Andrew Tatarsky, PhD
Andrew Tatarsky, PhD
Integrative Harm Reduction therapy
Dr. Andrew Tatarsky’s clinical knowledge and understanding of addictive behaviors make him a true leader in the field of addiction treatment. Dr. Tatarsky’s unique talents as a clinician and speaker, make him well recognized by various national and international organizations and clinical community members.
— Eugene Isyanov, PhD


Andrew Tatarsky is an internationally recognized leader in the treatment of problematic substance use and a psychobiosocial process model for understanding it. He has developed Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (IHRP) as an effective treatment for the full spectrum of substance use issues. He is founder and director of  the Center for Optimal Living in New York City, a treatment and professional training center based on this mode. He has specialized in the field of substance use treatment for over 35 years working as a counselor, psychologist, program director, trainer, advocate and author.

Harm reduction is a revolutionary framework for addressing substance misuse and addiction and other potentially risky behaviors that does not require abstinence. All positive changes are viewed as successes; so reducing, using more safely, moderating, controlling and stopping the behaviors are all seen as acceptable goals on the path towards positive change, healing and growth. Since problematic substance use is understood as reflecting an interplay of psychological, biological and social factors that is unique to each person, substance use is addressed concurrently with these other factors in the therapy.

Center for optimal Living

The Center for Optimal Living offers comprehensive treatment for problematic substance use, trauma and mental health issues. The center provides innovative, personalized treatment, based on Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy, for individuals and families with substance use issues, other risky or addictive behaviors, and a wide range of mental health issues.

Recognizing the complexity and multiple meanings of these issues, we promote healing and positive change through the principles of compassion, collaboration and empowerment.

The Center for Optimal Living's approach is to provide a safe, supportive space for people to explore whether moderate, less harmful substance use, or abstinence is best suited to them. The center works collaboratively to help people achieve their goals in addition to helpingaddress mental health issues that impact their functioning and provide individualized services for a range of issues including depression, anxiety, and trauma.

If you are concerned about your drug or alcohol use, my process will help you create your healthiest relationship to substances whether that means reduced, safe, moderate controlled use or none at all.
— Dr. Andrew Tatarsky


I bring together active skills-building strategies to support positive change in problematic feelings, behavior and thinking with a focus on clarifying the various personal and social meanings that these problems express or reflect. The approach integrates relational, cognitive-behavioral, psychoanalytic, and motivational strategies with experiential practices of awareness/mindfulness and relaxation training. This approach evolved out of my work primarily with people with problematic substance use and other potentially risky behavior (sex, eating, gambling, cutting, shopping, etc.) but is equally useful for the full range of problems of living such as anxiety, depression, self-esteem problems, identity concerns, relationship problems and work, school and lifestyle problems.


Watch conferences, documentaries, and interviews with Dr. Andrew Tatarsky. In addition, view video, articles, professional publications, and audio guides at the Center for Optimal Living.