Addiction Care Psychology Rotation

CeDAR is UCHealth’s premier facility for addiction treatment. We have been located at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado, since our doors opened on October 16, 2005. We offer world-class treatment for substance use and co-occurring psychiatric and medical disorders, and for three years straight, CeDAR has been ranked by Newsweek as the Best Addiction Treatment Center in Colorado. In 2022, it was ranked number two in the nation!

The unique collaboration between UCHealth and the University of Colorado School of Medicine creates the opportunity for an evolving, multidisciplinary treatment team at CeDAR. Our team is comprised of national leaders, clinicians, scholars, and trainees in the areas of Addiction Psychiatry, Addiction Medicine, Psychology, and Counseling and is rounded out by our remarkable Admissions, Spirituality, Fitness, Direct Care and Alumni teams. Our program integrates the science of evidence-based clinical, medical, and pharmacological interventions with the crucial benefits of 12-Step Tradition and milieu therapy to provide our patients with an individualized biopsychosocial-spiritual approach to recovery.

CeDAR psychologists function as clinicians and consultants. We facilitate a variety of group therapies, offer advanced training, conceptualization and clinical intervention, participate in multidisciplinary treatment team meetings, and utilize psychological testing to provide diagnostic clarification and facilitate treatment planning. Our interns get the opportunity to participate in all of this alongside our licensed psychologists.

Training the next generation of addiction professionals, beyond psychologists, is also crucial to our mission. Each year we get the privilege of teaching and working alongside psychology interns, addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry fellows, medical residents and medical students, chaplain residents and nursing and counseling students. 

Specific Training Activities

Group Therapy: The intern will co-facilitate a variety of process and psychoeducational groups throughout the training year. They generally co-facilitate three groups a week, including a group in The Professionals Program at CeDAR, DBT & the 12 Steps, and Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention at some point in the training year. Interns also have the opportunity to participate in the Spirituality Group and a variety of other groups in the residential treatment setting.

Individual Therapy: Interns at CeDAR do not carry a traditional caseload; however, as the year progresses, they have the opportunity to offer specialized individual therapy sessions to clients in the residential treatment setting. This is an opportunity for interns to fine tune their current clinical skill set, learn new interventions specific to substance use disorders, to enhance their abilities to effectively collaborate with the broader team, and support patients with more complex presentations. Interns can learn biofeedback, offer focused practice of DBT and mindfulness-based skills and provide more focused trauma interventions during these sessions.

Multidisciplinary Treatment Teams: The intern will participate in a variety of weekly multidisciplinary treatment teams throughout the course of the year, including the meeting for The Professionals Program at CeDAR and the multi meeting for all staff.

Psychological Assessment: The intern will administer, score, and interpret psychological testing for diagnostically difficult patients with co-occurring substance use, psychiatric, and medical disorders and for professionals with work related conflicts. The psychology intern is expected to complete a minimum of two and a maximum of four full assessment reports each month. Additional brief batteries may also be required. Part of this process includes delivering testing results and case conceptualization to patients and their multidisciplinary team for the purposes of treatment and discharge planning.

**Interns must be at CeDAR on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Detox: Interns can shadow our addiction medicine team for a morning to gain increased understanding of the detox process.

Family Program: Interns can offer support to family members of CeDAR patients and alumni through the Family Program. The specifics of this are determined in collaboration with the Behavioral Health Supervisor.

Gratitude Meeting: The Gratitude Meeting is facilitated by our Alumni Program and happens each year on Thanksgiving. Many CeDAR alumni come to campus to join current patients and staff for a fellowship meeting focused on gratitude.

Presentations: Interns can provide didactic presentations to CeDAR staff and trainees on topics of their expertise. They are also encouraged to attend presentations provided by other staff throughout the training year.

Research: Interns are highly encouraged and offered time, up to a half day, to participate in ongoing research projects occurring at CeDAR and/or in Dr. Ellingson’s research lab. This can focus on writing on a topic of interest or answering specific research questions using available data.

Family Medicine (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Academic Office One

12631 East 17th Avenue

Box F496

Aurora, CO 80045


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