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Betsy Phillips - USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Los Angeles, CA, US

Betsy Phillips Betsy Phillips

Clinical Associate Professor of Social Work Field Education | USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work


Expert in intervention training, focusing on co-occurring disorders in community mental health and residential treatment settings.


ELIZABETH (BETSY) PHILLIPS joined the faculty in 2011. She has previously worked with Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work professor John Brekke on a National Institute of Mental Health-funded project concerned with merging research knowledge and practice wisdom. As part of this five-year study, she trained Master of Social Work interns on numerous evidence-based interventions, including motivational interviewing, problem solving therapy, seeking safety, and illness management and recovery. Phillips is also certified to practice interpersonal psychotherapy and errorless learning. Her clinical experience has been with adults with co-occurring disorders in community mental health and residential treatment settings. In her current role as developer and co-leader of evidence-based intervention trainings, she helps to advance the School of Social Work’s plan to teach all MSW students at least two evidence-based interventions by graduation.

Education (3)

University of Southern California, School of Social Work: PhD 2001

University of Southern California: MSW, Social Work 1995

California State University, Los Angeles: BA 1991

Areas of Expertise (4)

Motivational Interviewing

Community Mental Health

Adults and Healthy Aging

Illness Management and Recovery

Industry Expertise (8)

Health Care - Services

Health Care - Facilities

Health and Wellness



Writing and Editing

Mental Health Care

Health Care - Providers


Research Articles & Publications (1)

Implementation practice and implementation research: A report from the field

Research on Social Work Practice,

2009 The Interventions and Practice Research Infrastructure Program (IPRISP) funding mechanism was introduced by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to bridge the gap between the worlds of services research and the usual care practice in the community. The goal was to build infrastructure that would provide a platform for research to establish the evidence base for improving mental health care available in diverse communities. This is done by providing support for researchers and community mental health providers to establish working and sustainable partnerships to make evidence-based mental health services available and acceptable for people in need of mental health care. In this article, we (a) present the nature of one IPRISP and its attempt to foster science-to-service and service-to-science interchange; (b) discuss two models of implementation practice for human service agencies, the more common ‘‘external specialist purveyor model’’ and the ‘‘embedded generalist purveyor model’’ that is emerging from our IPRISP experience; and (c) we address our emerging practice approach to two issues that are critical in implementation practice and research: local adaptation of evidence-based interventions, and the use of client outcome data in usual care environments to inform clinical practice decisions.

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