Personal Growth Counselors choose evidence based treatment interventions. These interventions need to be based on the client’s needs and the goals for treatment need to be based on a variety of things. Some of the individual’s needs to consider include but are not necessarily limited to their family or origin history, including trauma, substance use and/or abuse, cultural issues, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, mental abilities, coping skills in place, education and/or occupation, legal issues, employment history, medical problems, current family dynamics, available support system, finances, social systems in place, community resources available, and personal goals.
In other words, an individual treatment plan should not be completed without a thorough psychosocial assessment. Cookie cutter approaches to therapy are not only ineffective but unethical.
Harm reduction therapy seeks to empower clients to prioritize their goals and maximize their potential for success. By celebrating even the smallest success, clients can celebrate improving their choices and thus be encouraged to go as far as they are able to the recovery they desire. This approach is not only client driven but also client specific. This therapy encourages accountability by placing the responsibility for change with the client. It empowers the client to own his/her recovery and makes relapse far less likely. I agree with Deming in that this type of treatment gives the client a sense of control that may not be possible in other treatment modalities.
This treatment can successfully be combined with other methods such as CBT, DBT, Crisis Intervention, Solution Focused, EMDR, and others as well. It can be easily incorporated into practice. I agree with the theories and practices of HRT and plan to use it in my practice. It promotes the NASW Code of Ethics and is altogether respectful of the individual’s right to self-determination and personal worth.
While the clients do get better they rarely completely recover if this is the only treatment they receive. The research on neuroscience seems to suggest that some use of additional types of treatment might be added for additional treatment effectiveness. The success the client receives throughout this treatment should in many cases encourage the client to go further if needed. This treatment as well as other treatment methods depends to a large extent of the client/ therapist connection and movement toward the client’s stated intentions as well as the client’s willingness and ability to self-regulate.