Sara Masland

Associate Professor of Psychological Science; On leave Fall 2023
With Pomona Since: 2017
  • Expertise


    Sara Rose Masland is a clinical scientist and licensed clinical psychologist. She is currently a trainer in Good Psychiatric Management (GPM) for borderline personality disorder (BPD) and co-chairs a multinational research committee dedicated to studying and improving GPM. More broadly, she studies treatment improvement and accessibility for people with personality disorders, including the ways that stigma may create barriers to care.

    She also studies social cognition, identity, and emotion processes in personality disorders, particularly BPD and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). In an additional line of research, Dr. Masland studies psychosocial predictors of transdiagnostic clinical outcomes, including the perception of criticism in close relationships.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Psychopathology
    • Clinical Psychology
    • Personality Disorders
    • Borderline Personality Disorder
    • Mental Health Stigma
    • Psychosocial Predictors of Relapse
  • Work


    Selected Publications

    Choi-Kain, L.W., Masland, S.R., & Finch, E.F. (2023). Corrective experiences to enhance trust: Clinical wisdom from Good (Enough) Psychiatric Management. Journal of Personality Disorders, 37(5), 559-579.

    Masland, S.R., Finch, E.F., & Schnell, S.E. (2023). Effects of group psychotherapy for nonsuicidal self-injury: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy. Online First.

    Masland, S.R., Victor, S., Peters, J., Dixon-Gordon, K., Fitzpatrick, S., Bettis, A.H., Navarre, K.M., & Rizvi, S. (2023). Destigmatizing borderline personality disorder: A call to action for psychological science. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 18(2), 445-460.

    Iliakis, E.A., & Masland, S.R. (2021). Internet interventions for perfectionism: A meta-analysis and proposals for the college setting. Journal of American College Health. Online First.

    Masland, S.R., & Fleisher, C. (2021). Multimodal treatments. In L.W. Choi-Kain & C. Sharp (Eds.). Handbook of Good Psychiatric Management for Adolescents with Borderline Personality Disorder. American Psychiatric Association Publishing.

    Masland, S.R., & Null, K.E. (2021). Effects of diagnostic label construction and gender on stigma about borderline personality disorder. Stigma and Health. Advance online publication.

    Choi-Kain, L.W., Reich, D.B., Masland, S.R., Iliakis, E.A., & Ilagan, G.S. (2020). Longitudinal study of borderline personality disorder: What every clinician should know. Current Treatment Options in Psychiatry, 7, 429-445.

    Masland, S.R., & Hooley, J.M. (2020). When trust does not come easily: Negative emotional information unduly influences trustworthiness appraisals for individuals with borderline personality features. Journal of Personality Disorders, 33, 1-16.

    Masland, S.R., Schnell, S.E., & Shah, T.V. (2020). Trust beliefs, biases, and behaviors in borderline personality disorder: Empirical findings and relevance to epistemic trust. Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports. Online First.

    Masland, S.R., Shah, T.V., & Choi-Kain, L.W. (2020). Boredom in borderline personality disorder: A lost criterion reconsidered. Psychopathology. Online First.

    Finch, E.F., Iliakis, E.A., Masland, S.R., & Choi-Kain, L.W. (2019). A meta-analysis of treatment as usual for borderline personality disorder. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 10(6), 491-499.

    Hooley, J.M., & Masland, S.R. (2019). Positive emotion in borderline personality disorder. In J. Gruber (Ed.). Handbook of Positive Emotion and Psychopathology (pp. 333-352). Oxford University Press.

    Masland, S.R., Cummings, M.H., Null, K.E., Woynowskie, K.M., & Choi-Kain, L.W. (2019). Changes in post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms during residential treatment for borderline personality disorder: A longitudinal cross-lagged study. Borderline Personality Disorder and Emotion Dysregulation, 6(15), 1-9.

    Gunderson, J.G., Masland, S.R., & Choi-Kain, L.W. (2018). Good Psychiatric Management for borderline personality disorder: A review. Current Opinion in Psychology, 21, 127-131.

    Masland, S.R. (2018). Managing mistrust, paranoia, and relationship rupture. In B. Palmer and B. Unruh (Eds.), Borderline Personality Disorder: A Case-Based Approach (pp. 49-60). Springer International Publishing.

    Masland, S.R., Price, D., MacDonald, J., Finch, E.F., Gunderson, J.G., & Choi-Kain, L.W. (2018). Enduring effects of one-day training in Good Psychiatric Management on clinician attitudes about borderline personality disorder. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 206(11), 865-869.

    Choi-Kain, L.W, Finch, E.F., Masland, S.R., Jenkins, J., & Unruh, B. (2017). What works in the treatment of borderline personality disorder? Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports, 4(1), 21-30. -Media Coverage: Huffington Post

    Masland, S.R., & Hooley, J.M. (2015). Perceived criticism: A research update for clinical practitioners. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 22(3), 211-222.

    Masland, S.R., Hooley, J.M., Tully, L.M., Dearing, K., & Gotlib, I.H. (2015). Cognitive processing biases in individuals high on perceived criticism. Clinical Psychological Science, 3, 3-14.

  • Education


    Ph.D., Harvard University

    M.A., Harvard University

    A.B., Bowdoin College

  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    • Wig Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching (2023)
    • Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health Research Grant (2020)
    • Wig Fund Curriculum Development Grant (2017)
    • Harvard Medical School Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2016-2017)
    • Award for Best Speed-Data Presentation, North American Society for the Study of Personality Disorders (2016)
    • Bok Center Certificate of Distinction and Excellence in Teaching, Harvard University (2014)
    • George W. Goethals Award for Excellence in Teaching, Harvard University (2013, 2014)
    • American Psychological Foundation Graduate Student Scholarship (2014)
    • A.A. Robak Research Fund Award, Harvard University (2014)
    • Sackler Scholar Programme Award in Psychobiology (2013)
    • Barbara Ditmars Research Fund Award, Harvard University (2011)