North American Society for the study of personality disorders

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NASSPD 2020 Plenary speakers

April 2nd - April 4th, 2020 - The Westin Pittsburgh

Meet our 2020 Featured Speakers!

The best of personality disorder research featured during our  3-day annual conference--We are proud to announce this year's keynote speakers:

Dr. Shelley McMain, Ph.D., C.Psych,

Dr. Joel Paris, M.D.

Dr. Jill Hooley, D.Phill

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Meet this year's speakers

Dr. Shelley McMain, Ph.D., C.Psych

University of Toronto

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.

Dr. Joel Paris, M.D.

McGill University

Dr. Joel Paris was born in New York City, but has spent most of his life in Canada. He obtained an MD from McGill University, where he also trained in psychiatry. Dr. Paris has been a member of the McGill psychiatry department since 1972. Since 1994, he has been a full Professor, and served as Department Chair from 1997 to 2007. Dr. Paris is currently a Research Associate at the Jewish General Hospital, and heads personality clinics at both the MUHC and JGH. He is a former Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

Dr. Paris' research interest is in borderline personality disorder. Over the last 20 years, Dr. Paris has been conducting research on the causes and the long-term outcome of BPD. Dr. Paris has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, and is the author of 23 books and 50 book chapters. Dr. Paris is an educator who has supervised psychiatric evaluation with residents for over 40 years, and who has won awards for his teaching. He is an active clinician, in charge of specialized clinics for BPD at two hospitals.

Dr. Jill Hooley, D.Phil

Harvard University

Jill M. Hooley, D.Phil., is a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. She is also head of the Experimental Psychopathology/Clinical Psychology Program at Harvard. Dr. Hooley received her doctorate from Oxford University. She also completed additional clinical training at SUNY Stony Brook and McLean Hospital. Dr. Hooley is a licensed clinical psychologist and a member of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. She specializes in treating clients with depression, anxiety and personality disorders.

Dr. Hooley has a long-standing interest in psychosocial predictors of relapse in patients with severe psychopathology. Another area of research interest is non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors such as skin cutting or burning. She has received grants from NIMH and the Borderline Personality Disorder Research Foundation and published many journal articles and book chapters on a broad range of topics. Together with Jim Butcher and Matthew Nock, she is also the author of the textbook, Abnormal Psychology.

At Harvard, Dr. Hooley has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in introductory psychology, abnormal psychology, schizophrenia, mood disorders, psychiatric diagnosis, cognitive-behavioral intervention, and professional ethics. She is a former president of the Society for Research in Psychopathology and, until 2016, she served as an Associate Editor for the journal Clinical Psychological Science. She received the A. T. Beck Award for Excellence in Psychopathology Research in 2000 and in 2015 she was the recipient of the Joseph Zubin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Psychopathology Research from the Society for Research in Psychopathology.

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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