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Rikki Patton, PhD

Contact Information

Rikki Patton

PhD, AAMFT Approved Supervisor, Licensed Independent Marriage and Family Therapist (OH)

Research Professor

Counseling and Family Therapy Department

Rikki Patton, PhD, is the program director for the PhD in couples and family therapy (CFT) program and research professor within the Counseling and Family Therapy department. Prior to joining Drexel, she served as core faculty at another institution for nearly 10 years, where she established her line of research and gained extensive experience with program coordination and grant writing. Patton is a licensed marriage and family therapist (OH) and an AAMFT-approved supervisor.

Patton has a scholarly passion for substance use. It has been well established that addiction is a ‘family disease’, impacting multiple domains of life for those struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) and for their important others. While the literature base examining SUD and recovery processes consistently grows, the explicit application of relational-systemic frameworks for understanding patterns and dynamics related to substance use and recovery is lacking. There also continues to be a dearth of knowledge about how to best prepare our behavioral health workforce to manage the complexities of SUD and family dynamics concurrently, especially within the context of interprofessional collaboration and education. Her research plan is driven by these issues, with a focus on 1) systematically examining substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery using relational-systemic theoretical frameworks and 2) focusing research on interprofessional workforce development related to the intersection of substance use and relational systems.

Faculty Fellowships

Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2012-2013) University of Michigan Substance Use Research Center

Professional Society

• American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (2008 – present)
• National Council on Family Relations (2012 – present)

Selected Publications

  • Patton, R., Chou, J., Zaarur, A., Dang, Y., Katafiasz, H., & Swint, P. (2022). Exploring substance use perceptions among Family Therapy and Counseling trainees upon entering an opioid use disorder treatment training program. International Journal of Systemic Therapy.
  • Sang, J., Patton, R., & Park, I. (2022). "One Size Doesn’t Fit All”: A Qualitative Evaluation of Addiction Treatment from the Perspectives of Individuals in Recovery and Professionals. Substance Use & Misuse.
  • Katafiasz, H., Patton, R., Tefteller, D., & Takeda, M. (2021). Ethical Decision-Making in Marriage and Family Therapy: An Introduction of a New Model. Journal of Systemic Therapies.
  • Patton, R., Tadros, E., & Finney, N. (2020). Exploring alcohol use and social connection among older Latinos: A brief report. The Family Journal.
  • Patton, R. & Weigold, I. K. (2020). Examining Hazardous Alcohol Use and Relational Ethics in a College Student Sample. Journal of American College Health.

Grant Participation

Advertising and Society Quarterly

  • HRSA Opioid Workforce Enhancement Program (Co-PI)
  • HRSA Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (Co-I)
  • SAMSHA Practitioner Education Program (PI)

Research Interests

  • Systemic understanding of substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery across the lifespan
  • Interprofessional education and collaborative models for systemic substance use training and research
  • University of Michigan
    Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2013)
  • The Ohio State University
    PhD (2012)Major: Human Development and Family Science
    Specialization: Couples and Family Therapy
  • The Ohio State University
    MS (2008)
    Major: Human Development and Family Science
  • The Ohio State University
    BS (2005)
    Major: Psychology
  • The Ohio State University
    BA (2005)
    Major: Anthropology