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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work

Scott R. Petersen

Clinical Assistant Professor


  • intersection of trauma, mental health and substance use
  • harm reduction
  • motivational interviewing
  • clinical supervision
  • Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE)


In addition to his faculty appointment at GSSW, Clinical Assistant Professor Scott R. Petersen is a faculty member at the Center for Social Innovation in Boston, MA, and a therapist for an NIH-funded study at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, investigating the efficacy of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE). He also maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Denver, CO. Petersen has been working with people affected by trauma, mental illness and substance use for more than 20 years as an outreach worker, case manager, psychotherapist, clinical supervisor and program director. While working with Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights in Chicago, IL, he served as a trainer and consultant for the Iraq Integrated Torture Treatment Project. He completed addictions counseling training through Chicago's Grant Hospital Clinical Training Program for Addictions Counseling.

Petersen is currently a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and a participant in the National Council for Behavioral Health Trauma-Informed Learning Community. A GSSW adjunct professor since 2011, he received the school's 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award for Adjunct Faculty. Prior to teaching at GSSW, Petersen was a lecturer at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, and he held several positions with Denver-based nonprofit organization, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, between 2010 and 2013.