I mostly work with adults especially college students, people looking for HAES / fat liberation, theatre folk, life transitions, and LGBTQ+
Clinical Social Worker in Massachusetts
Harm reduction work is grounded in substance use treatment, and its tenets can also apply to other arenas. Its deeply relevant for people who are engaging in self harm, emotional or binge eating, as well as for people who are very good at beating themselves up emotionally. Any way in which we can reduce the harm, hurt, and suffering of another human being is a gift.
Combining many treatment methodologies and techniques to best fit the person in front of us and their needs in the moment allows us to create new and more possibilities in the clinical work. If we weave a tapestry of options with the client, we can collaborate on treatment. Using creativity, existing "coping skills," and clinical work interwoven together can lead to unexpected treasures of connection and healing.
Although this is most frequently used in substance use treatment, it can also apply in other arenas. If there is harm to self or others, in what ways can we reduce the harm being enacted? What problems can we remove by making our actions less harmful to ourselves or others? Harm reduction can apply to whether or not we allow other people to "rent space in our heads" or to whether we accept hurtful statements from others. Reducing harm, hurt, and suffering is an incredible gift.
As part of my post MSW training, I have focused on Narrative Therapy as one of the main areas of continuing education for myself. Some of the tenets of separating the person from the problem / externalizing the problem is one of the most helpful things I have found that we can do as therapists, is work with people to see that they are not the problem, that problems exist in the world and do not need to be internalized.
As a HAES (Health at Every Size) practitioner, I believe strongly that community is one of the most important parts of healing our relationships with food, our selves, our feelings, and how we present in the world. I am starting a HAES group for people who self identify as small fat and larger in October 2021, for people who were AFAB (assigned female at birth), were raised female until approximately age 16, and believed themselves to be female most of that time, and now are any gender.
Working with other people to create environments in which everyone is supported to develop by creating new ways of thinking, feeling and relating to others is critical to growth. I relate to people as creators of their lives. This way of relating to people activates our capacity to play, perform, philosophize; to create new emotions and to grow. Ongoing social and emotional development is essential and inseparable from transforming the world.