When life hands you too much to deal with, it’s common to self-soothe with substances. It can feel like there are no other options, and many people find it easier to cope with stress, upsetting emotions, pain and physical ailments, or other issues with something that helps them feel less or feel better. Our nonjudgmental therapists use harm reduction methods to support you in your goals, whether that’s risk reduction, other coping mechanisms, gradual behavior change, or something else.
Situational depression is a normal and common response to challenging life circumstances. It’s a temporary or contingent form of depression characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair that are directly related to the triggering event or situation. Some common situations that can trigger situational depression include the loss of a loved one, a breakup or divorce, job loss, financial difficulties, a serious illness or injury, a major life transition, or experiencing a traumatic event.
Symptoms of situational depression may include:
Treatment for situational depression primarily focuses on addressing the underlying cause or situation that triggered the depressive symptoms. One such treatment is harm reduction therapy, which can help people process their emotions, develop coping strategies, and gain new perspectives on the situation. With support and the passage of time, people often find their mood improving and their ability to cope with the situation gradually returning.
At its core, harm reduction is an evidence-based, client-centered approach that aims to meet people where they are at with their substance of choice. Harm reduction acknowledges that each person is different and thus each approach should reflect that difference and be tailored to each individual. In other words, harm reduction recognizes that each person has a different starting point for exploring their substance use. Overall, harm reduction encourages a person to explore the connection between their substance use and their well-being. Any reduction in harm is seen as a positive change.
People who use substances should be treated with dignity and respect and have the opportunity to select the best treatment that will allow them to make more informed decisions about their needs and what will be the most effective for them while also reducing harm. Harm reduction requires a collaborative effort by both the person and their therapist.
Abstinence is not required, nor is it forced on individuals. Harm reduction consists of a spectrum of goals to work toward because there is more than one path to recovery.
The spectrum of harm reduction includes:
Harm reduction therapy has been shown to be effective for folks struggling with substance use or addictive behaviors. Some areas where harm reduction therapy can be most helpful include:
If you want to learn more about harm reduction therapy, please reach out to us. We’ll treat you with the respect you deserve and help you find ways to reduce harm while making your own choices about your life.