Scott W. Stern, LCSW
Psychotherapist, Empowerment Professional
It is with pleasure that I write this recommendation for Mr. Scott Stern.
Scott brings a fierce love to his therapeutic work. Deeply attuned to the
traumas that lie at the heart of the addictive experience, Scott approaches
his patients with presence and heart.
He continually emphasizes that there is always a choice, that there is always
a possibility, and that there is always a path to empowerment. With the
therapeutic relationship as the foundation of all that he does, Mr. Stern is
the kind of psychotherapist who will see it through – who will be there
both on the good days and when darkness falls.
--Dr. Scott Kellogg, Psychotherapist at The Transformational Chairwork Psychotherapy Project /
President, Division of Addictions at New York State Psychological Association (NYSPA)
"Alice found a little bottle and tied round the neck of the bottle was a paper label with the words DRINK ME."
- DRINK ME from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, alias Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, English Mathematician, Clergyman, Opium Addicted Author.
"In reality, a spectrum of evidence based treatments can inspire behavior modification."
- Scott W. Stern, Psychotherapist
Every Treatment Doesn't Fit Everybody
"Patient satisfaction surveys have consistently indicated the highest
levels of satisfaction with the program that Scott manages. He
holds himself and his colleagues to the highest ethical and clinical
standards while consistently being a professional colleague and coworker.
Scott is a compassionate and expert therapist."
--Dr. John Wallace, PhD, CASAC, Former Director of Substance Abuse Services
at Saint Vincent's Hospital Westchester, Edgehill Newport, The Maxwell Institute
Addiction professionals frequently call for the patient to fit the treatment rather than the other way around. Client-Driven Focused Therapy is an unbiased, personalized approach geared to fit the patient.
This technique is an alternative to the many programs that relentlessly try to steer each patient into the same treatment and support groups (a "my way or the highway" approach).
"Scott is an experienced, talented psychotherapist who works
well with people with addictive behavior and other problems
of living. His empowering, compassionate approach to therapy
is evidence-based and cultivates positive change.
I highly recommend him."
--Dr. Andrew Tatarsky, Director, Center for Optimal Living /
Past President, Division of Addictions at New York State Psychological Association (NYSPA)
In Client-Driven Focused Therapy, the therapist educates clients about diverse evidence based practices. The traditional abstinence-only treatment model is neither attractive nor appropriate for many problem drinkers and substance users.
For many clients, behavior is often symptomatic of co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, OCD, Attachment/Separation disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, pain management, dissociative disorders, trauma and PTSD.
Addiction professionals need to assess for additional pathology in order to personalize treatment. This would include empowering the client with education about evidence-based interventions to address such existing conditions beyond the substance use disorder.
Treatment Tailored to Suit You
"Scott practices a personalized technique and ability to work
with patients in a truly collaborative and patient-centered manner.
That his patients consistently achieve remarkable outcomes
is a testament to his knowledge, skills, and dedication to excellence."
--Alan Eskenazi, Senior Associate Executive Director - Dept. of Psychiatry at Woodhull Hospital
and Former Chief Executive Officer at Holliswood Hospital
Does Professional Allegiance to Twelve Step Facilitation
(TSF) Discriminate Against 92%-95% of Substance Abusers?
The majority of addiction professionals offer only one venue of treatment, calling on their clientele to follow a treatment plan of immediate abstinence and 12 step participation.
Experiential treatment ("it worked for me, so if you work it, it will work for you too") not only lacks supporting data, but provides successful outcomes of only 5%- 8%. The study was based upon clients who maintained abstinence for one year or longer following 12 step treatment, according to various recent research findings. From a public health perspective, this success rate is abysmal.
Currently, the office of Health and Human Services reports 90% of addiction treatment centers use the 12 step recovery model. For the majority of substance abusers who don't "fit" the AA abstinence treatment model, quality treatment alternatives are difficult to find.
Scott's methodology borrows from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Schema Therapy, MAT, CRAFT and Motivational Enhancement Therapy. His focus is on creating new, innovative evidence based treatments.
Empowerment and Compassion
Provide Greater Opportunity to Cultivate Change
Client-Driven Focused Therapy offers a spectrum of treatments to suit the client's personal needs and inspire behavior modification. Empowered with individualized therapy choices, the client is more likely to seek out and explore these new evidence-based methodologies.
Scott's contention is that dogmatic addiction treatments disempower clients and frequently produce poor outcomes. In this regard, the addicted patient is often left with a sense of failure and aversion to therapy.
Instead, empowering psychotherapy builds upon the client's strengths, offering a diverse range of interventions.
These would include empowering the client with education about evidence-based interventions such as moderation management, abstinence, drug replacement therapy for maintenance and/or for tapering with the goal of behavior modification; the client may choose to pursue abstinence or harm reduction treatment options.
Along the treatment spectrum, therapist and client work together to determine the appropriate intervention based upon the substance use disorder diagnosis (mild, moderate and severe). A substance user diagnosed with SUD – severe, for example, would not be an appropriate candidate for moderation.
The determination of severity depends upon variables such as medical consequences (i.e. liver damage), legal consequences, relationship and family consequences, psychiatric consequences, etc.
Attendance at programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or other support groups is not a requirement in Client-Driven Focused Therapy.
Scott as Featured In the Media
"Stern finds that 'people with less severe
problems who experience an isolated
[substance related] incident often
benefit more from other interventions
such as individual counseling. They
don't necessarily belong
in rehabs or even AA meetings.
Rather than use the same approach
for everyone,' Stern said, 'we need
to educate [more individuals] about
different interventions to
provide effective outcomes."
Inside Rehab: The Surprising Truth About Addiction Treatment and How to Get Help That Works
by Anne Fletcher, New York Times Best Selling Author, Health and Medical Writer
Following extensive research for her best selling book, Anne Fletcher recommends Scott's treatment practice, noting that
"Scott provides evidence-based treatment for individuals with
substance use disorders and co-occurring problems,
meeting clients according to their stage of readiness
and gearing approaches according to their individual needs."
There is great value in many treatment methods and support systems for addictions, compulsiveness and behavior modification. These alternatives often increase self-esteem, inspire change and benefit the empowered patient.
Beyond substance abuse, addiction professionals need to assess for additional pathology and to empower clients with education about evidence based interventions to address multiple issues.
This includes trauma and PTSD, anxiety, OCD, Attachment/Separation issues, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dissociative disorders and other pathology.
This is a difficult task for the untrained eye because alcohol and other drugs commonly induce psychiatric symptoms. It is also important to be sensitive to the patient's age and developmental stage of life, family history, cultural background, religious beliefs and current life stressors.
For example, a patient who has experienced trauma may habitually self-medicate with alcohol. The treating therapist should discuss the diagnosis of co-occurring disorders, present effective evidence-based treatments and help the patient determine an appropriate course of action. In Client-Driven Focused Therapy, it is the therapist's role to educate clients about diverse evidence-based practices.
Scott has been a source for Gabrielle Glaser's book and related articles about addiction, mental health, women's issues and alternatives to traditional Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and Twelve Step Facilitation. From their collaborations, Glaser writes:
"Scott Stern, a psychotherapist in private
practice in Manhattan, uses new methods
to help patients decide how to change
unhealthy habits themselves.
Stern commented that [the high number
of alcohol related fatalities] highlights
the need for a variety of scientifically
proven treatment options.
We need to put greater effort into
creating more [treatment] choices.”
Her Best-Kept Secret
by Gabrielle Glaser, Author and Award Winning Journalist
This client-friendly approach frequently elicits effective outcomes, a stronger therapeutic alliance and greater client engagement in therapy.
In short, Client-Driven Focused Therapy is a client-friendly approach that cultivates motivation and readiness for change.
Scott on the Growing Opioid Addiction Crisis:
"The Bottom Line"
Hear Psychotherapist and Empowerment Professional, Scott W. Stern Interviewed By CBS News Correspondent, Dr. Max Gomez and Host, Sarah Hiner About the Prescription Drug Addiction Crisis.
Empowering Integrative Addiction Treatment Services:
Abstinence and Harm Reduction
Substance Use Disorders
Outpatient Ambulatory Detoxification
Co-occurring Disorders (Dual Diagnosis)
Poly-substance Use Disorder
Gaming, Internet and Technological Addictions
Addictions Group Therapy