Substance Use

new york psychologist mental illness

Clinical Approach to Substance Use Concerns

For more than eight years, Dr. Venarde directed the SAFE (Substance Assessment Feedback and Evaluation) program at the NYU Counseling and Wellness Services, developing and leading the counseling efforts for individuals with substance use issues.

Dr. Venarde uses various strategies, including cognitive-behavioral and motivational enhancement approaches, that have proven most effective in the treatment of substance use concerns. Above all, Dr. Venarde personalizes the psychotherapy, using the evidenced-based approaches to respond to the unique concerns of the individual. Although the individual is ultimately responsible for making desired changes, Dr. Venarde takes an active and collaborative part in this process, providing feedback and recommendations based on the ongoing examination of the level of use, risks of use, and day-to-day impact of the use on an individual’s life.

Dr. Venarde’s work with substance use concerns is best defined as a risk-reduction approach, with abstinence being one possible strategy toward risk reduction. The goal of treatment is to reduce the risks and negative consequences of substance use, creating the possibility for a more productive and satisfying life.