Gunderson Residence

Helping women with personality disorders build rewarding lives


Treatment Team

Program Leadership

Lois W. Choi-Kain, MEd, MDLois W. Choi-Kain, MEd, MD, Medical and Program Director

Dr. Choi-Kain’s areas of specialization include attachment, personality disorders, and psychotherapy, along with an integration of evidence-based treatments for borderline personality disorder (BPD). In addition to her clinical work, she actively conducts research and publishes papers on BPD while also providing training for clinicians in general psychiatric management (GPM) and mentalization-based treatment (MBT) approaches.

Brandon Unruh, MDBrandon Unruh, MD, Assistant Medical Director

Dr. Unruh’s clinical approach is anchored in the integration of evidence-based treatments such as DBT, MBT, and GPM. He has published on a variety of topics including medical ethics, general hospital psychiatry, and literature and medicine. His academic interests also include the examination of philosophical and spiritual issues from psychiatric and psychoanalytic perspectives.

Karen L. Jacob, PhDKaren L. Jacob, PhD, Director of Clinical Services

Dr. Jacob has an extensive clinical background in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for patients suffering from mood, anxiety, and personality disorders, and is trained in mindfulness, mentalization, DBT, and biofeedback therapies. As an author of numerous papers and presentations, her current research interests include understanding the relative impact of different components of treatment on outcome, as measured by both symptom and functional improvement.

John G. Gunderson, MDJohn Gunderson, MD, Senior Consultant

Dr. Gunderson is a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and founder of McLean’s Borderline Center. His seminal studies on 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. He also developed the evidence-based therapy general psychiatric management, which he and fellow McLean clinicians teach throughout the country.

Joan Wheelis, MDJoan Wheelis, MD, Senior Consultant

Dr. Wheelis is an assistant professor of psychiatry, part-time, at Harvard Medical School and on the faculty of the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program. Her current clinical interests include the outpatient treatment of borderline personality disorder, the nature of psychotherapeutic change, and forensic consultation regarding suicide.

Staff and Associates

Our multidisciplinary staff is comprised of board-certified psychiatrists, licensed psychologists and family therapists, registered nurses, clinical social workers, a full-time occupational therapist, and community residence counselors. This highly trained team has extensive background in the treatment of severe personality disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions. Our clinicians have experience working with patients from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds from across the country and around the globe.

The Gunderson Residence operates within the Division of Women’s Mental Health, led by Shelly F. Greenfield, MD, MPH.

Books by Gunderson Authors

McLean Hospital staff have penned more than 50 books in recent years, including several titles by members of the Gunderson staff.