Shannon Dunn

Clinical Associate Professor

Clinical teaching expert, focusing on all levels of mental health, including treatment settings and outpatient programs.

Media Contact
Shannon Dunn
Phone:  +1 310.529.8011
Rank:  Clinical Teaching
Department:  Adult Mental Health and Wellness
Assignment:  Ground

Shannon Dunn

Clinical Associate Professor

Clinical teaching expert, focusing on all levels of mental health, including treatment settings and outpatient programs.

Media Contact


Shannon Dunn, PhD, LCSW, CRADC has been on the clinical teaching faculty since 2003. She has 17 years of experience teaching foundational and advanced clinical courses in the Mental Health concentration in Master of Social Work programs in Los Angeles and Chicago, and more than 33 years of clinical experience working with people who have been diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, personality disorders and severe addictions. Dr. Dunn has worked in all levels of mental health treatment settings, including state psychiatric hospitals, acute inpatient facilities, residential treatment programs, intensive outpatient programs and private practice, where she helped people struggling with depression, anxiety, personality disorders and addiction. She also has more than 10 years of experience in emergency psychiatric settings in Chicago and downtown Los Angeles. She received her Bachelor of Science from The University of Evansville (1988) and both her MSW (1993) and PhD (2002) in Clinical Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago. Dr. Dunn is the Coordinator of the Systems of Recovery from Mental Illness sub-concentration, and Lead Instructor for two severe mental illness and addiction recovery practice courses. She has served as chair of Mental Health Concentration and Lead Instructor for psychiatric DSM diagnosis course, Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention courses. She enjoys teaching and practicing principles of the recovery model and strengths-based social work. Her courses are guided by learner-centered teaching methods coupled with multimedia technology, expert guest speakers and field trips. In 2008, Dr. Dunn received the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work’s Jane Addams Teacher of the Year Award.


Loyola University Chicago

PhD 2002

Loyola University Chicago

MSW 1993

University of Evansville

BS 1988

Area of Expertise

  • Mental Illness
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance Abuse
  • Personality Disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Clinical Practice
  • Supervision

Industry Experience

  • Health Care - Services
  • Health Care - Facilities
  • Mental Health Care
  • Writing and Editing
  • Research
  • Education/Learning
  • Health and Wellness
  • Health Care - Providers

Research Interest

  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse


Jane Addams Award for Professional Leadership
Awarded by USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work (2008)

Articles & Publications

Healing the Distress of Psychosis: Listening with Psychotic Ears | Oxford University Press

Shannon Dunn
Even among mental health clinicians, the communications of individuals experiencing psychosis have historically been considered mysterious, bizarre, and invalid. These judgmental, inaccurate interpretations and accusatory attitudes can cause iatrogenic trauma, a significant obstacle to recovery. Healing the Distress of Psychosis focuses on practice-based and evidence-informed interventions to effectively understand and communicate with people who are experiencing psychotic symptoms. The text thoughtfully describes the experience of psychosis, as well as the unique intervention method of fostering the therapeutic relationship; and the psychotic thought process from neurological, linguistic, and existential-psychological perspectives. Mental health professionals, individuals with lived psychotic experiences, and their family members and loved ones will find this book to be a strong and accurate voice that highlights the past and present disappointments in mainstream public mental health treatment, while delivering hope in creating a secure, self-determined life.


An Ecosystemic Perspective in the Treatment of Post-traumatic Stress and Substance Use Disorders in Veterans | Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions

2012 This article reviews the prevalence of co-occurring posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUDs) in the veteran population. Recommendations regarding how to better understand, engage, and retain veterans with PTSD/SUDs in treatment are presented through an ecological perspective that takes into account the multiple systems and worldviews, including culture, ethnicity, family, and military culture, that are transacting with the individual. A case example illustrates the multifaceted approach that the authors feel is necessary to increase treatment participation and retention with military clients. This article can be useful for both civilian social work clinicians and those working in military or veteran treatment settings.



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