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John G. Gunderson, MD

John G. Gunderson, MD

McLean Hospital Title:

Director, Personality and Psychosocial Research Program

Harvard Medical School Title:

Professor of Psychiatry


John G. Gunderson, MD, is a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and is director of McLean Hospital’s Borderline Center. His seminal studies on the diagnosis, families, psychodynamics, treatment and pathogenesis of borderline personality disorder helped transform the diagnosis from a psychoanalytic construct into an empirically validated and internationally recognized disorder and earned him recognition as the “father” of this disorder.

Dr. Gunderson chaired the DSM IV work group on personality disorders, and has led major NIMH-funded studies on both the longitudinal stability and the family transmission of borderline personality disorder. In 2009 McLean Hospital honored his contributions by establishing a treatment center in Cambridge, Massachusetts called the Gunderson Residence. He currently is engaged in teaching an empirically-validated therapy he developed called Good Psychiatric Management.

  • 1960-1963 Johns Hopkins College
  • 1965 MBS, Dartmouth Medical School
  • 1967 MD, Harvard Medical School
  • 1967-1968 Intern in Medicine, Hennepin County General Hospital
  • 1968-1970 Resident in Psychiatry, Massachusetts Mental Health Center
  • 1969-1980 Boston Psychoanalytic Institute (1971-1973 Visiting Candidate, Washington Psychoanalytic Institute)
  • 1970-1971 Chief Resident in Psychiatry, Massachusetts Mental Health Center
  • 1971-1973 Research Fellow, Adult Psychiatry Branch, Center for Studies of Schizophrenia and at the Psychiatric Assessment Section, National Institute of Mental Health
  • 1971-1972 Research Fellow, Chestnut Lodge Sanitarium
Board Certifications:

  • 1970 Massachusetts License Registration
  • 1971 Maryland License Registration
  • 1974 American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
  • 1986 American Psychoanalytic Association


Gunderson JG, Gabbard GO, eds. Psychotherapy for personality disorders. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association Publishing, 2000.

Gunderson JG. Borderline personality disorder: a clinical guide. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association Publishing, 2001.

Gunderson JG, Hoffman PD. Understanding and treating borderline personality disorder: a guide for professionals and families. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association Publishing, 2005.

Gunderson JG, Links PL. Handbook of good psychiatric management (GPM) for borderline patients. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association Publishing, 2014.

Choi-Kain LW, Gunderson JG, eds. Borderline personality and mood disorders. New York: Springer, 2015.

Gunderson JG, Hoffman PD. Beyond borderline: true stories of recovery from borderline personality disorder. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, 2016.

PubMed search for Dr. Gunderson





Office Address:

Belmont campus - Administration, Room 210