Professor John Kelly

Prof John Kelly, Professor of Addiction Medicine



BS Psychology (Summa Cum Laude), PhD Clinical Psychology
Pre-doctoral Clinical Fellow Brown University, Post-doctoral Fellow Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies

Harvard's First Professor in Addiction Medicine

Prof Kelly is Harvard University’s first Professor in Addiction Medicine. Prof Kelly is President of the American Psychological Association Society of Addiction Psychology and Associate Editor for the journals Addiction and the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.


Prof Kelly was founder and director of the Recovery Research Institute at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Program Director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service and associate director of the Center for Addiction Medicine at MGH.
He has served as a consultant to US federal agencies such as the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the national Institutes of Health (NIH); to non-Federal institutions, such as the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation; and internationally to foreign governments.
He is the Elizabeth R Spallin Associate Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School, the first endowed Professorship in the field of addiction medicine at Harvard, Dr Kelly has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, and chapters in the field of addiction.
His clinical and research work has focused on addiction treatment and the recovery process which has included specific research on the effectiveness of mutual-help groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, as adjuncts to formal care. His additional research endeavours have focused on the translation and implementation of evidence-based practice, addiction and criminal justice, addiction treatment theories and mechanisms of action, and reducing stigma associated with addiction. He is a licensed clinical psychologist actively working with individuals and families with alcohol and other drug use disorders.
With over 20 years experience as an addiction therapist, Dr Kelly uses clinical assessment and measurement to accurately assess the nature, scope, severity and degree of impairment related to alcohol and other drug problems. His therapeutic approach is to provide evidence-based treatment and support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address recovery and personal life challenges. 
Prof Kelly integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalised approach tailored to each client. With compassion and understanding, he works with each individual to help them build on their strengths and attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplishing in their change process.