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Marilyn Freimuth, Ph.D. - Fielding Graduate University. Santa Barbara, CA, US

Marilyn Freimuth, Ph.D.

Associate Faculty - Clinical Psychology | Fielding Graduate University

Santa Barbara, CA, UNITED STATES

Author of two groundbreaking books providing tools for recognizing substance and behavioral addictions



Marilyn Freimuth, Ph.D. Publication Marilyn Freimuth, Ph.D. Publication



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Dr. Marilyn Freimuth is an author, consultant, and psychotherapist as well as the Program Director and Professor of Clinical Psychology at Fielding Graduate University, where she specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of addictions.

She received her PhD from Clark University and completed her clinical training at Yale University. Educated as a generalist in the field of psychology, she brings an integrated perspective to her work on addiction. She is the author of two groundbreaking books that provide tools for recognizing substance and behavioral addictions (e.g. gambling, Internet use, sex, shopping, etc.) in their early stages. Knowing these subtle early warning signs can help limit the enormous costs of addictions and make effective treatment more achievable. The highly touted text Hidden Addictions is written for medical and health care professionals. Addicted? Recognizing Destructive Behavior Before It’s Too Late, written for the lay audience, allows friends, family and any person who works with the public (e.g., lawyers, teachers, ministers) to know when a person is addicted and how to support that person to change.

Dr. Freimuth is an engaging public speaker known for her clarity, humor, and dynamic approach to topics ranging from substance and behavioral addictions to how the rules of therapy can improve home and professional life.

A long time resident of New York, she now lives with her family in Santa Barbara, CA and maintains a private practice in New York City. She is a founding member of the Alonso Center designed to keep “talk therapies” alive in the age of managed care.

Industry Expertise (5)


Health and Wellness

Mental Health Care

Training and Development


Areas of Expertise (9)

Addiction Assessment

Provider-Patient Relationships

Addiction Treatment Within the Context of Psychotherapy

Thinking About Theories : Finding Your Clinical Orientation

Facilitating Addiction Recognition in Mental Health Care and Health Care Settings

Integration of Addiction Treatment and Psychotherapy Factors

Individual and Couples Psychotherapy

Motivating Change of Addictive Behaviors

Disorders Co-Occurring With Addictions

Accomplishments (3)

Study Grant (professional)

(1982) Awarded by the Mellon Foundation.

Psychology Fellow (professional)

Awarded by Yale University, 1978-1979.

Graduate Fellowship (professional)

Awarded by Clark University, 1974-1978.

Education (3)

Clark University: PhD, Psychology 1980

Clark University: MA, Psychology 1976

University of Minnesota: BA, Psychology & Humanities 1973

Affiliations (3)

  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Licensed Psychologist, New York and Wisconsin
  • Certificate of Proficiency in the Treatment of Alcohol and Other Psychoactive Substance Use Disorders

Media Appearances (3)

How to know If You're Addicted to Exercise

The Huffington Post  print


But in some women, double-dipping is the socially acceptable precursor to (and cover for) exercise addiction. "The real crux of the issue is why you're exercising, not the number of hours you spend," says Freimuth. "For some, working out two hours a day can be a sign of a problem, whereas others can do twice that and be fine. As with other addictions, there are psychological and biological components."...

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The Seduction of Addiction: A Runner's Confession

Pacific Standard  online


The next phase approaches the doorstep of addiction. It’s what Marilyn Freimuth et al, who have cogently laid out this typology, call “problematic exercise.” Leading researchers on the topic tellingly explore this phase using the psychological criteria for substance dependence. Much like a problem drinker who keeps drinking despite having had enough alcohol to alleviate stress, the problematic exerciser will pile on the miles despite having already met the articulated goal...

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Five Ways Therapists Are Clueless About Addiction

The Fix  online


One of the sad truths about addiction treatment is that many of the most talented clinicians—the licensed psychologists and social workers that most people seek out when they have mental health concerns—don’t treat addictions. And, worse, this state of affairs exists because many of these clinicians fail to identify addictive disorders in their clients, even when fairly obvious signs and symptoms confront them...

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Event Appearances (3)

Identifying and Treating Your Patients' (often unrecognized) Addictions

American Psychological Association Clinician's Corner  US


Behavioral Addictions: Disease or Choice

Medicine and Humanities Consultation: Grand Rounds and Workshop  Texas A&M's Scott and White Hospital, Temple, TX


Addiction as a continuum of disorders: Implications for Treatment

Cambridge Health Alliance CE Program  Boston, MA


Articles (10)

A new look for addiction training in psychology programs: Comment on Dimoff, Sayette, & Norcross (2017).

American Psychologist, 73 (5), 693-694. doi: 10.1037/amp0000284

Freimuth, M. (2018).


Mental health provider’s evaluation and treatment of alcohol misuse and substance dependence.

The Addictions Newsletter, Spring-Summer, 17-18.

Barreca, L., Brownfield, C. R., Castillo, M., & Freimuth, M. (2013).


Commentary on harassment and confidentiality.

Annals of Behavioral Science and Medical Education, 18 (1), 45-6.

Freimuth, M. (2012).


Clarifying exercise addiction: Differential diagnosis, co-occurring disorders, and phases of addiction.

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 8, 3399-3415. doi:10.3390/ijerph8083399

Freimuth, M., Moniz, S., & Kim, S. (2011).


A Framework for Specificity of the Addictions.

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 8, 3399-3415; doi:3390/iejerph8083399

Sussman, S., Leventhal, A., Bluthenthal, R. N., Freimuth, M., Forster, M. & Ames, S. L. (2011).


The “new look” in addiction assessment: Implications for medical education.

Annals of Behavioral Science and Medical Education, 16, 30-39.

Freimuth, M. (2010).


Another missed opportunity: Recognition of alcohol use problems by mental health providers.

Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 45, 405-409.

Freimuth, M. (2008).

Brief of this article presented in Clinician’s Research Digest (2009). Don’t ask, Don’t’ Tell, 27, 1.

A self-scoring exercise on APA style and research Language.

Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology Online.

Freimuth, M. (2008, updated:2010).


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Expanding the scope of dual diagnosis and co- addictions: Behavioral addictions.

Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery, 3-4, 137-160.

Freimuth, M., Waddell, M., Stannard, J. Kelley, S., Kipper, A., Richardson, A., Szuromi, I. (2008).


Routine Screenings: Expanding Psychologists’ Role In Preventing Substance Use Disorders

The Addictions Newsletter, 14, 14-15.

Freimuth, M. (2007)