My experience is unique and multi-faceted. I am the relative of a family member who manages her BPD symptoms and with whom I enjoy a loving relationship.
As part of my MSW curriculum, I trained extensively in the DBT program of Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. I have worked extensively with family members via phone or Skype; as well as in-person with clients who suffer from the symptoms of BPD and their families.
I have volunteered on the board of the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder for 10 years, believing passionately in that mission and developing the Family Connections program in the US and around the world, as well as teaching it at home and overseas to hundreds of families and colleagues.
I am frequently invited to speak on the topic of families’ experience and treatment at conferences in the US and worldwide.
When our child’s illness became evident a decade ago, we, her family, were very much overwhelmed and had no sense of where to turn. Despite the fact that they had been in intensive therapy; for about a year we floundered about, while their life which had been full of promise came to an abrupt stop, filled as it was with impulsive and dangerous behaviors. Yet no one brought up with us the diagnosis of BPD. And when they turned 18, of course no one discussed anything with us at all anymore. It is only when I discovered the description of BPD symptoms on the website of a well known psychiatric hospital, that all became clear.
Our child went into treatment. We took the NEABPD Family Connections class. Things improved vastly, both at home and for them. There were bumps in the road, but the progress was marked.
I started teaching Family Connections, I could see the profound effect on families and loved it. So I went back to school and earned an MSW. I was given the extraordinary opportunity to complete my second year practicum in the DBT program of the Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital. This gave me a well-rounded view of BPD, from a parent’s as well as from a clinician’s perspective.
I have helped patients and continue to do so; I have been helping families for many years; and perhaps most importantly, our family is solid and our adult child has a kind of hope and a life journey we could not have imagined.
Founder & Therapist
Families On The Line
Assistant Clinical Professor of Social Work in Psychiatry (2015-present)
Yale University, School of Medicine
Along with supervising doctoral students in psychology, I also co-directed the Annual Yale –NEABPD conference in 2015 and 2016.
Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Intensive Outpatient Hospital
During my tenure at YNHH, I delivered group and DBT therapy to adults, adolescents and their families. During a part of that time I also co-directed the DBT program of the Yale New Haven Psychiatric Day Hospital.
Board member and (c) Family Connections Leader (2009-2018)
Executive Vice President (2017-2018)
National Education Alliance for Borderline Personalitydisorder
As part of this all-volunteer organization, I helped grow the Family Connections program from serving a few hundred families annually to serving thousands of families in over 20 countries. I facilitated classes for about 400 families; and trained class leaders internationally. I chaired the Family Connections committee on the board from its inception and for 7 years.
Julia is a Licensed Master of Social Work who enjoys working with children, adolescents, and adults. She has extensive training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and brings her experience in Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavior Therapy to her work with individuals and families.
Prior to joining Families on the Line, Julia served as a practicum clinician within the Yale New Haven Hospital Intensive Outpatient Program, leading DBT skills groups, conducting mindfulness practices with groups, and providing therapy targeting emotional dysregulation. Julia also has experience working with children and adolescents and their families as a behavioral health clinician at Wellmore Behavioral Health in Waterbury, CT, where she engaged in both individual and family work. In addition, Julia has a strong interest in supporting those who grieve, and has received advanced training in providing Complicated Grief Treatment.
She is a Family Connections leader for the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder and is passionate about bringing skills and support to families via NEA-BPD weekend intensive workshops and classes for family members of those with emotional dysregulation difficulties.
Julia received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Brown University, followed by a Master’s in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. She received her Masters of Science in Social Work from Columbia University.
Alli has an expertise in working with individuals who experience intense emotions that often lead to problems in interpersonal relationships, risky or impulsive behaviors, self-harm and suicide, and intense self-criticism and hopelessness. She is passionate about working with individuals who have not previously found therapy helpful, and she is committed to genuinely and radically accepting her clients in order to help them experience real and measurable changes in their life.
Alli received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Houston and completed pre- and post-doctoral fellowships at Yale University School of Medicine, specializing in using Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in her work with adults and adolescents with borderline personality disorder and their families. Her relevant clinical training includes intensive fellowships at Yale New Haven Hospital Intensive Outpatient DBT Program, The Menninger Clinic, The DBT Center of Houston, the Adolescent Diagnosis Assessment Prevention Treatment Center, and the West Haven VA Outpatient Addiction and Recovery Services program. Alli also has an extensive research background and is a published author in peer-reviewed journals and books on borderline personality disorder, social cognition, emotional sensitivity, and the development of personality disorders.
In addition to DBT, Alli is trained in multiple therapeutic interventions including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Prolonged Exposure [PE], DBT-PE, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, CBT-SUD, and Mentalization-Based Therapy.
Hedy completed her doctoral degree in psychology at Columbia University, with a focus on cognitive and affective neuroscience. She is currently completing her respecialization in clinical psychology. Before Hedy joined Families on the Line, she trained at Yale’s Intensive Outpatient DBT program and at Shoreline Psychological Services. Hedy is also an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Yale, where she is the Director of the Clinical & Affective Neuroscience Lab.
Hedy’s research work focuses on the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying emotion regulation strategies, and treatments for psychopathology more broadly (e.g., substance use disorders, eating disorders, mood disorders, and borderline personality disorder). Additional research focuses on the effects and neural mechanisms underlying mindfulness meditation and acceptance-based practices. In both areas, she has published extensively and has given national and international talks.