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Introduction to Alcohol Moderation Counseling: A Harm Reduction Approach to Problem Drinking
Monday, July 26, 2021 | 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Presented by Sarah Suzuki, Chicago Compass Counseling, LLC


Description: Research suggests that problem drinking among American adults increased during the pandemic, with as many as 1 in 4 Americans reporting increased drinking to manage stress.1 Outpatient psychotherapists and helping professionals frequently report feeling ill-equipped to effectively address problem drinking in the context of general outpatient services. In this presentation, participants will receive an overview of alcohol moderation counseling – an evidence-based harm reduction approach to helping adults successfully address problem drinking. Participants will be introduced to research on who benefits most from this approach, as well as circumstances in which moderation management counseling is contraindicated. Participants will become familiar with the orientation and framework of drink tracking versus 30-day and 180-day breaks while reviewing drink tracker best practices, including common provider errors. Group discussion will briefly address considerations for addressing problem drinking in abstinence-only settings (e.g. sober living), as well as how best to support family members of an identified problem drinker. Participants will be invited to explore follow-up resources to deepen learning about this approach.

Goal: To become familiar with alcohol moderation counseling, including methods, limits, and best practices in outpatient counseling settings.

Terminal Learning Objectives:

  • To define alcohol moderation counseling while contrasting it with abstinence-only approaches
  • To describe the methods, course, and expectations for alcohol moderation counseling, including indicators for when moderation counseling is contraindicated or should be discontinued
  • To become familiar with resources for learning more about alcohol moderation

1 https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2021/03/one-year-pandemic-stress

About Sarah Suzuki
Sarah is certified MINT Trainer and the founder of Chicago Compass Counseling, a group practice dedicated to serving the family system through inclusive, evidence-based behavior change counseling.

As a speaker, Sarah enjoys presenting ideas that ignite and inspire. Sarah’s dynamic presence and highly interactive style has made her a highly-sought national speaker, trainer, and consultant. As one of the first international members of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers to participant in developing the MINT Certification Trainer Process, she serves as a leading voice in the implementation of Motivational Interviewing practices across organizational settings. In 2018, her talk on facing fear went viral – with over 2 million views and counting.

After completing graduate studies at the University of Chicago in 2009, went on to Motivational Interviewing training and consultation to students, interns, program administrators, researchers, executives, and direct-level staff. To date, she has worked with more than 50 organizations as a trainer and consultant. Additionally, she is committed to her pro-bono service to Chicago-area non-profits dedicated to providing service to members of the community. Learn more at https://chicagocompasscounseling.com/.

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