HARM LESS is a lay-led, free-of-charge support and informational group for anyone who has been negatively affected by a loved one's drinking or drug use. HARM LESS relies on evidence-based, scientifically proven strategies to help reduce the negative impact of your loved one's addiction. Whether you are a friend or family member, spouse, partner, husband, wife, mother, father, son, daughter, brother sister or anything else you are welcome.
HARM LESS offers support and information to help you reduce the harmful effects of a loved ones drinking on your life. You are not powerless and you are not alone. There are always steps which you can take to change your life for the better.
Get Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading, and Threatening.
Robert J. Meyers Ph. D., Brenda L. Wolfe Ph.D.
How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol
Kenneth Anderson (Author), G. Alan Marlatt PhD (Preface), Patt Denning PhD (Introduction)
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HARM LESS AND AL-ANON?
Unlike Al-Anon, HARM LESS does not require an admission of powerlessness and a reliance on a "Higher Power" to resolve your problems. HARM LESS is a purely secular approach which relies on neither divine intervention nor divine revelation. Instead, HARM LESS relies on evidence-based, scientifically verified approaches to personal and behavioral change such as Harm Reduction, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Motivational Interviewing techniques. Far from seeking an admission of powerlessness, HARM LESS seeks to empower people to change their lives for the better by arming them with the tools to do so.
HARM LESS believes that your first priority is to reduce tha harms caused by your loved one's alcohol or drug use. We recognize that change is often incremental and takes place with small steps. Therefore we believe in supporting every positive change. BETTER IS BETTER!
IS IT POSSIBLE TO CHANGE ANOTHER PERSON'S BEHAVIOR?
Sometimes it is possible to change another person's behavior and sometimes it is not. Some techniques are more successful for changing another person's behavior than others are. The most successful strategies are modeled on something called "Motivational Interviewing." The strategies which are most likely to backfire and cause situations to get worse than before are based on confrontation.
However, some people will not change no matter what you do. In this case it is necessary to decide whether to tolerate the behavior or to terminate the relationship. Cognitive behavioral Techniques can give you the strength to either tolerate the behavior or the strength to terminate the relationship if that is your choice. HARM LESS will always support you in your own individual choice of a goal to reduce the harm that a loved one's drinking is causing in your life, whether your goal is to change that person's behavior, to tolerate it better, or to end the relationship entirely.
A description of how to apply Motivational Interviewing techniques to change a loved one's behavior can be found here:
HOW TO CHANGE YOUR SPOUSE'S DRINKING
YOU ARE NOT POWERLESS!
You always have the power to choose one of the following goals to reduce the harm:
- Take steps to reduce harm and insure safety
- Use evidence based strategies to try to change the loved one's behavior
- Learn to better tolerate the loved one's behavior with CBT
- End the relationship with the loved one
You have the power to choose and to implement your goals. You may pursue more than one goal at once.
CBA - COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS
A CBA can be a great tool to help you to decide if it is better to end the relationship or to work at making changes. This involves writing out pros and cons. Get out four sheets of paper. Write down the pros of changing the relationship on the firs sheet and the cons on the second sheet. Then on the third sheet write out the pros of ending the relationship and on the fourth write out the cons. This can be a great tool to help you to decide your choice of a goal.
The HARM LESS Blog
The HARM LESS Email group
HAMS Harm Reduction For Alcohol
How To Change Your Spouse's Drinking
What To Do If Your Spouse Won't Change His Drinking
How To Be Supportive Of A Spouse Who Is Practicing Harm Reduction
HARM LESS - an Al Anon Alternative on Facebook
HARM LESS is not associated with Al-Anon, CODA (Co-Dependents Anonymous), ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics), or any other 12 step group.