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Marie-Paule de Valdivia, LCSW, MBA

Assistant Clinical Professor of Social Work, Department of Psychiatry, Psychiatry; Founder, Director, DBT Therapist, Psychology Section



Marie-Paule de Valdivia worked in marketing for two decades before experiencing mental health challenges within her family. After learning about borderline personality disorder, she joined the board of National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder, where over the last decade she helped grow the Family Connections (TM) program from serving a couple hundred families yearly to supporting over 3,000 families in over 20 countries.

An avid advocate for family support, she taught Family Connections, a peer led class, as a volunteer for three years before embarking on an MSW program. As part of this course of studies, she trained in the Dialectical Behavior Therapy-Substance Use Disorder section of the Adult Intensive Outpatient Program of Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital, under Seth Axelrod, Ph.D., program director, and Emily Cooney, Ph.D. After graduation, she worked with adolescents in residential placement and their families and embarked in formal intensive DBT training. She then rejoined Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital, working first with adults, then with adolescents and their families, and finally co-directing the adult DBT and DBT SUD programs at an intensive outpatient level of care.

Looking to reduce stigma, Marie-Paule speaks frequently about the need for family support and continues to volunteer her time teaching the Family Connections program. From a professional perspective, she has been invited to address the importance of family involvement in DBT treatment both nationally and internationally. She has co-directed the Annual Yale-NEA.BPD conference since 2017.

An intensively trained DBT therapist, Marie-Paule is the founder and director of Families On The Line, a private group practice aimed at working with patients and coaching their family members in DBT based family skills.

Education & Training

  • Adolescent and Family DBT clinician
    The Bridge of Central Massachusetts (2015)
  • Intern
    Adult Day Hospital, YNHH (2012)
  • MSW
    Southern Connecticut University, Clinical Social Work (2012)
  • MBA
    University of Wisconsin, Marketing (1982)

Departments & Organizations