Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior


Dr. Shea received her Ph.D. in psychology from Catholic University in 1981. She was formerly at the National Institute of Mental Health, where she was chief of the Personality Disorders Program, and Associate Coordinator of the NIMH Treatment of Depression Collaborative Research Program. Currently, she is Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University. She is a staff psychologist at the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders Clinic and Director of PTSD Research at the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She was a member of the Work Group on Personality Disorders for the DSM-IV; is a former president of the North American Society for Psychotherapy Research, and former member of the Executive Board of the International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders. She was an associate editor of the Journal of Personality Disorders, and has served on several other editorial boards. Areas of research have included longitudinal and treatment studies in the areas of depression, personality disorders, and PTSD and other trauma related symptoms in Veterans.  Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Defense. Her current research includes a randomized clinical trial (RCT) testing the efficacy of a Cognitive Behavioral intervention for the treatment of trauma-related anger problems in OEF/OIF/OND Veterans, a pilot RCT studying the effects of aerobic exercise on PTSD in Veterans, and an RCT comparing Interpersonal Therapy and Prolonged Exposure for treatment of PTSD in Veterans. She was previously a training site PI for two multi-site clinical trials of treatments for PTSD funded by the VA Cooperative Studies Program. She has authored over 160 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of personality traits and disorders, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder. and a longitudinal study examining the early course of PTSD symptoms and predictors of chronic PTSD in veterans of the Iraq war. She has authored numerous publications in the areas of personality traits and disorders, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Selected Publications

Shea MT, Elkin IE, Imber SD, Sotsky SM, Watkins JT, Collins JF, Pilkonis PA, Beckham E, Glass DR, Dolan RT, Parloff MB. Course of depressive symptoms over follow-up: Findings from the NIMH Treatment of Depression Collaborative Research Program. Archives of General Psychiatry, 1992, 49:782-787.

Shea MT, Widiger TA, Klein MH. Comorbidity of personality disorders and depression: implications for treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1992, 60: 857-868.

Shea MT, Leon AC, Mueller TI, Solomon DA, Warshaw MG, Keller MB. Does major depression result in lasting personality change? American Journal of Psychiatry, 1996, 153:1404-1410.

Shea M T, Zlotnick C, Weisberg R. Commonality and specificity of personality disorder profiles in subjects with trauma histories. Journal of Personality Disorders, 1999, 13:199-210

Shea MT, Stout R, Gunderson JG, Morey LC, Grilo CM, McGlashan T, Skodol AE, Dolan-Sewell R, Dyck I, Zanarini MC, Keller MB. Short-term diagnostic stability of schizotypal, borderline, avoidant, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2002, 159:2036-2041.

Schnurr PP, Friedman MJ, Foy DW, Shea MT, Hsieh F, Lavori PW, Glynn SM, Wattenberg M, Bernardy NC. A randomized trial of trauma focus group therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder: results from a department of veterans affairs cooperative study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2003, 80:481-489.

Shea MT, Yen S. Stability as a distinction between Axis I and Axis II Disorders. Journal of Personality Disorders, 2003, 17:373-386.

Grilo CM, Shea MT, Sanislow CA, Skodol AE, Gunderson JG, Stout RL, Pagano ME, Yen S, Morey LC, Zanarini MC, McGlashan TH. Two-year stability and change in schizotypal, borderline, avoidant and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2004; 72:767-775.

Shea MT, Stout RL, Yen S, Pagano ME, Skodol AE, Morey LC, Gunderson JG, McGlashan TH, Grilo CM, Sanislow CA, Bender DS, Zanarini MC. Associations in the course of personality disorders and axis I disorders over time. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2004, 113:499-508.

Yen S, Shea MT, Sanislow CA, Grilo CM, Skodol AE, Gunderson JG, McGlashan TH, Zanarini MC, Morey LC. Borderline personality disorder criteria associated with prospectively observed suicidal behavior. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2004, 161: 1296-1298.

Yen S, Shea MT, Pagano M, Sanislow CA, Grilo CM, McGlashan TH, Skodol AE, Bender DS, Zanarini MC, Gunderson JG, Morey LC. Axis I and Axis II disorders as predictors of prospective suicide attempts: findings from the Collaborative Longitudinal Personality Disorders Study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2003, 112:375-381.

Schnurr PP, Friedman MJ, Engel CC, Foa EB, Shea MT, Chow BK, Resick PA, Thurston V, Orsillo SM, Haug R, Turner C, Bernardy N. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Women. A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2007; 297:820-830.

Shea MT, McDevitt-Murphy M, Ready DJ, Schnurr PP. Group Therapy. In Foa EB, Keane TM, Friedman MJ (Eds), Effective Treatments for PTSD. New York, NY, Guilford Press, 2009, 306-326.

Shea MT, Edelen MO, Pinto A, Yen S, Gunderson JG, Skodol AF, Markowitz J, Sanislow CA, Grilo CM, Ansell E, Daversa MT, Zanarini MC, McGlashan TH, Morey LC. Improvement in borderline personality disorder in relationship to age. Acta Psychiatr Scand, 2009, 119:143-148.

Shea MT, Vujanovic AA, Mansfield AK, Sevin E, Liu F. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and Functional Impairment among OEF/OIF National Guard and Reserve Veterans. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 2010; 23:100-107.

Morey LC, Shea MT, Markowitz JC, Stout RL, Hopwood CJ, Gunderson JG, Grilo CM, McGlashan TH, Yen S, Sanislow CA, Skodol AE: State effects of major depression on the assessment of personality and personality disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry 2010; 167:528-535.

Gunderson JG, Stout RL, McGlashan TH, Shea MT, et al. Ten Year Course of Borderline Personality Disorder: Psychopathology and Function from the Collaborative Longitudinal Personality Disorders Study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2011; 68:827-837.

Shea MT, Lambert J, Reddy MK. A randomized pilot study of anger treatment for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 2013; 51:607-613.

Shea MT, Reddy MK, Tyrka A, Sevin E. Risk factors for post-deployment posttraumatic stress disorder in national guard / reserve service members. Psychiatry Research, 2013; 210:1042-1048.

Capone C, Carter AC, Reddy MK, Shea MT. Trauma-related predictors of alcohol use in recently deployed OEF-OIF Veterans. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 2013; 26:354-360.

Asnaani A, Reddy MK, Shea MT. The Impact of PTSD Symptoms on Physical and Mental Health Functioning in Returning Veterans. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 2014; 28:310-317.

Gunderson JG, Stout RL, Shea MT et al. Interactions of borderline personality disorder and mood disorders over 10 years. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 2014; 75:829-834.

Contractor AA, Presseau C, Capone C, Reddy MK, Shea MT. The moderating role of dysphoria in the relationship between intrusions and alcohol use. Addictive Behaviors, 2016: 5-14.


President, North American Society for Psychotherapy Research, 1994-1995
Associate Editor, Journal of Personality Disorders, 1995-present
Work Group on Personality Disorders, Task Force on DSM-IV, American Psychiatric Association, 1990-1994.

Selected Research Projects

Interpersonal Therapy for Veterans with PTSD, Department of Veterans Affairs. 01/01/16-12/31/19. Principle Investigator,  (1I0RX001783). The aim of this study is to compare Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) for PTSD, a relationship-focused individual treatment, with Prolonged Exposure, an evidence-based treatment for PTSD that has been “rolled out” nationally in the VA system.

Treatment of Trauma-Related Anger in OEF/OIF/OND Veterans, Department of Veterans Affairs. 08/01/2014-07/31/2018. Principle Investigator (1l0RX001146-01). The primary aim of this study is to test the efficacy of an adapted cognitive-behavioral intervention for treatment of anger problems in OEF/OIF/OND veterans.

Pilot Testing the Efficacy of an Aerobic Exercise Intervention for Veterans with PTSD, Department of Veterans Affairs. 11/1/13-2/28/16. Principle Investigator (1l0RX001377).  The specific aim of this study is to conduct a small, randomized clinical trial to pilot test the effectiveness of an adjunctive aerobic exercise (AE) intervention compared to a health education contact (HEC) control among Veterans receiving PTSD treatment.

Identification of Risk Factors for Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Department of Defense. 06/01/2006-05/31/2010. Principle Investigator (W8XWH-07-1-0573). Aims of this study were to increase knowledge regarding the early course of PTSD, and to determine specific factors that increase risk for chronic PTSD following war-zone trauma.

Treatment of Trauma-Related Anger in Troops Returning From Hazardous Deployments, Department of Defense. 03/01/2005-02/28/2010. Principle Investigator (USAMRC PRO 43437). The purpose of this study was to adapt a cognitive-behavioral treatment for early signs of PTSD-related anger, and to conduct a pilot study of the adapted intervention.

The Collaborative Longitudinal Study of Personality Disorders. NIMH. 03/01/96-05/31/09. Principal Investigator, (MH50837). The overall aim of this study is to provide a comprehensive picture of the course and outcome of four specific personality disorders (PD's): schizotypal (STPD), borderline (BPD), avoidant (AVPD), and obsessive-compulsive (OCPD).

Emotional-Processing in Borderline Personality Disorder, NIMH. 9/20/04-8/31/07. Site PI (Brett Litz, PI) (MH069444-01A1).The aims of this study were to examine the emotional-processing consequences of exposure to a personally relevant challenge in BPD, and to develop sets of emotionally evocative stimuli that can be used in future research.

A Randomized Clinical Trial of Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for PTSD in Women. VA Cooperative Studies Program. 11/01/01-– 09/30/05. Site PI (Paula Schnurr, PI) (Cooperative Studies Program #494).
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of exposure therapy for treating PTSD and associated problems in female veterans.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas