Today is Friday, Sep. 22, 2017

Department of

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience

Fellowships Program

Addiction-Specific Psychotherapy Training


The American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) encourages Addiction Psychiatry Fellowships to provide “experience in the use of various psychotherapeutic modalities involved in the ongoing management of the chronic substance abusing patient, including individual psychotherapies (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy), couples therapy, family therapy, group therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, and relapse prevention therapy.” 

Moreover, the ACGME outlines suportive and psychodynamically-oriented approaches as being valued in training as well.

The University of Cincinnati (UC) Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship trains only graduates of 4-year ACGME-accredited psychiatry residencies, wherein very intense and formalized psychotherapy training and experience is provided. The UC Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Goals and Objectives support training so Fellows can demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to conduct clinically appropriate and effective psychotherapy in relation to addiction-related issues, consistent with the general goals and objectives of this training program.

Fellows learn how to screen and select patients for various forms of psychotherapy by addressing issues such as stage of change, duration of addiction remission, psychological mindedness, object relations, ego strength, motivation to engage in therapy as a vehicle for change, and recovery support system.  The Fellow will demonstrate proficiency with each of the following types of psychotherapy as observed in supervision: 

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Motivational interviewing (MI)
  • Relapse prevention therapy
  • Optional: 12-step facilitation, BRENDA, Supportive, Family, Group, Couples


To fulfill these Goals and Objectives, the fellowship provides a psychotherapy training experience for patients with substance use disorders, as well as a supporting set of didactics. Such therapy is generally characterized as brief, focal (choosing a specific focus to work on in the therapy), and time-limited (typically no more than 8-12 sessions in duration).

Fellows will screen patients for such therapy, conduct therapy, and seek supervision on the course of therapy from a designated psychotherapy supervisor.

Supervision generally involves face-face sessions between supervisor and fellow, on a regular basis.  This may also include recording therapy sessions for later use in supervision.  Fellows complete readings as assigned by the psychotherapy supervisors.

Fellows are required to perform a certain number of therapies, as outlined in her/his Procedure Logger via MedHub software.

Addiction Research/Medicine Fellows are approached similarly, but with far more limited psychotherapy skillsets expected. These fellows receive didactics, co-facilitate group psychotherapy and also conduct more limited individual psychotherapy (MI, supportive, etc.) under a supervisor's supervision. These skills are felt to be central to effective training for non-psychiatry addiction specialist physicians.

Moreover, Cincinnati is home to one of the very top psychoanalytic training programs in the country, the Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Please visit their website to learn more about optional training opportunities including one, two, and five year psychotherapy training experiences.