The Wright Institute Recovery Clinic (WIRC)

The Wright Institute Recovery Clinic (WIRC)

The Wright Institute Recovery Clinic (WIRC) was founded in 2002 in partnership with Options Recovery Services, as an extension of The Wright Institute's mission to address community and societal needs. The practicum is designed to help beginning clinicians learn the essentials of clinical practice supporting a high-risk population in early and ongoing recovery from addiction, as well as those contemplating recovery. Student clinicians develop the basic skills and knowledge required for the competent provision of psychotherapy in an outpatient community clinic treating patients with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders.
The WIRC receives most referrals for individual therapy from Options, but also offers treatment to Medi-Cal patients with moderate to severe psychological issues and addictions, and to others in the community with co-occurring disorders. In addition to providing therapy at our outpatient clinic, WIRC student therapists co-facilitate substance abuse treatment groups alongside Options counselors, learning in an apprentice role on-site at Options.

Practicum students provide the following services:

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Co-facilitation of Options substance abuse treatment groups
  • Intake assessment
  • Treatment planning
  • Post-substance abuse treatment follow-up care

Practicum students participate in the following training activities:

  • Didactic Seminar training (1.5 hours / week): Students begin by developing a fundamental understanding of addiction. Students learn clinical assessment and intake, including diagnosis, mental status, psychosocial interviewing, clinical writing, and documentation. We then explore various treatment considerations and topics relevant to our population. As the training year progresses, students gradually learn a more nuanced approach to treating co-occurring disorders. The winter quarter didactic training consists of a Chemical Dependency Seminar that meets California's psychology licensing requirement.
  • Clinic Conference (1.5 hours / week): Group supervision addressing clinical work within the context of the WIRC training. Students learn to present their work, consult on one another's cases, and incorporate the various concepts they are learning into the treatment of their patients.
  • Individual supervision (1 hour / week): Students meet for weekly individual supervision with therapists in the community. Supervision usually occurs in the office of the supervisor.

The theoretical orientation is highly integrative, among other approaches, applying psychodynamic thinking to the medical model.


The WIRC offers low-fee, sliding scale treatment and accepts Medi-Cal for those patients authorized by Alameda County. Patients who are current clients of Options Recovery Services are seen at the WIRC pro-bono when not covered under Medi-Cal.

Areas of focus:

  • Establishing and Sustaining Recovery
  • Trauma
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Interpersonal / Relational Issues Impacted by Addiction
  • Employment / Educational Difficulties
  • Transition / Loss


Calla Belkin, PsyD
Program Director

Deanna van Ligten, PsyD
Director of Clinical Services