Seema L. Clifasefi (she/her), PhD, MSW

Personal Statement

My research lies at the intersection of substance use, mental health, criminal justice and housing policy, with an emphasis on populations with lived experience of homelessness, substance use and/or involvement in the criminal justice system. Since 2006, I have been part of a collaborative academic and community-based research team evaluating the effects of Housing First, which entails the provision of immediate, permanent, low-barrier, nonabstinence-based housing to individuals with the lived experience of homelessness and alcohol problems.

I am committed to and passionate about social and racial justice and my career path reflects this commitment. My most recent work focuses on the development, evaluation, and dissemination of a comprehensive, multi-dimensional program that aims to improve alcohol, health, and quality of life related outcomes for this population. Ultimately, through my work, I hope to help create positive social change by promoting understanding and compassion across different demographic and socio-economic class systems.


Masters of Social Work, University of Washington, 2017
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, 2003
Bachelor of Science (Distinction in Psychology), University of Washington, 1995

Department Affiliations

Recent Publications

A pilot study of virtual Harm Reduction Talking Circles for American Indian and Alaska Native adults with alcohol use disorder.
(2024 Jun 26)
J Community Psychol
Nelson LA, Shinagawa E, Garza CM, Squetimkin-Anquoe A, Jeffries I, Rajeev V, Taylor EM, Taylor S, Eakins D, Parker ME, Ubay T, King V, Duffing-Romero X, Park S, Saplan S, Clifasefi SL, Lowe J, Collins SE

Safer-use strategies in the context of harm-reduction treatment for people experiencing homelessness and alcohol use disorder.
(2024 Jun 20)
Int J Drug Policy 129(): 104448
Alawadhi YT, Shinagawa E, Taylor EM, Jackson C, Fragasso A, Howard M, Fan L, Kolpikova E, Karra S, Frohe T, Clifasefi SL, Duncan MH, Collins SE

Commentary: Similarities and Differences Between Harm-Reduction and Substitute Addiction-- Implications for the Health Professions.
(2024 Mar)
Eval Health Prof 47(1): 75-80
Sussman S, Sinclair DL, Clifasefi SL, Collins SE

Dual study describing patient-driven harm reduction goal-setting among people experiencing homelessness and alcohol use disorder.
(2021 Jun)
Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 29(3): 261-271
Fentress TSP, Wald S, Brah A, Leemon G, Reyes R, Alkhamees F, Kramer M, Taylor EM, Wildhood M, Frohe T, Duncan MH, Clifasefi SL, Collins SE

Combining behavioral harm-reduction treatment and extended-release naltrexone for people experiencing homelessness and alcohol use disorder in the USA: a randomised clinical trial.
(2021 Apr)
Lancet Psychiatry 8(4): 287-300
Collins SE, Duncan MH, Saxon AJ, Taylor EM, Mayberry N, Merrill JO, Hoffmann GE, Clifasefi SL, Ries RK

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