Jennifer Harris, Ph.D.


Specialty: Clinical and Forensic Psychology

Harris, Jennifer

Contact information

Dept: Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
Room: GWP 229
Phone: 253-692-4775


  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Seattle Pacific University, 2012.
  • B.S., Psychology, Eastern Washington University, 2006.


I received my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in forensic psychology from Seattle Pacific University. I completed my internship at Utah State Hospital as the Forensic Psychology Intern. My forensic experience has included conducting adult and adolescent competency to stand trial evaluations and mental state evaluations for Washington and Utah courts. Additionally, I have clinical experience treating serious and persistent mental illness with incarcerated adolescents as well as adult inpatient hospital populations. More specifically, I am trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder.

I started at University of Washington Tacoma as a Full-Time lecturer in the Fall of 2012. I currently teach for the psychology major in the Division of Social, Behavioral, and Human Sciences. Previously, I taught for the psychology department at Eastern Washington University at Bellevue College for three years.

My research has primarily been in the treatment of adolescent substance use outcomes. I developed a manualized-based urge surfing treatment as aftercare for an evidence-based school intervention. I am especially interested in the effects of mindfulness. I have also done research in a human psychophysiology lab for the identification of ADHD symptoms in adults.


My research is dedicated to the treatment and sustainability of adolescent substance use outcomes. Project READY was created by David G. Stewart and is sponsored by Seattle Pacific University. READY was originally grant funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Prevention Services Branch, to test the effectiveness of an in-school intervention for youth who are using and abusing substances. Project READY utilizes Motivational Interviewing, Personalized Feedback, and Relapse Prevention. I expanded the manualized based treatment to include urge surfing which has found to be efficacious in managing alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use cravings. Since 2006, I have served in various roles for Project READY including principal investigator, project coordinator, and interventionist. Project READY is currently serving high schools in the Bellevue and Tacoma Public School Districts.


Chemical Dependency and Forensic Psychology are my clinical and research interests. I have taught a variety of courses, seminars, and presentations on these topics.

I have primarily taught Research Methods, Personality Theory, Abnormal Psychology, Social Psychology, and Introduction to Psychology while at UWT. In addition to these courses, I have previously taught Statistics, Scientific Principles of Psychology, and Tests and Measurements.

I have taught several seminars including: Graduate Preparation Seminar (10 hours), Competency to Stand Trial and Mental Retardation (2 hours), Stages of Consciousness (Sleep) Seminar (10 hours), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (2 hours), You Can Sleep When You are Dead (1 hour), and Mindfulness in the Classroom (2 hour).

Selected Publications

  • Stewart, D. G., Welton, S., Arger, C., Effinger, J., Serafini, K., Harris, J. S., & Helfer, M. (2011). The utility of a developmentally-based quadrant model of co-occurring substance use and mood disorders classification in adolescents. Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 7, 130-140. DOI: 10.1080/15504263.2011.596454


  • American Psychological Association
  • Tacoma Public Schools
  • Seattle Pacific University
  • Genesis Project
  • Charity Water
  • Eastlake Community Church

Professional Service

I am passionate about advising and mentoring students to pursue graduate degrees in the Social, Behavioral, and Human Sciences. I supervise 13 UWT students in research and treatment of adolescent substance use outcomes. I am the faculty advisor for the Vietnamese Student Association and Psychology Club.