Addiction Training in Clinical Psychology: Are We Keeping up With the Rising Epidemic?

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Abstract

Addiction has emerged as a serious public health crisis. Clinical psychology as a hub science has a long-standing interest in addiction and is particularly well suited to offer multifaceted treatment to those struggling with substance use disorders. To examine how well clinical psychology training is addressing this proliferation of addiction-related problems, we surveyed the directors of clinical training at all APA-accredited U.S. clinical psychology doctoral programs on 7 occasions between 1999 and 2013. The number of clinical programs rose from 181 to 237 programs across the years, with at least 95% response at each wave of data collection. Results indicated that less than 40% of programs had even 1 faculty member studying addiction, and less than 1 third offered any specialty clinical training in addiction. Results also revealed that both the percentage of programs reporting any faculty studying addiction and the percentage of programs offering specialty clinics in addiction have not increased over the 14-year period. We argue that clinical psychology training must bolster its focus on addiction research and practice.

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