The True Recovery Team
Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)
Dr. Mark Smith is a psychologist that serves as a primary therapist for True Recovery. Dr. Smith’s expertise is in using attachment theory to treat addiction and mental health issues. This approach stems from his doctoral work “The Treatment of Opiate Addiction Using Attachment Theory” that also included writing a treatment manual on how to employ attachment in addiction treatment. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Vanguard University and his master’s and doctoral degrees at Azusa Pacific University. He completed his post-doctoral training specializing in chemical dependency at Sure Haven in Costa Mesa.
Credentials: Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)
Education: Vanguard University, BA in psychology, graduated Summa Cum Laude. Azusa Pacific University, MA and Psy.D. in clinical psychology.
About Dr. Smith
After graduate school, Dr. Smith did not know that he would work in the field of addiction as he had other primary interests in psychology. However, Dr. Smith’s first job working in the addiction field began at BHC of Alhambra as the chemical dependency counselor. This is where he fell in love with working with those who struggle with addiction. Because his dissertation wasn’t complete at that time he began to explore aspects of addiction more in depth and discovered attachment theory. This inspired him to switch his initial doctoral work to developing a treatment manual to treat opiate addiction using attachment theory. Reviewers of his treatment manual informed Dr. Smith that his manual should be used for more than just opiate addiction. Dr. Smith expanded his expertise to be able to work with all substances including what are known as process addictions (e.g., love, sex, work, spending, etc.). Additionally, Dr. Smith’s attachment work readily crosses over to mental health struggles to which he uses his approach to treat dual diagnoses (i.e., addiction and mental health). Dr. Smith’s groups on attachment and addiction became very popular while at Sure Haven to the point that when he would come to the various houses of Sure Haven clients would tell staff, “I want to be in that attachment doctor’s group.” This continued when he transitioned to Altus Treatment Center and has continued at True Recovery.
Why did you choose to work at True Recovery?
Ultimately, I enjoy helping those that struggle with addiction and helping them to develop a deeper understanding of the role addiction has played in their lives. As well, people who struggle with addiction are humans first, not addicts. And humans are important to me. True’s structure, environment, leadership, and vision resonated with me and I felt that I could contribute to these as a part of the team.