Information about the Conference Presenters

Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., ABPP is a Professor of Psychology, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington and Director of the Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics, a consortium of research projects developing new treatments and evaluating their efficacy for severely disordered and multi-diagnostic populations.  Her primary research is in the application of behavioral models to suicidal behaviors, drug abuse, and borderline personality disorder.  She is also working to develop effective models for transferring efficacious treatments from the research academy to the clinical community.

Dr. Linehan has received several awards recognizing her clinical and research contributions, including the Louis I. Dublin Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Field of Suicide and the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology, American Psychological Association, as well as awards for Distinguished Research in Suicide (American Foundation of Suicide Prevention), Distinguished Contributions to the Practice of Psychology (American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology), Distinguished Contributions for Clinical Activities, (Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy), Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Clinical Psychology (Society of Clinical Psychology) and Lifetime Achievement Award (Clinical Emergencies and Crises Section, American Psychological Association).  She is the past-president of the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, fellow and president-elect of the Society of Clinical Psychology, American Psychological Association, a fellow of the American Psychopathological Association and a diplomat of the American Board of Behavioral Psychology.

The treatment she has developed combines the technology of change derived from behavioral science with the radical acceptance, or “technology of acceptance,” derived from both eastern zen practices and western contemplative spirituality.  The practice of mindfulness, willingness, and radical acceptance form an important part of her treatment approach.

She has written three books, including two treatment manuals: Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder and Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. She serves on a number of editorial boards, and has published extensively in scientific journals.

She is founder of Marie Institute of Behavioral Technology, a non-profit organization that owns the company she founded, Behavioral Tech LLC, a behavioral technology transfer group.  With them she is actively involved in developing effective models for transferring efficacious treatments from the research academy to the clinical community.

Kelly Koerner, Ph.D., is Creative Director and CEO of the Evidence-Based Practice Institute, where she explores how technology can scale learning and collaboration so practitioners get better clinical outcomes. She is a clinical psychologist and an expert clinician, clinical supervisor and trainer in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). She received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington and has specialized training in a number of evidence based treatments. She has served as: Director of Training for Marsha Linehan’s research investigating the efficacy of DBT for suicidal and drug abusing individuals with borderline personality disorder; Creative Director at Behavioral Tech Research where she developed e-learning and other technology based methods to disseminate evidence-based practices; and co-founder and first CEO of Behavioral Tech, a company that provides training in DBT.

Charlie Swenson, MD, graduated from Harvard College and Yale Medical School. He joined the faculty of Cornell University Medical College in 1982, where for five years he directed a long-term psychoanalytically-oriented inpatient program for patients with personality disorders. Beginning in 1987, Dr. Swenson developed and directed inpatient, outpatient, and day treatment programs for borderline patients based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Twice he was voted Teacher of the Year by the psychiatric residents (1990, 1993). While at Cornell, he served as a DBT trainer and consultant throughout the United States and Europe, coordinating statewide implementation of DBT in the public sectors of Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Dr. Swenson has published widely on the treatment of borderline patients, including one article comparing Kernberg’s psychoanalytic approach to DBT (1989), one article describing the inpatient application of DBT (2001), one article identifying the factors leading to DBT’s popularity (2001), and one article identifying the barriers and strategies for implementing DBT in community mental health centers (2002). During 1996 he served as the Coordinator of Clinical Training in DBT. From 1997 to the present he was Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry for the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and from 1997 to 2001 he served as Area Medical Director for the Western Massachusetts Area of the Department of Mental Health.

Randy Wolbert LMSW, CAADC, is the Clinical Director of InterAct of Michigan, Inc., an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Social Work at Western Michigan University, and a DBT trainer for Behavioral Tech, L.L.C. Randy received his Bachelors degree from Calvin College and his MSW from Western Michigan University. He has more than 30 years of Community Mental Health experience including Assertive Community Treatment, DBT, and Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment. Randy attended the 1995-1996 Seattle Intensive taught by Marsha Linehan Ph.D. Randy has presented workshops, seminars, and DBT training at State, National and International conferences. In 2009, Randy was inducted into the Outstanding Alumni Academy of theCollege of Health and Human Services at Western Michigan University.

Cedar Koons, MSW, LISW, is the co-founder and team lead of Santa Fe DBT, LLC, an outpatient private practice group that provides comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and other evidence-based cognitive-behavioral treatment to adults and adolescents inSanta Fe, New Mexico. A senior trainer for Behavioral Tech of Seattle, she has conducted DBT trainings, intensives and consultations all over the United States and in Australia and Japan. While in private practice, Ms. Koons has also developed an adaptation of DBT for the vocational rehabilitation of persons with severe personality disorder and conducted a pilot study of the treatment. A meditation student of Pat Hawk, Roshi, and Sensei Marsha Linehan, Ms. Koons has also taught mindfulness and assisted with many mindfulness retreats. Prior to entering private practice, she was director of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy program at the Women Veterans Comprehensive Health Center at the Durham VA Medical Center. In that capacity, Ms. Koons conducted a randomized, controlled study of DBT as compared to usual treatment for women veterans with borderline personality disorder and also started at DBT elective for psychiatry residents at Duke University Medical Center. Ms. Koons was the first president of the Marie Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to training in treatments of demonstrated efficacy for clinicians treating severely personality disordered persons. She has published research, articles, poetry and a blog on mindfulness.

Kathryn E. Korslund, Ph.D., ABPP, received her undergraduate degrees from the University of Washington and her doctoral degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania at Hahnemann University. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship under the direction of Dr. Marsha Linehan at the Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics at the University of Washington. Presently, she is a Research Scientist in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington and the Associate Director of the Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics. She is a Co-Investigator with Dr. Linehan on her NIMH and NIDA funded research. Dr. Korslund has written book chapters and journal articles on treatment of borderline personality disorder and suicidal behavior and has served as a content editor for a videotape series on behavioral skills. Her clinical experience with DBT focuses on treatment and consultation for adult populations and those with psychotic disorders. She has given several presentations and workshops on DBT in the greater Pacific Northwest.

Shireen Rizvi, Ph.D., received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Washington. She studied borderline personality disorder and DBT for more than five years under the mentorship of Dr. Linehan and worked as a research therapist in Dr. Linehan’s research lab, providing individual psychotherapy and skills training. Her dissertation research focused on the use of the DBT skill of “opposite action” to treat shame. She completed her predoctoral clinical internship at the Boston Consortium in Clinical Psychology and an NIMH postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for PTSD at the Boston VA Healthcare System. Following her fellowship, Dr. Rizvi was Assistant Professor of Psychology at the New School for Social Research in New York City. Beginning in 2009, Dr. Rizvi is Assistant Professor of Psychology at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP) at Rutgers University. Dr. Rizvi has written and presented numerous theoretical and research papers on BPD, DBT, and trauma. Her areas of research and clinical expertise include shame, treatment development, trauma, and development of mobile technology applications to aid in skills generalization. With colleagues at Behavioral Tech Research, she has received grant support from the National Institute of Drug Abuse to develop a prototype for a DBT skills coaching program to be used on smartphones.

Jennifer Sayrs, Ph.D., ABPP, received her BS at theUniversity of Washington and her PhD at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she studied Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and behavioral theory. She then served as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington, where she was clinical coordinator of Dr. Linehan’s DBT research clinic. She has served as a research therapist on three DBT clinical trials and as DBT adherence coder on two trials. She is a trainer for Behavioral Tech, providing a wide range of DBT workshops in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. She provides DBT to adults, adolescents, and couples. She also has extensive training and experience in treating anxiety disorders (including generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, and PTSD), depression, substance dependence, body dysmorphic disorder, and body-focused repetitive disorders (trichotillomania and skin-picking). Dr. Sayrs is a founding member of the Evidence Based Treatment Centers of Seattle, where she spent seven years as Director of Clinical Training. She is now Director of the DBT Center of Seattle, as well as a therapist for the Anxiety and Stress Reduction Center of Seattle. Her research focuses on the effectiveness of evidence-based treatments in a clinic setting. Dr. Sayrs is licensed as a psychologist in the state of Washington.

Milton Brown, Ph.D., received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University, and completed his Ph.D. and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington under the mentoring of Marsha Linehan. During his pre-doctoral and post-doctoral work, he collaborated with Dr. Linehan on several research projects evaluating the efficacy of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for borderline personality disorder (BPD). He completed a clinical internship at the Palo Alto Veteran Affairs Health Care System focused on posttraumatic stress disorder (National Center for PTSD) and substance abuse. Dr. Brown is currently the director of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Center of San Diego and an assistant professor in the clinical psychology Ph.D. Program at the California School of Professional Psychology (Alliant International University) in San Diego. His research and clinical work focuses on 1) chronic suicidality and self-injury, 2) Dialectical Behavior Therapy for borderline personality disorder, 3) emotion regulation strategies, 4) exposure and opposite action therapies, and 5) shame and its treatment. He has published primarily on the psychopathology and treatment of borderline personality disorder and suicidal behaviors.

Lorie Ritschel, Ph.D. received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kansas in 2006. She completed her predoctoral internship and one year of postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University Medical Center under the direction of Drs. Thomas Lynch and Clive Robins. She completed an additional postdoctoral fellowship in adolescent mental health at Emory University School of Medicine under the direction of Dr. W. Edward Craighead. She joined the faculty at Emory in 2008 and started the DBT program for adolescents and young adults at Emory’s Child and Adolescent Mood Program (CAMP). Dr. Ritschel specializes in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and emotion dysregulation in adolescents and adults using Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Behavioral Activation (BA). From a research perspective, she is particularly interested in treatment outcomes research and in non-suicidal self-injury (e.g., cutting) as an emotion regulation strategy.

*Faculty Disclosure Statement: Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., ABPP is the treatment developer of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). She receives licensing fees for Behavioral Tech’s and ISITDBT’s use of her materials for this training.Kelly Koerner, Ph.D., Charlie Swenson, M.D., Randy Wolbert LMSW, CAADC, Cedar Koons, MSW, LISW, Kathryn E. Korslund, Ph.D., ABPP, Shireen Rizvi, Ph.D., Jennifer Sayrs, Ph.D., ABPP, Lorie Ritschel, Ph.D., and Milton Brown, Ph.D. are not affiliated with nor have any significant financial interest in any organization(s) that may have a direct interest in the subject matter of the presentation or may be co-sponsoring or offering financial support to the course.