Elizabeth Wolfson, PhD, LCSW

Chair, MA in Clinical Psychology program


Elizabeth Wolfson, PhD, LCSW is the Chair of the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology Program at Antioch University Santa Barbara. Dr. Wolfson received her PhD in Clinical Social Work from New York University School of Social Work. Her experience includes 30 years in clinical practice and 16 years as an administrator in social service agencies. She has been teaching for over 26 years, including 16 years at AUSB and 10 years at Columbia University School of Social Work in New York. She has a strong background and interest in psychodynamic, humanistic-existential, narrative, and systemic theories. Her clinical approach is integrative and systemically oriented.

Dr. Wolfson’s professional accomplishments prior to coming to AUSB include the creation of an innovative gang violence intervention program pairing at-risk youth with Holocaust survivors. She was Project Associate in the production of two films in collaboration with UCSB Department of Film and Media Studies, screened at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2006 and 2007.

Dr. Wolfson was a co-founder of the pioneering Santa Barbara Village, a membership organization supporting independent living for seniors. She has developed a specialization in Healthy Aging at AUSB which garnered Antioch University Santa Barbara the 2016 CAMFT (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists), award for Outstanding School of the Year. She has presented nationally and internationally on a range of topics including: Gender Issues In Psychotherapy; Diversity and Dialogue Through the Arts, Practicing Poetically: Harnessing the Essential Magic of Language In Psychotherapy; The Secrets of Healthy Aging; The Road Not Taken: Mining Nostalgia for the Riches of Mid-life; and Reading, Writing and Winnicott: Reconstructing the Story of ‘I’ in the ‘Good Enough’ Space.

Her publications include: Practicing Poetically: A Client-Centered Multi Theoretical Response to Trauma; The Fee in Social Work: Ethical Dilemmas for Practitioners; and Holocaust Survivors and Gang Members: An Encounter Transforming Participants’ Attitudes Towards Vengeance and Forgiveness. She also has published articles on Spiritual Psychology including: Stepping Towards Darkness: The Enlightened Path Towards Healthy Aging; Hiding in Plain Sight: Uncovering Richness Past Midlife; and What Does it Mean to Give Away Power in Relationship.

In 2003, Dr. Wolfson was named Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Santa Barbara Chapter, and in 2006, she received the Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies Kovod Award for Excellence in Media. In 2011, she received the Intergenerational Effort of the Year Award from AARP and the Central Coast Commission for Seniors for her work in developing the Concentration in Healthy Aging in the MACP Program at AUSB. She received an Award for Excellence in Community Education from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), California Chapter in 2013. Dr. Wolfson served on the Board of NASW as Vice President of Professional Development for 13 years and currently serves on the Board of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Santa Barbara, California Chapter.

In addition to overseeing the Master’s in Clinical Psychology Program at AUSB, Dr. Wolfson maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Santa Barbara.