Kristen Woodberry, MSW, PhD, is a clinical social worker, licensed clinical psychologist, and early psychosis researcher at the MaineHealth Institute for Research 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 a Research Assistant Professor in the Psychiatry Department at the Tufts School of Medicine.
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 health conditions. She is particularly interested in 1) understanding and altering vulnerability-stress interactions and trajectories in young people at risk for or in the early stages of these conditions, 2) improving earlier identification and engagement of adolescents and young adults in primary care settings, and 3) understanding the needs of rural youth with psychotic-spectrum experiences to guide the expansion of specialized care to rural communities.
Dr. Woodberry has secured three 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, collected 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 provided multiple symptom reports a day across three weeks. These data, although incomplete due to COVID, allowed us to characterize substance use in a sample of adolescents and young adults diagnosed with a psychotic disorder or clinical high risk syndrome. We also explored the potential clinical implications of intensive longitudinal data collected over different temporal windows and sampling frequencies and analyzed with novel ideographic modeling techniques. The third, a pilot study funded through a Maine Health Acute Care COBRE grant, is examining the pathways to care of rural vs. nonrural youth with psychotic-spectrum experiences and the potential for Peer Support as an early point of contact.
With generous funding from the Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Foundation, Dr. Woodberry is working with key partners in adolescent medicine and psychiatry to improve early detection and intervention in emerging psychosis within primary care settings serving adolescents and young adults. This funding along with funding from the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP) and the thoughtful contributions of the Prevention Collaborative supported the development of online (psychosisscreening.org) and hard copy resources (Booklet and Card) were developed to support this effort. The feasibility of this work, “Screening for Early and Emerging Mental Experiences” (SEE ME), is being tested through projects at Boston Children’s Hospital Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine and in MaineHealth pediatric and family medicine practices.
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. Dr. Woodberry and her staff is specifically supporting the data collection component of an innovative and SAMHSA-funded stepped care model for young people at high risk for psychosis.
Learn more about supporting the PIER Program’s work through donations.
Woodberry KA, Johnson KA, Shrier LA (2022). Screening for early emerging mental experiences (SEE ME): A model to improve early detection of psychosis in integrated primary care. Frontiers in Pediatrics. 10. 899653. org/10.3389/fped.2022.899653
Weiss, DM, Bernier, E, Robbins, DI, Elacqua, KM, Johnson, K, Powers, K, Mesholam-Gately, RI, Woodberry, KA (2022). Using experience sampling methodology data to characterize the substance use of youth with or at-risk of psychosis. Frontiers Psychiatry. 13:874246. org/10.3389/fpsyt.2022.874246
Herrera, SN, Larsen, EM, DeLuca, JS, Crump, FM, Grivel, M, Blasco, D, Bryant, C, Shapiro, DI, Downing, D, Girgis, RR, Brucato, G, Huang, D, Kufert, Y, Verdi, M, West, ML, Seidman, L, Link, BG, McFarlane, WR, Woodberry, KA, Yang, LH, & Corcoran, CM (2022). The association between mental health stigma and face emotion recognition in individuals at risk for psychosis. Stigma and Health. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/sah0000379
Johnson, KA, Shrier, LA, Eiduson, R, Parsa, N, Lilly, M, D’Angelo, E, Straus, JH, Woodberry, KA. Depressive symptom screening and endorsement of psychosis risk-related experiences in a diverse adolescent and young adult outpatient clinic in the US. Schizophr Res. 2021
Woodberry KA, Powers KS, Bryant C, Downing D, Verdi MB, Elacqua KM, Reuman ARL, Kennedy L, Shapiro DI, West ML, Huang D, Crump FM, Grivel MM, Blasco D, Herrera SN, Corcoran CM, Seidman LJ, Link BG, McFarlane WR, Yang LH. Emotional and stigma-related experiences relative to being told one is at risk for psychosis. Schizophr Res. 2021 Sep 28;238:44-51. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2021.09.017. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34598105.
Kennedy, L., Johnson, K., Cheng, J., Woodberry, K.A., A public health perspective on screening for psychosis within general practice clinics. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 10:1025. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.01025
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 Woodberry Research Team is seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow to join the early psychosis and general psychiatry programming at MaineHealth. Accepting applications now for a summer 2023 start. Apply Here
Elizabeth Bernier, Research Intern
Elizabeth “Eb” completed her undergraduate degree in psychology with minors in biology and honors from the University of Southern Maine. She has been involved in research on various topics, including pharmacology, behavioral psychology, and social psychology. Eb has been on Dr. Woodberry’s team since January of 2020 when she joined as a Research Intern. During her time at MaineHealth, Eb has also co-facilitated a DBT group for teens and parents at Maine Medical Center’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic and participated in the MHIR Summer Student Research Program (SSRP). Eb took on the role of Research Assistant II in May 2022. She has played an important role in team activity coordination, data management and visualization, writing of IRB materials, study recruitment and participant guidance, and literature reviews for grants and manuscripts
Elizabeth Mutina, BS, Research Assistant II
Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Science in Medical Biology with a minor in Neuroscience from the University of New England in 2019. During this time, she worked as a research assistant in at the Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences at UNE, performing studies with rodent models that focused primarily on the impacts of the narrow spectrum antibiotic Vancomycin on the gut microbiome. Her time in this lab also focused in-part on the differences in reward seeking behaviors presented by co-administration of opiates and opiate-antagonist compounds. During her senior year at UNE, her capstone course focused on the structural, behavioral and chemical components of psychiatric conditions, namely schizophrenia.
Following the completion of her undergraduate studies, Elizabeth began at the MaineHealth Institute for Research, Center for Molecular Medicine. Here she continues to work with mice on the influence altered thyroid hormone clearance has on behavioral and genomic phenotypes, as well as the heritability of mental illnesses such as autism and schizophrenia. This work further compelled her interest in the clinical aspect of these experiences, and the mechanisms through which research can have a positive impact on the lives of individuals working to manage the effects of these conditions. In an effort to pursue these interests, she began her time at the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences with Dr. Kristen Woodberry, assisting with projects geared toward early-intervention and progressive treatments of psychotic-spectrum disorders. She also has involvement the Portland Intervention and Early Referral (PIER) program, serves on a research advisory council with Dr. Woodberry, and is a stakeholder for a pilot grant intending to improve social and cognitive outcomes in individuals with schizophrenia.
Elias Peirce, BA, Youth Peer Support Partner
Elias Peirce graduated from Bowdoin College in 2015 with a B.A in Environmental Studies and Philosophy. After college, he taught English, first abroad in Sri Lanka and then at a boarding school on the coast of Maine. After a number of years writing and publishing poetry and fiction, he joined the team at MMC as a Peer Support Specialist with the Portland Identification and Early Referral (PIER) Program. In the PIER Program he offers one on one support, leads groups, and edits the occasional grant. He’s new to research but has always been excited by patterns and big data, as well as cross pollination between different disciplines and modalities of treatment and inquiry.Multi-Site Team for Daily Life Study