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NASSPD 2020 pre-conference clinical workshops

April 2nd, 2020 - The Westin Pittsburgh

Join us at NASSPD's 2020 Pre-conference Clinical Workshops Sessions.

There are 2 ways to attend NASSPD's 2020 pre-conference clinical workshops:

  • 1-day Registration: Includes attendance at the pre-conference clinical workshops, taking place on April 2nd, 2020. 
  • 3-day Registration: Includes attendance at the pre-conference clinical workshops (4/2/20) as well as both days of the 2020 NASSPD Conference (4/3/20 - 4/4/20), comprising of NASSPD's featured presentations and speakers. 
Register Today!

Person Writing on the Notebook

clinical workshops sessions

Session #1: Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP) Workshop

Transference-Focused Psychotherapy for Working with Patients with Borderline and Narcissistic Personality Features

Presented by: Dr. Kenneth Levy, Ph.D.

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

9:00am - 12:30pm

Dr. Kenneth N. Levy is a tenured Associate Professor in the Clinical Area of the Department of Psychology at the Pennsylvania State University, where he directs the Laboratory for the Study of Personality, Psychopathology, and Psychotherapy. At Penn State, he supervises a clinical training practicum emphasizing contemporary assessment and psychotherapy for personality disorders, with a strong focus on Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP). In addition, he teaches undergraduate classes in Introduction to Personality (Honors), Introduction to Clinical Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Senior Seminar, and he coordinates the departmental honors program. Dr. Levy also has a faculty appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University where he taught prior to taking a faculty position at Penn State. At Cornell he is a Senior Faculty Fellow, Steering Committee member, and the Associate Director of Research at the Personality Disorders Institute (PDI) under the direction of Drs. Otto F. Kernberg, John F. Clarkin, and Frank E. Yeomans.

Dr. Levy’s research interests are in attachment theory, personality disorders and psychotherapy process and outcome. His goal is to understand the mechanisms involved in the development and maintenance of personality disorders, with the ultimate goal of developing and studying treatments that directly target these mechanisms. Dr. Levy has authored more than 175 articles and chapters and three books, many in top tier journals. His research has been featured in Newsweek, Scientific American, and on Dr. Drew among other media outlets. He has also has made over 300 conference, colloquia, grand rounds, and workshops presentations.

Dr. Levy’s work has led to a Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression, an early career fellowship from the American Psychoanalytic Association, and early career awards from the Society for Psychotherapy Research and the American Psychological Association Division of Psychotherapy. He was the inaugural winner of the North American Society for the Study of Personality Disorders Mid-Career Award. He is also an honorary member of the American Psychoanalytic Association and on the Scientific Advisory Board Treatment And Research Advocacy for Borderline Personality Disorder (TARA4BPD). Dr. Levy’s research has been funded by grants from diverse funding sources such as the National Institute of Mental Health, the Army Research Institute, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the International Psychoanalytic Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Depression.

Dr. Levy has served as a science advisor to the President of the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsA) and a research consultant to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Psychotherapy Committee, as the Ittelson Fellow to the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP), and as an advisor to former Senator Patrick Kennedy and the Kennedy Forum He is also a member of the Committee on Scientific Activities of the APsA and is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division 12 (Clinical Psychology), 29 (Psychotherapy), and 39 (Psychoanalysis), and the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration (SEPI). In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. Levy maintains a private practice in State College, PA where he works with individuals with personality disorders using contemporary empirically supported treatments, and he consults both nationally and internationally.

Transference-Focused Psychotherapy for Working with Patients with Borderline and Narcissistic Personality Features

Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP) is a comprehensive and ambitious evidence‐based treatment for patients with severe personality disorders such as BPD and NPD. TFP is a modified and manualized treatment based on Otto Kernberg and colleagues’ writings on object relations theory.  Its efficacy has been demonstrated in multiple studies, both regarding symptom change and changes in personality structure and is comparable with other treatments. While based in the psychodynamic tradition, the treatment has important modifications making it of use to general clinicians today working with patients with significant personality disorder pathology.  This presentation will avoid jargon and focus on experience-near language meant to resonate with the attendees at all levels of experience and of various orientations. Clinical vignettes, role plays, and videotaped psychotherapy material will be used throughout. In addition, the research base for TFP will be reviewed.

By the end of the workshop, attendees will be able to explain essential elements TFP model, including: (1) assessment and providing feedback to the patient, (2) setting a collaborative treatment frame and goals, (3) dealing with challenges to the treatment frame and patient suicidality, (4) how to establish and maintain a non-judgmental stance, (5) dealing with intense affects in session, (6) recognizing transference patterns and differentiating the transference from the therapeutic alliance and the real relationship, (7) using one’s own reaction to the patient as information about the patient’s internal state and/or how the patient may affect others, (8) Clarifying the patient’s subjective experience; Tactfully brining into awareness disparate aspects of the patient’s experience, and tactfully helping the patient understand the underlying dynamics that contribute to their experience of themselves and others; and (9) recognizing changes in the patient.  

Session #2: Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Workshop

Working With Emotions in Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Presented by: Dr. Shelley McMain, Ph.D., C.Psych

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

1:30pm - 5:00pm

Dr. Shelley McMain is an Associate Professor and Director of the Psychotherapy, Humanities, and Psychosocial Interventions (PHPI) Division, in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. She graduated with a PhD in Clinical Psychology from York University in 1995. She is also the Head of the Borderline Personality Disorder Clinic, and a Clinician Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Dr. McMain is a Certified Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Clinician with the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification. She is the General Vice-President Elect of the international organization of the Society for Psychotherapy Research. She is an educator and researcher and she has published extensively in high impact scientific journals on DBT and the treatment of borderline personality disorder.

Her work focuses on studying the effectiveness of treatment for borderline personality disorder, emotion dysregulation, suicide and self-harm behaviours as well as the mechanisms of change of psychotherapy. Her research has led to several awards including distinguished research awards from the European Society for the Study of Personality Disorders, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the International Society for Improvement and Teaching of DBT.

Working With Emotions in Dialectical Behavior Therapy

In Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), pervasive emotion dysregulation is theorized to underlie borderline personality disorder and related mental disorders.  The effective delivery of DBT requires a focus on emotions and knowledge on how to work effectively with in-session emotions. Operating from a framework that emotions are central to the development and maintenance of problems and the process of change, this workshop explores how to monitor emotional arousal and recognize in-session markers of emotion processing problems.  Dr. McMain will lay out principles and strategies to facilitate emotional awareness and acceptance as well as techniques to transform problematic emotional responses. Attention will be paid to the timing of interventions, when to activate emotion, and when to regulate unproductive and destructive emotions. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • ·   Explain how DBT formulates problems in terms of emotion regulation.
  • ·   Recognize cues that characterize problematic patterns of emotion processing styles.
  • ·   Implement strategies to activate emotions and to regulate unproductive emotions.

The North American Society for the Study of Personality Disorders welcomes you! 

For general questions regarding NASSPD or the 2020 conference, email:

Harmony Mohr, NASSPD Assistant


Dr. Stephanie Stepp, NASSPD President

For questions regarding NASSPD Membership, email:

Dr. Lori Scott, Membership Chair

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