Thomas Marra, Ph.D.
Thomas Marra, PhD received his undergraduate education at the University of the Pacific in California, with its psychology department known for its behavior analysis commitment. His PhD was awarded by the California School of Professional Psychology (now Alliant International University) in 1981.
Dr. Marra was formerly a military psychologist, and after his post-doctoral training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center developed group treatment programs for anxiety disorders, depression, and anger control. He later went in to private practice in Monterey, California, serving on the medical staffs of hospitals. He became perplexed that most hospitals were using only pharmaceuticals and distraction in order to treat emotional disorders. He therefore founded the first free-standing inpatient psychiatric unit based totally on DBT principals. Every patient admitted in to the facility was provided with DBT treatment, regardless of diagnosis. The results were remarkable: no patient ever had to be restrained or placed in isolation, the lengths of stay were less than other local hospitals treating similar patients, and patient satisfaction surveys were excellent. The facility obtained Accreditation with Commendation (awarded to only 10% of all hospitals) on its first site examination. He learned that patients respond to the validation, structure, and hope that DBT provides.
Dr. Marra has lectured widely in the US and Canada, and written two books on DBT. Depressed & Anxious is a patient-friendly workbook to lead the reader through the DBT exercises and ideas. DBT in Private Practice is a professional textbook that leads the mental health provider through the theory, research findings, and clinical application of DBT.
Dr. Marra is currently in private practice in Monterey, and applies DBT to an outpatient population. He has received numerous awards from local, state, and the American Psychological Association (where is Fellow in the Division of Psychotherapy). He is President of the Center for Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which is now concluding a randomized control study of the use of DBT with comorbid non-borderline personality disordered patients in private practice settings.
Marra takes you step-by-step, through the theory and practice of DBT. He is a wonderful guide, leading us by the hand, pointing out where we need to attend to theory, empirical research, and clinical observation and intuition.
---J. Mark Williams, Ph.D., University of Oxford, coauthor of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression
“a masterful clinician…represents the cutting edge in cognitive behavior therapy.”
---Len Sperry, MD, PhD, author of Cognitive Behavior Therapy of DSM-IV Personality Disorders and Handbook of Diagnosis and Treatment of DM-IV-TR Personality Disorders
“Marra has succeeded in expanding the focus of DBT to include most forms of psychopathology and provides everything therapists need to begin using DBT in their own practice.”
--Susan Bradley, MD, FRCP, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto
“Marra…makes this especially powerful and useful model easily accessible to the practicing clinician.”
--Arthur Freeman, Ed.D., ABPP, Professor and Dean, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne IN
- Certification and accreditation exists to benefit consumers.
- DBT providers and programs will be most effective when Evidence-Based Practice in Psychology (EBPP) is applied with fidelity to the approved policy of the American Psychological Association (APA).