Doug Polcin, EdD, MFT
Douglas L. Polcin, EdD, MFT, is a Program Director at the Public Health Institute. His research and teaching interests include sober living houses, peer helping, motivational interviewing, HIV risk behaviors, criminal justice mandated treatment, and the roles of coercion and confrontation in treatment entry and outcome.
Dr. Polcin has been an adjunct faculty member at John F. Kennedy University-Extension and UC Berkeley-Extension and has taught a variety of courses on alcohol and drug abuse. He has been a principal investigator on multiple studies funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), including seven grants studying sober living houses and three studying motivational interviewing interventions. In September of 2017 he was awarded a 5-year grant by NIDA to study social environment and neighborhood influences on outcomes of persons living in sober living residences.
Before joining PHI, Dr. Polcin was a Research Psychologist at San Francisco's Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, where he served as principal investigator of an NIAAA funded grant assessing “Coercion to Enter Treatment from Probation Officers.” Dr. Polcin is a licensed MFT and since 1979 he has worked as a clinician, supervisor and administrator in a variety of substance abuse and mental health treatment programs.
Dr. Polcin completed a doctorate in counseling psychology at Northeastern University and a master's in clinical psychology at San Francisco State University. His clinical training and professional work has included positions in the Cambridge Hospital Department of Psychiatry in Massachusetts and San Francisco General Hospital, University of California, San Francisco.
Evidence Based Sober Living Houses: A Multi-level Analysis
This ongoing research is looking at Sober Living Houses and how house and neighborhood characteristics impact resident outcomes. Evaluation and outcome data for 600 residents across 40 sober living houses in the LA County area will be collected and analyzed. Study completion is expected in 2022.
Randomized Trial of Intensive MI to Improve Drinking Outcomes Among Women
This project focuses on outpatient treatment for women with alcohol problems and is designed to assess the efficacy of intensive motivational interviewing (IMI). The study will recruit 220 adult women, each randomized to one of two treatment types with services provided by licensed therapists and practitioners. The study will also look at effectiveness over time, following participants up to a year after their treatment concludes. PI: Douglas L. Polcin