Kristen A. Woodberry, MSW, PhD

Faculty Scientist, Center for Psychiatric Research
Research Assistant Professor, Tufts Medical School
Research Associate, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

  • Center for Psychiatric Research
    509 Forest Ave, Suite 200B
    Portland, ME 04101

EDUCATION

BS:  Bowdoin College
MSW:  Simmons College School of Social Work
PhD:  Harvard University

Kristen Woodberry, MSW, PhD, is a clinical social worker, licensed clinical psychologist, and early psychosis researcher at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. A graduate of Bowdoin College, she obtained her MSW from Simmons College School of Social Work and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Harvard University. She is also an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School.

With over 25 years of clinical experience with children, adolescents, and families, including pioneering work adapting multifamily psychoeducational group therapies for adolescents and their families, Dr. Woodberry’s research has focused on early intervention in major mental illness. She is particularly interested in understanding and altering vulnerability-stress interactions in young people at risk for or in the early stages of illness.

Toward this end, Dr. Woodberry has secured two National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants. The first was a Career Development grant to test the feasibility of using multiuser biofeedback videogames to teach young people and their parents how to alter their stress reactivity within the context of interpersonal interactions. The second, the Daily Life Study, funded by an NIH Exploratory/ Developmental Award, is collecting dynamic data to better understand the interaction of emerging symptoms and social context over time. Using a smartphone app, Boston and Portland area youth ages 15-25 are providing multiple symptom reports a day across three weeks. Given increasing evidence for the benefits of early intervention, identifying predictors and indicators of emerging mental illness is a high public health priority. This line of research will also explore dynamic sequences predictive of critical events and symptom exacerbations. Understanding these dynamics and interactions are expected to inform our understanding of mechanisms of illness progression and novel, including personalized and mobile, interventions to interrupt pathological sequences and improve functional outcomes.

Dr. Woodberry is working with key partners in adolescent medicine and psychiatry to improve early detection and intervention in emerging psychosis within adolescent and young adult populations. With funding from the Sydney R. Baer, Jr., Foundation and the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP) and the thoughtful contributions of the Prevention Collaborative and the CEDAR program,  online and hard copy resources (Booklet and Card) were developed to support this effort.  A closely related project at Boston Children’s Hospital, funded through the Maine Medical Center Research Institute and Maine Behavioral Healthcare, is collecting pilot data on a range of adolescent mental experiences to better identify patterns most predictive of worsening mental health.

These research projects are one arm of Early Intervention in Psychosis Programming at Maine Medical Center initiated through the nationally-recognized Portland Identification and Early Referral (PIER) Program. The specialized team of clinicians and researchers provides an array of innovative clinical services, family and provider education, and regional and national trainings, as well as research.

For further details on Dr. Woodberry’s recent work:   Read More

Kate Powers presented her poster, “Social influence and moment-to-moment changes in mood and psychotic symptoms in a mixed-population of young adults with psychotic-spectrum symptoms” at the Lambrew Research Retreat at Maine Medical Center on May 1, 2019.

Woodberry KA, Seidman, LJ, Bryant, C, Addington, J, Bearden, CE, Cadenhead, K, Cannon, TD, Cornblatt, BA, McGlashan, T, Mathalon, DH, Perkins, D, Tsuang, MT, Walker, EF, Woods, SW. Treatment precedes positive symptoms in North American adolescent and young adult clinical high risk cohort. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology 2018; 47(1); 69-78. PMCID: PMC5533647

Woodberry, KA, Kline, E, Giuliano, AJ. (2017). Schizophrenia spectrum disorders. In T.H.Ollendick, S.W. White, & B.A. White (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Woodberry, KA, Shapiro, DI, Bryant, C, Seidman, LJ. Progress and future directions in research on the psychosis prodrome: a review for clinicians. Harvard Reviews Psychiatry 2016; 24(2): 87-103. PMCID: PMC4870599

Woodberry, KA, Serur, R.A., Hallinan, S.B., Mesholam-Gately, R.I., Giuliano, A.J., Wojcik, J.D., Keshavan, M.S., Frazier, J.A., Goldstein, J.M., Shenton, M.E., McCarley, R.W., Seidman, L.J. Frequency and pattern of childhood symptom onset reported by first episode schizophrenia and clinical high risk youth. Schizophrenia Research 2014; 158: 45-51. PMCID: PMC4207713

Woodberry, KA, Gallo, KP, & Nock, MK. An experimental pilot study of response to invalidation in young women with features of borderline personality disorder.  Psychiatry Research 2008; 157: 169-180.

Woodberry, KA, Giuliano, AJ, & Seidman, LJ. Premorbid IQ in schizophrenia:  A meta-analytic review. The American Journal of Psychiatry 2008; 165: 579-587.

Woodberry, KA, Miller, AL, Glinski, J, Indik, J, & Mitchell, AG. Family therapy and dialectical behavior therapy with adolescents:  Part II:  A theoretical review.  American Journal of Psychotherapy 2002; 56: 585-602.

The Maine Medical Center Research Institute Team L to R: Zach Harris, Anna Cloutier, Katherine Elacqua, Tan Twhigg, Kate Powers, and Dr. Kristen Woodberry

Postdoctoral Position Open

We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the growing early psychosis clinic and research program at Maine Medical Center Research Institute in Portland, Maine. The position will include a rich combination of clinical work and research with adolescents and young adults in the first couple years of a psychotic disorder or at clinical high risk for psychosis. The SAMHSA-funded first episode program provides coordinated specialty care including CBT for psychosis, multifamily group psychoeducation, supported employment, and peer mentors.

Dr. Woodberry will accept applications until the right candidate is found, with a flexible start-date any time before September, 2020.

RESEARCH TEAM

Anna Cloutier, RN
Anna Cloutier is a Clinical Research Nurse with the Clinical Trials Office at MMCRI and supports clinical trials in various areas such as Vascular Surgery, Interventional Radiology, Neurology (Epilepsy and MS), and Atopic Dermatitis in addition to Psychiatry. Anna received her BA from Western New England University and her BSN from the University of Southern Maine. She has over 20 years of experience in research working with sponsored trials as well as several NIH funded trials.

Anna is currently conducting clinical assessments for participants of the Daily Life Study gathering information on the relationships between affect, thought, and social context in the daily lives of adolescents and young adults.

Katherine Elacqua, BA

Katherine completed her undergraduate degree in psychology and biology at College of the Holy Cross in the spring of 2019.  Her interest in research was initially piqued by her studies in biology, and she conducted molecular immunology research in various settings throughout her undergraduate career.  Outside of lab, Katherine sought out experiences in clinical psychology, working in both a counseling center and in a psychiatric residential center in the summer of 2018.

Katherine’s clinical experience coupled with her interests in research brought her to Dr. Woodberry’s team in June of 2019.  As a research assistant, she recruits participants for the Daily Life Study and regularly engages with them throughout their participation in the study by coordinating appointments, conducting neurocognitive assessments, and supporting their completion of daily surveys.  Katherine also co-facilitates a DBT group for teens and parents through the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic of Maine Medical Center.

Kate Powers, BS
Kate graduated from Bowdoin College where she studied psychology and sociology. In the summer of 2016, Kate worked for Dr. Kristen Woodberry at the Program for Psychosocial Protective Mechanisms in Boston, MA. There, she independently studied the level of psychosis-related knowledge among Residential Life staff members at college and universities across the country, in an effort to expand outreach and education initiatives. After graduation, Kate worked for Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine where she served as the Community Education Advocate from 2017 to 2018.

Kate joined the team at the Center for Psychiatric Research in August of 2018. She is a research assistant for Dr. Woodberry’s research, interacting with participants, conducting clinical and neurocognitive assessments, and supporting participants in the completion of daily surveys. She co-facilitates a multifamily group for the PIER program in addition to pursuing her own research interests in the connection between perceived social status and mental health and increasing peer involvement in research.

Tan Twhigg, LCSW, MST, MSW
Tan is a former teacher with the NYC Department of Education who made the jump to behavioral health in order to better serve young people facing challenges beyond the classroom. Prior to Joining PIER, Tan provided trauma-informed treatment to children and adolescents in day-treatment and residential settings here in Portland.

Tan joined the PIER clinical team and Dr. Woodberry’s research team in March, 2019. Tan meets with young people participating in the Daily Life Study to assess study eligibility and clinical diagnoses.

The Multi-site Team

Welcome to our new research assistant Katherine Elacqua and many thanks to our student interns Audrey Reuman and Audree Grand-Pierre for all of their hard work this summer!