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2024 Conference Speakers

  • Dr. Carla Sharp is John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Houston and Associate Dean for Faculty and Research, and director of the Adolescent Diagnosis Assessment Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) clinic and the Developmental Psychopathology Lab. Her work has significantly advanced the scientific understanding of the phenomenology, causes, correlates and treatment of personality pathology across the lifespan, with a specific focus on mentalizing as cause, correlate and mechanism of change. She has published over 340 peer reviewed publications, 50 book chapters and 8 books. Her research has been continuously funded by the NIH for over a decade. She has won multiple awards recognizing her impact in the field of personality disorders and serve as editor or co-editor on multiple journals. She continues to be clinically active through her NIH funded intervention research in addition to supervising PhD level students in their clinical work.

  • Dr. Aditi Vijay is an Assistant Professor at Kean University where she directs the Interpersonal Context of Emotion Dysregulation lab (or the ICED lab!). The ICED lab focuses on the transactional relationship between the interpersonal/social context and emotion regulation. Her research and clinical interests are focused on

    1. emotion regulation processes that maintain adverse outcomes of chronic suicidality and self-harm, trauma, and rejection sensitivity
    2. process and outcomes of Dialectical Behavior Therapy
    3. antiracism in clinical care.

    Current projects include:

    1. loneliness and emotion regulation in emerging adults
    2. relationship between emotion regulation and trauma symptoms
    3. the role of DBT consultation teams as predictors of DBT therapist burnout and adherence.

    Aditi founded a small private practice specializing in Dialectical Behavior Therapy trauma treatment in New York City.

  • Sara Rose Masland is a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor of psychological science at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. She completed her doctoral work at Harvard University and her post-doctoral fellowship at McLean Hospital. She previously served as a board member for She is currently a trainer in Good Psychiatric Management (GPM) for BPD and co-chairs a multinational research committee dedicated to studying and improving GPM. More broadly, she studies treatment improvement and accessibility for people with personality disorders, including the ways that stigma may create barriers to care. She also studies social cognition, identity, and emotion processes in personality disorders, particularly BPD and NPD. In an additional line of research, Dr. Masland studies psychosocial predictors of clinical outcomes, including the perception of criticism in close relationships.

  • Dominic M. Denning is a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a trainee in the Clinical Affective Science Laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Katherine L., Dixon-Gordon. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Anthropology from the University of Nevada Reno in 2018. Post-baccalaureate, Dominic worked as a research coordinator at the University of California San Diego at the Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research under the supervision of Dr. Tiffany A. Brown. Dominic’s program of research is aimed at advancing the understanding of how stigma and interpersonal-emotional processes potentiate risk for and maintain suicide and other self-damaging behaviors. To accomplish this, his research uses a range of methodological approaches (e.g., survey studies, interviews, laboratory-based experiments, intensive longitudinal methods, and clinical trials). He has received numerous awards for his research scholarship including the Gunderson Young Investigator Award from the North American Society for the Study of Personality Disorders and the Student Training Award from the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science. Dominic’s research has been disseminated in the form of 15 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and over 35 conference presentations. In addition to his research contributions, Dominic serves as the student representative for the Personality and Personality Disorder Special Interest Group at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.

  • Nico Santamorena (she/they) is currently an Art Therapy Master's student at NYU in her final semester. They are a multimedia artist and writer in addition to their studies, creating works depicting their lived experience with mental illness, disability, and LGBTQ+ identity. Nico has worked and volunteered in the mental health field for more than a decade, advocating for and supporting teens and young adults, LGBTQ+ populations, disability justice, and mental health education. Nico completed her undergraduate studies in cultural anthropology, focusing on new age spiritual practices as a form of community-based healing for LGBTQ+ individuals with trauma histories. Currently, she is completing her Master’s thesis on the role of shared identity between the art therapist and client in the progression of mindfulness-based art therapy with an autistic client. Nico highly endorses the incorporation of DBT and mindfulness-based practices and hopes to promote the benefits of DBT-informed art therapy across disciplines.

  • Liz is a volunteer Family Connections co-leader and mother of an adult child diagnosed with BPD. She whole-heartedly believes the skills she learned through FC helped save her daughter's life as well as significantly improved her own. Since becoming a FC leader in 2018, Liz has co-led a dozen courses. She finds being a co- leader most rewarding because it allows her to develop connections and relationships with so many other amazing people facing similar struggles with their loved ones who suffer from BPD and CED. She feels privileged and honored to have personally touched the lives of over 100 families who have participated in her classes. In addition, co-leading also provides her with opportunities to continually sharpen her own skills which she admits, can always use polishing. As of January 2024, Liz became an NEA board member. As an active member of this working board, she is involved in several committees including the advocacy, programming, and leader development committees. She looks forward to her on-going relationship with NEA and its many partners.

  • Dr. Faria Kamal is a licensed clinical psychologist in New York City and Assistant Professor at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). She provides evidence-based therapy to children, adolescents, adults, and families. Her research has focused on providing effective mental health services to marginalized communities, along with the assessment and implementation of DEI practices within clinical spaces. In addition, she provides consultation to teams internationally on DEI and anti-racist practices in therapy, is a founding member of the ISITDBT Antiracism Committee, and a Behavioral Tech trainer.

  • Shavana Clarke is a sales professional, entrepreneur, and pageant titleholder who earned her BFA from the University of Connecticut. Although her mental health journey originally began in middle school, she wasn’t diagnosed with borderline personality disorder until her 20s. She was able to enter a year-long continuing day treatment program that focused on both DBT and CBT and there she was able to learn skills, build community, and debunk her own bias of BPD. Now she is a proud BPD and mental health advocate who uses her social media and blog, #YourMentalHealthBestie to share her own experiences and educate about BPD and other mental health diagnoses with the hope of helping others.