Marie-Paule de Valdivia, LCSW, MBA

Assistant Clinical Professor of Social Work, Department of Psychiatry; Clinician, Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital; Executive Vice President and Family Connections Leader, National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder; Founder, DBT Therapist, Families On The Line, LLC

Departments & Organizations

Psychiatry: Yale Instruction/Investigation/Intervention in Emotional Lability and Dysregulation (YIELD)


Marie-Paule de Valdivia worked in advertising and marketing for two decades before experiencing mental health challenges within her family. After learning about borderline personality disorder, she joined the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder, where she helped grow the Family Connections program from serving a couple hundred families yearly to supporting over 3,000 families last year – and where she serves today as Executive Vice President.

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 went on to work with adolescents in residential placement and their families at the Bridge of Central Massachusetts, at which time she embarked in the formal intensive DBT training. She then rejoined Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital, working first with adults, then with adolescents and their families, and most recently leading the adult DBT and DBT SUD programs at an intensive outpatient level of care.

Looking to reduce stigma, Marie-Paule speaks frequently about the Family Connections program. She has done so in multiple NAMI conferences around the country, at several Yale Annual BPD Conferences and along with Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. at the NIMH 9th annual conference in Seattle. In 2010, she offered a family perspective at the Congressional briefing in Washington DC, which culminated in the naming of May as Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness month. Most recently, she was invited with John G. Gunderson, MD and Perry D. Hoffman, Ph.D. to participate in the 2017 Fountain House annual fundraiser in Manhattan, which focused on BPD and broke both attendance and fundraising records.

From a professional perspective, she has been invited to address the importance of family involvement in DBT treatment – as a Master Clinician at the 2015 North American Society for the Study of Personality Disorders (NASSPD) conference in Boston, MA, in 2016 at the European Society for the Study of Personality Disorders in Vienna, Austria and more recently as symposium organizer at the 2017 NASSPD conference in New York City. In 2017, Marie-Paule co-directed the 13th Annual Yale-NEA.BPD Conference dedicated to the GAP initiative on early detection and prevention of the disorder.

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

Education & Training

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

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