Master of Arts

MA in Clinical Psychology, Addiction and Recovery Specialization



The Addiction and Recovery (A+R) Specialization is a cutting-edge and innovative program that explores substance use and related disorders from a multidimensional perspective. Rather than looking at people who suffer from various addictions from an oversimplified, one-size-fits-all approach, students gain insight into the biological, psychological, sociocultural, political, and systemic causes of addiction, along with effective ways to approach treatment. Training includes the ability to thoroughly assess, conceptualize, diagnose, and develop comprehensive treatment plans, along with the skills required to deliver evidence-based, client-centered interventions with compassion and a deep understanding of the complexity of addiction and recovery.

This degree is offered by AU Los Angeles.


Program Overview

The Addiction and Recovery (A+R) Specialization is the newest specialization offered to students in the Masters in Clinical Psychology program at AULA. It is a rigorous and cutting edge graduate level program that emerged in response to the growing demand for well-trained therapists who are able to effectively work with an ever-expanding population of individuals who suffer from substance use disorders and other addictions. Given the chronic, progressive nature of addiction, in addition to learning traditional approaches, students explore the space that exists for innovative approaches amid shifting treatment paradigms. Coursework builds professional competency by providing tools and experiential learning opportunities that prepare students to graduate with the knowledge, skills, and insight to understand and respond effectively to those whose lives are impacted by addiction.

Degree Requirements

Specialization Courses (17 units)
  • Integrated Treatment of Co-Occurring Disorders (3 units)
  • Understanding and Treating Addiction: Biological Perspectives (3 units)
  • Understanding and Treating Addiction: Psychological Perspectives (3 units)
  • Understanding and Treating Addiction: Socio-Cultural-Political (SCP) Perspectives (3 units)
  • Understanding and Treating Addiction: Systems Perspectives (2 units)
  • A + R Electives (3 units)
Clinical Training:

Hours must be earned working with clients being treated for addictive disorders in an approved addiction treatment setting.

For detailed curriculum and degree requirements, please visit the AULA catalog.

Career Outlook

Many students who complete the Addiction and Recovery (A+R) Specialization work in treatment centers and private practice, while others go on to pursue doctoral studies. Skillful therapists with expertise in understanding and treating addiction are highly sought after, and graduates from this specialization have a reputation for being well-trained in a compassionate and multidimensional approach to working with people whose lives are affected by addiction.

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