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Faculty & Research

William R. Beardslee

Member of the Faculty of Education
George P. Gardner and Olga E. Monks Professor of Child Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry

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Degree:  M.D., Case Western Reserve University, (1971)
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William R. Beardslee is the academic chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Children's Hospital in Boston, and the Gardner Monks Professor of Child Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He trained in general psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and in child psychiatry and psychiatric research at Children's Hospital. He has a long-standing research interest in the development of children at risk because of severe parental mental illness. He has been especially interested in the protective effects of self-understanding in enabling youngsters and adults to cope with adversity, and has studied self-understanding in civil-rights workers, survivors of cancer, and children of parents with affective disorders. Currently, he directs the Preventive Intervention Project, an NIMH-funded study to explore the effects of a clinician-facilitated, family-based preventive intervention designed to enhance resiliency and family understanding for children of parents with affective disorder. He also directs the Boston site of the Prevention of Depression study, a four-site NIMH-funded study, to evaluate a cognitive behavioral group prevention developed by Dr. Greg Clarke for youngsters at double risk because they have symptoms of depression and their parents are depressed. Beardslee serves on the advisory board of the National Mental Health Association, on the Carter Center Task Force on Prevention, and on the prevention committee of the American Psychiatric Association. He is the author of over 100 articles and chapters and two books: The Way Out Must Lead In: Life Histories in the Civil Rights Movement, a story of what enables civil-rights workers to endure; and Out of the Darkened Room: Protecting the Children and Strengthening the Family When a Parent Is Depressed, a book about how parents and caregivers can help families overcome depression. He is married and has four children.

Areas of Expertise

Human Rights Award, Department of Mental Health, Commonwealth of Massachusetts,(2005)

Outstanding Mentor Award, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,(2004)

Catcher in the Rye Award for Advocacy for Children, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,(1999)

Blanche F. Ittleson Award, American Psychiatric Association,(1998)

Faculty Scholar, William T. Grant Foundation