NYC marriage counseling, couples counseling therapist Irina Firstein, LCSW CBS Interview Psychotherapist New York

Therapy for Alcohol and Substance Abuse NYC

I started my career as a 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 hold a special place in my heart for working with significant others or family members of those struggling with addiction.

My approach to working with clients who wish to be sober is comprehensive and individually based. I do strongly suggest involvement in 12 step programs or some form of support groups as I consider this to be critical in 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.

I also work with significant others and family members or I refer them to other colleagues as appropriate.

In drug and alcohol addiction counseling I use Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral, Mindfulness based therapies and later in treatment if appropriate EMDR Therapy (see my page on EMDR Therapy) when stable sobriety is achieved. We look at the origin of addiction, how it progressed and it’s 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 loosing control over drinking/drug use
  • The social drinking or drug use is becoming more frequent
  • Your significant other or family members are expressing concern over your alcohl/drug use.
  • You are calling in sick or taking time off work due to feeling hung over.
  • 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 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

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