust psychiatric care provided by a private community-based program in the United States with the nation’s most intensive program focused on helping individuals remain integrated in the larger community. We are as oriented to alleviating the suffering and potential dysfunction that psychiatric symptoms can cause, as we are on avoiding and treating the serious social damage often endured by individuals who have been identified and treated for psychiatric issues.

Using a time-tested and evidence-based treatment model, called the Program for Assertive Community Treatment (PACT), our program helps clients return to their educational and vocational track; to regain their rightful role in the world; and to recapture their belief in their own ability to realize their dreams. We believe our clients are leaders in their own care, with the support of strong, collaborative relationships with our doctors, clinicians and therapists.

SPEAKERS

Gabor Maté, MD
A renowned speaker, and bestselling author, Dr. Gabor Maté is highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics, from addiction to mind-body wellness. Rather than offering quick-fix solutions to these complex issues, Dr. Maté weaves together scientific research, case histories, and his own insights and experience to present a broad perspective that enlightens and empowers people to promote their own healing and that of those around them. As an author, Dr. Maté has written several bestselling books including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. His works have been published internationally in twenty languages.

Dr. Maté has received the Hubert Evans Prize for Literary Non-Fiction; an Honorary Degree (Law) from the University of Northern British Columbia; an Outstanding Alumnus Award from Simon Fraser University; and the 2012 Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award from Mothers Against Teen Violence. He is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Criminology, Simon Fraser University. Dr. Maté is the co-founder of Compassion for Addiction, a new non-profit that focuses on addiction. He is also an advisor of Drugs over Dinner.

Andrew Tatarsky, PhD
Dr. Tatarsky has devoted his career to developing a comprehensive understanding of the broad spectrum of substance use problems and the development of an integrative harm reduction psychotherapy approach to treating that spectrum. This treatment is described in his book, Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems, as well as in professional papers and book chapters that extend the approach. An internationally recognized leader in the treatment of substance misuse and other potentially risky behaviors, he has specialized in the treatment of addiction for 35 years as a counselor, psychologist, program director, trainer, advocate and author. He trains professionals nationally and internationally.

Dr. Tatarsky is founder and director of the Center for Optimal Living in New York City where treatment and professional training is based on his model of Integrative Harm Reduction Therapy (IHRP). IHRP brings together relational psychoanalytic, cognitive behavioral and mindfulness strategies within a harm reduction frame in a way that is personally and collaboratively tailored to each person. He is a member of the Clinical And Medical Advisory Panels to the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and founding board member and past president of the Division on Addiction of New York State Psychological Association.

Ross Ellenhorn, PhD
For the past three decades, Dr. Ellenhorn has been a pioneer and leader in the development and promotion of community integration services, types of care that serve and empower individuals diagnosed with psychiatric and/or addiction issues outside institutional settings, and in their own communities. Trained as a sociologist, psychotherapist and social worker, Dr. Ellenhorn created the first fully-operating intensive hospital diversion and wrap-around program in Massachusetts. He later created and led one of the nation’s first Programs for Assertive Community Treatment teams in that state.

He is the founder and owner of Ellenhorn, and the co-founder and president of the Association for Community Integration Programs (A4CIP), a professional association representing and promoting programs dedicated to empowering clients who are receiving services while living and participating in their community. His, book, Parasuicidality and Paradox: Breaking Through the Medical Model, published by Spring Publishing in 2007, is unique in addressing psychiatric hospital recidivism and techniques for diverting hospital use. Dr. Ellenhorn is the co-founder of the Addiction and Attachment Conferences, an annual conference series that promotes theories and techniques that focus on the link between attachment issues and addictive behavior.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Ashlie Nielson
Ellenhorn
+1 484-894-0543
Email >
Visit website

Media