Substance Use Disorder Psychology

The Substance Use Disorder Psychology specialty at the Graduate School of Professional Psychology is one of the few doctorate programs in the country to offer any coursework in Substance Use Disorder, and it is the only one to offer a full sequence. The specialty at GSPP is led by Dr. Jennifer Tippett. Substance Use Disorder can include varying degrees of excessive use of a substance, including alcohol, tobacco, opioids, cannabis, stimulants, and many others. Various mental health conditions, such as depression, may co-occur along with Substance Use Disorder. We want to put psychology to work and train graduate students to provide exceptional research-based care to individuals struggling with Substance Use Disorder. 


The substance use disorder specialty is strongly based in a harm-reduction model, allowing for nuanced views and understanding of various substances. To this end, the majority of research being conducted by current students involves the use of psychedelic substances as viable treatment options for mental health issues. Current research projects are focused on the use of psilocybin for PTSD, MDMA with couple’s therapy, and the standardization of integration therapy with Ketamine.


Hands-On Experience

In addition to field placements, students have the opportunity to gain clinical training in our community-based clinics. 

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patient with therapist

Specialty Structure

Students who choose to pursue specialty training in the Substance Use Disorder specialty at GSPP will complete a four-course sequence including:

  • Foundations and Theories in Substance Use Disorder
  • Neurobiology of Attachment, Trauma, and Addiction
  • Advanced Treatment of Substance Use Disorders
  • Behavioral Addictions

Students can also gain field experience in Substance Use Disorders in a variety of settings including inpatient and outpatient sites. Dr. Tippett also has advanced training in the research and use of psychedelics as possible therapeutic aids, and oversees student research on that topic.


Colorado OUD/SUD Training Program

We are excited to offer a grant funded opportunity for a PsyD field placement specializing in Opiate Use Disorder (OUD)/Substance Use Disorder (SUD) through our COST program.

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