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Therapy for Alcohol and Substance Abuse NYC

An addiction is defined as any behavior which is highly reinforcing to the point that once the individual realizes this behavior is self-destructive, they cannot seem to stop despite having a desire to. While addictive behaviors can be harmful on a smaller level, most will become problematic as the intensity of the addiction grows and becomes more extreme.

There are many different forms of treatment for addiction including 12 Step Programs, biological/pharmaceutical interventions, and religious interventions. The most common areas of addiction include:

  • Alcohol
  • Adderall
  • Heroin
  • Tobacco and Smoking
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamines
  • Behavioral Addictions

I started my career as an individual therapist in the field of substance abuse, running and later supervising in-patient Detoxification unit, then working in an adult day treatment program and eventually running aftercare groups for recovering addicts. I also trained numerous new therapists and graduate students in working with addictions.

I took my special passion for working with those in the throws of addiction, wanting to recover and live sober into my private practice. I also work with people whose significant others or family members are struggling with addiction.

Therapeutic Approaches For Alcohol And Substance Abuse

My approach to working with clients who wish to be sober is comprehensive and individually based. There are no two cases that are alike, and each individual case requires individual attention and sometimes a combination of different therapies. I strongly suggest the involvement in 12 step programs or some form of support groups as I consider this to be critical for maintaining sobriety.

When appropriate, I also refer patients to group therapy for recovering addicts run by several colleagues as I currently do not run such groups.

In drug and alcohol addiction counseling, I use Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral, Mindfulness-based therapies and later in treatment if appropriate, EMDR Therapy when stable sobriety is achieved. We look at the origin of addiction, how it progressed and its current and past consequences.

I strongly believe that alcohol and drugs are used to medicate anxiety, depression, bipolar illness and other conditions, and once the correct diagnosis or assessment is made, I may sometimes make a referral to an addiction psychiatrist to properly address the underlying disorder possibly with appropriate medication. This can be crucial in supporting and even making recovery possible.

In alcohol and drug abuse counseling, I work with patients to identify triggers to relapse and in depth explore strategies to deal with them. Another critical part of my work with addiction is examining coping skills and working on developing new and healthier ones.

Treatment of Addictions in NYC

Reasons To Start Counseling For Alcohol/Substance Abuse

  • You are feeling that you have lost or are losing control over your drinking/drug use
  • Social drinking or drug use is becoming more frequent
  • Your significant other or family members have expressed concerns over your alcohol/drug use
  • You are calling in sick or taking time off work due to feeling hungover
  • You have been attending 12 step meetings or other addiction related support groups and you have some sober time but feeling like there are deeper issues that need to be addressed
  • You have attended 12 step meetings or other addiction related support groups and have found they have not helped.
  • You are in an In-Patient Rehab and you need aftercare and are looking for the therapist to work with.

If you are ready for counseling and therapy for alcohol and subtance abuse, contact individual therapist Irina Firstein, LCSW by calling (212) 953-1388 or send an email to

Irina Firstein, LCSW will help you find freedom from the burden of substance and alcohol abuse. Call to set up an appointment today!

Sessions available in person, by phone or on Skype.