The Gunderson programs—Gunderson Residence and Gunderson Outpatient Program—offer highly specialized therapeutic approaches that integrate evidence-based therapy models with the goal of improved interpersonal and relationships skills and reducing self-destructive behaviors.
Our Harvard Medical School-affiliated clinicians strive to develop effective treatment plans for individuals who struggle with narcissistic, antisocial, histrionic, paranoid, avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive personality traits.
By focusing on creating personalized plans to meet the specific needs of the individual, our expert staff combine different aspects of an array of therapies to provide patients with the structure needed to enact change in their lives.
As a part of McLean’s Division of Women’s Mental Health, the programs’ cutting-edge methods benefit from clinical research conducted at McLean.
“This program helped me learn how to accept, understand, and express my emotions. The emphasis on community and group work allowed me to benefit from the wisdom and support of other patients. The Gunderson program saved my life.”– Former Gunderson patient
Gunderson residential care includes around the clock treatment for women ages 21 and over in an open-door setting.
With an average stay of four months, the residence specializes in care for individuals who have previously been through several treatment programs as well as those who are seeking treatment for the first time.
Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in close proximity to McLean’s Belmont campus, the Gunderson Residence is designed for community living in newly constructed townhouses less than two miles from Harvard Square and four miles from downtown Boston.
Women come to the Gunderson Residence from across the country and all over the world.
Our specialized outpatient care for men and women has an emphasis on skill building, while working towards patient self-reliance and establishing occupational, academic, and social opportunities in the community.
The Gunderson Outpatient Program is located within the Service Building on McLean’s historic campus in Belmont, Massachusetts, offering a pleasant and peaceful environment that is conducive to helping patients focus on their treatment.
The outpatient services operate Monday through Friday in the morning and afternoon, with each individual attending treatment for an average of 20 hours per week.
The Gunderson Outpatient Program requires an initial six-month treatment period, though ultimately length of care is determined by each patient’s unique clinical needs. While most of our fees are self-pay, several of our services may be covered by insurance.
The Gunderson programs provide tools and guidance to foster the self-reliance individuals need to build a more balanced, productive, and meaningful life.
The Gunderson programs’ multidisciplinary team of clinicians are experts in borderline personality disorder (BPD).
They use a range of evidence-based treatment and therapy models informed by cutting-edge research, allowing care to be customized to the needs of the individual based on the type and severity of specific symptoms.
Those entering the programs receive a detailed evaluation in order for clinicians to establish a treatment plan that incorporates the best therapies and strategies for addressing symptoms, identifying challenges, and setting goals.
Our programs use individual and group therapy using treatment models such as:
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which emphasizes the development of four skill sets: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. DBT has proven to be one of the most effective ways of treating borderline personality disorder.
- Mentalization-based treatment (MBT) is a therapy model that focuses on helping people to differentiate and separate their own thoughts and feelings from those around them.
- General psychiatric management (GPM), which includes education for patients and their families and case management, was developed by McLean’s own John G. Gunderson, MD, a pioneer in BPD research and care.
Group therapy covers a broad range of topics including mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, skills generalization, emotion regulation, and family issues.
Treatment may also include diagnostic assessment, medication consultation and management, family evaluation and involvement, case management, ongoing treatment review, toxicology testing, expressive therapy, vocational and educational counseling for transitional support, and coordination of care with referring clinicians and aftercare providers.
Ancillary health services may include psychological and neuropsychological testing and consultation, eating disorder services and nutritional counseling, treatment for trauma-related disorders, and substance use treatment.
Family and friends are often incorporated into treatment. A family member, most commonly a parent and/or partner, is asked to work with a family therapist. Family and friends are a valuable tool in a patient’s recovery and long-term success, providing reinforcement for positive change and meeting treatment goals.
Support and education for patients, families, and friends is also integral to treatment success. In addition to patient education, the Gunderson programs offer group therapy and educational workshops for families and friends targeted for the specific needs of supporting a loved one with BPD.
We also encourage patients to become involved with the larger community through part-time work, volunteer opportunities, and classes at local colleges and universities.
The Gunderson Residence offers group activities such as community cooking, fitness, and community outings.
Admission & Cost
The Gunderson programs are suitable for individuals who seek intensive treatment for core issues related to borderline personality disorder (BPD) and other complex personality disorders, such as emotion dysregulation, self-harm, suicidality, and relationship difficulties, with or without co-occurring mental health conditions such as addiction, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.
We can help arrange admission from most domestic or international locations.
We look forward to speaking with you about the treatment opportunities at the Gunderson programs. For more information or to make a referral, please contact an admissions coordinator.
Gunderson Residence (for women ages 21 and older)
Gunderson Outpatient Program (for men and women ages 18 and older)
Prospective patients are interviewed and evaluated prior to admission to ensure the best chance of success.
Independent motivation to change is an essential requirement and while family members or clinicians may see the Gunderson programs as a good fit, the individual must be ready to actively participate in recovery—regardless of outside factors such as pending legal charges.
In addition, adequate levels of physical health and sobriety are reviewed to determine whether the level of care is appropriate for the individual.
The fee for the Gunderson Residence is $1,700 per day with a minimum stay of 60 days. Individuals stay with us an average of four months. We are a self-pay program and do not accept insurance or any third-party reimbursement.
The Gunderson Outpatient Program is a self-pay program. Although many of the fees for the program will be out of pocket expenses, several services may be covered by insurance. Individuals commit to an initial six-month treatment period, though ultimately length of care is determined by the individual’s unique clinical needs.
The initial six-month period is $8000, paid up front. Additional treatment is $1350 per month.
For more information on services included in the Gunderson Residence day rate, please see below.