People use drugs and alcohol for a variety of reasons. At NYHRE we recognize this, and our counselors address the physical and social impact and the psychological and emotional implications of drug and alcohol use. Using NYHRE’s non-judgmental approach to counseling, NYHRE helps people reduce the negative impact of substance abuse in their lives.
counseling sessions to
participants all over New York City in 2015
People who use drugs and engage in sex work are often treated poorly by the health care system and other service providers which keeps them from accessing desperately-needed services to improve their health and quality of life. NYHRE’s Mental Health and Harm Reduction Counseling programs work closely together to provide non-judgmental emotional and social support for our participants. Harm Reduction Counseling addresses the external barriers that our participants face in reaching their self-defined goals, such as basic safety and survival, while the Mental Health program helps participants address more deeply rooted psychological and emotional issues that they are experiencing. NYHRE participants are able to define what is most important to them without having to meet any agency-determined criteria such as abstinence, making appointments, or attending a required number of counseling sessions.
In the spirit of incremental change, NYHRE’s Mental Health program offers a range of services from informal anonymous sessions mainly focused on crisis intervention to more structured therapy sessions. Social Workers engage participants in casual conversations at our drop-in space or during outreach to build trust and introduce Mental Health services. Many participants have their Mental Health needs met solely through several anonymous sessions, while some will move to more formal individual or group sessions on a consistent basis.
Individual and group sessions utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), trauma-focused CBT, Motivational Interviewing, narrative therapy, mindfulness/ contemplative therapy, and expressive arts therapy. Individual sessions primarily focus on acute trauma/ crisis and treatment readiness, but may also address self care and stress reduction. The Mental Health team works with participants to set goals for subsequent sessions, and prepare participants for more conventional mental health services when needed. Group sessions work towards building community and expanding support networks, and are guided by the immediate interests and needs of participants
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individual sessions to
Harm Reduction Counseling
Our Harm Reduction Counseling Program is grounded in the knowledge that people use drugs and/or engage in sex work for a variety of reasons. Harm Reduction Counselors facilitate communication, self-advocacy, and goal-setting - building on the existing experiences, skills and strengths of our participants. We recognize that a person's identified counseling goals are based on their individual desire to improve their own health, relationships and overall functioning in their daily lives.
At the most basic level, Harm Reduction Counseling functions to build a bridge between individuals and services/service providers. Counselors offer consistent support to participants and help to reduce barriers people face in accessing life-stabilizing services.