Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type

Mixed methods


School for Social Work


Harm reduction, Psychotherapy, Psychotherapists-Attitudes, Substance abuse-Treatment, Temperance, Drug addicts-Rehabilitation, Alcoholics-Rehabilitation, Substance abuse


This study sought to better understand clinicians’ perceptions of harm reduction, psychotherapy, and the role of traditional abstinence models when working with actively using clients. This study analyzed the results from a survey completed by 52 practicing clinicians in the United States. The survey contained demographic questions and Likert scale questions measuring attitudes toward harm reduction, abstinence, and psychotherapy with actively using clients. In addition to rating questions, there was also one open-ended question allowing participants to express their understandings of the development of a substance use disorder. The overall response to this survey was a positive attitude toward harm reduction techniques when working with this population. However, abstinence-based models of care are currently the widely accepted and utilized approach.




iv, 60 pages. M.S.W., Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Ma., 2016. Includes bibliographical references (pages 45-47)

Included in

Social Work Commons