Research Centers

photo

Psychological Evaluation and Research Laboratory (PEaRL)

The Psychological Evaluation and Research Laboratory (PEaRL) is a clinical assessment, research, and training service directed by Mark A. Blais, PsyD, Associate Chief of Psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

The PEaRL (Psychological Evaluation and Research Laboratory) offers a broad range of psychological assessment services for adults with complex psychiatric illness or who are experiencing a combination of emotional and medical problems. PEaRL evaluations employ a combination of psychological and neuropsychological instruments to provide an integrated and detailed understanding of patient’s intellectual, neuro-cognitive, and psychological functioning with the goal of enhancing patient care and treatment outcome.

PEaRL Evaluations may be appropriate for the following clinical situations:

  • Provide differential diagnosis or diagnostic clarification for complex multi-disorder cases
  • Evaluate thought quality prior to starting or modifying antipsychotic medication
  • Evaluate for a subclinical thought disorder impacting treatment effectiveness
  • Evaluate the extent and potential etiology of affect dysregulation
  • Evaluate for personality characteristics impacting treatment effectiveness 
  • Evaluate the extent and potential etiology impulsive self-defeating behavior
  • Evaluate subjective cognitive complaints (memory and attention problems) in patients with comorbid psychiatric illness or taking psychoactive medications
  • Evaluate personality styles and psychological resources of non-responding patients
  • Evaluate cognitive status of psychiatric patients with known risk factors such as seizures, TBI, diabetes, substance abuse, family history of neurodegenerative illness, or anoxia

The PEaRL model combines clinical assessment with a collaborative framework that engages patients and referring clinicians in the assessment process. As a result PEaRL evaluations aid clinicians by answering critical clinical questions and also provide patients with insights into their difficulties. We are committed to providing prompt service with most appointments being scheduled within a month and report available 3 weeks after the completed evaluation. In addition to providing clinical service the PEaRL has an active research program and is a major training resource for the MGH/HMS pre-doctoral psychology internship program.

To make a referral for a comprehensive psychological assessment please complete this referral form (PDF). If you have any questions about the clinical services we provide or in regards to making a referral, please contact Justin Sinclair, Ph.D. at SJSinclair@Partners.org, or 617-643-4497 or Mark A. Blais, Psy. D. at MBlais@Partners.org 617-724-9143

 

Mark A BlaisDirector of the PEaRL
Mark
A. Blais, Psy.D.
Associate Chief of Psychology, Massachusetts General Hospital &
Associate Professor of Psychology (Psychiatry), Harvard Medical School
MBlais@partners.org



S. Justin Sinclair, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist, Massachusetts General Hospital & Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
SJSinclair@partners.org.

Michelle Stein, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist, Massachusetts General Hospital & Instructor, Harvard Medical School
MStein3@partners.org

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Michaela Smith, Psy.D
Clinical Fellow in Psychology
Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School

Pre-Doctoral Interns

Wei-Jean Chung, M.A.
Clinical Fellow in Psychology
Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School


Rachel Liebman, M.A.
Clinical Fellow in Psychology
Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School

 

PEaRL Alumni

Johanna C. Malone, Ph.D.
Miriam Frankel, Ph.D.
Sara Lowmaster,M.A.
Julie Messinger
Matthew R. Baity
Caleb J. Siefert
Hal Shorey
Jessica A. Little
Phuong T. Nguyen
Christopher J. Hopwood
Adreinne Abramowitz
Maren Nyer
Annie Gupta
Jenelle Slavin-Mulford
Iruma Bello
Brandon Bergman
Gentiana Sadikaj


The PEaRL maintains an active research program within projects in the domains of applied assessment, program evaluation and basic measurement. Our group has extensive expertise in psychometrics, scale development and validation, as well as specialized knowledge in the assessment of psychopathology, personality functioning and treatment outcomes. Our research projects typically fit into one of three categories: 1) developing and evaluating the psychometric properties of assessment instruments; 2) exploring the utility of standard psychological and neuropsychological measures for predicting important real-world outcomes, and 3) evaluating treatment effectiveness at program and system levels.

Trainees have the opportunity to join our ongoing research projects or develop projects consistent with our research and clinical mission. Most of our recent trainees have had successful research experiences, presented papers or posters at professional conferences or published research articles, as part of their PEaRL training.

Current Research Activities:

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT):  Another major aspect of our research focuses on advancing the utility of the TAT using the Social Cognition and Object Relations Scale-Global Rating Method (SCORS-G). The SCORS-G can be used across multiple forms of narrative data.   You can download the SCORS-G training manual from this website.  Also, we offer research consultation and reliability training for individuals or groups interested in using the SCORS-G in their clinical and/or research practice.  Please contact Michelle Stein, Ph.D. at mstein3@partners.org if you have further inquiries and/or are interested in more intensive training.

Mental Health Outcome Measure: Development and validation of a model based outcome measure for mental health treatment. This project will create a flexible and adaptable outcome measure for psychiatric treatment based on the broad domains of internalizing, externalizing and severe psychopathology. The measure will also contain a number of brief syndrome specific scales linked to each domain allowing for more precise tracking of common / major psychiatric disorders. The project is funded by Partners Psychiatry and Mental Health.

Peace Creation Scale: Development and initial validation of a scale to measure the Peace Benefit of medical interventions delivered in recently post conflict / violence zones.  This is a joint project undertaken in conjunction with the MGH Division of Global Health and Human Rights, Thomas Burk, MD, Chief.  


MGH Department of Psychiatry Adult Outcomes Measurement Program: Maintain, monitor and analyze outcome data for all clinical services provided within and across the MGH Department of Psychiatry.


Schwartz Outcome Scale (SOS-10) Project: The SOS-10 is a unique and highly versatile mental health outcomes measure. We maintain a growing SOS-10 database and engage in projects that expand the use and application of the scale.


Concurrent Validity of Common Psychological and Neuropsychological instruments:
we are developing an IRB approved database with test scores and demographic information from all of our standard clinical assessments. This database will provide important information regarding the concurrent validity of common assessment tools while also allowing for the explorations of important clinical constructs.  

TRAININGMassachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School offers a full-time, pre-doctoral internship in Clinical Psychology to matriculated doctoral students enrolled in clinical or counseling psychology programs. The PEaRL is a significant training site for the elective in adult clinical psychology.  Please visit the MGH Psychology training web site for detailed information about the internship program.


There is typically a full-time, post-doctoral fellowship position in Clinical Psychology available to individuals who have successfully completed an APA-Approved Pre-Doctoral Internship and are strongly interested in assessment and measurement. The Fellowship year runs from July to June, it offers a competitive stipend, four weeks vacation, and healthcare benefits.  All Fellows receive appointments at Harvard Medical School as Clinical Fellows in the Department of Psychiatry.

Journal Articles:

In Press

Antonius D, Sinclair SJ, Shiva AA, Messinger JW, Maile J, Siefert CJ, Belfi B, Malaspina D, & Blais MA. Heterogeneity of aggressive behavior traits: Exploratory and confirmatory analyses of the reactive and instrumental aggression Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) scales. Violence and Victims, (In press).  

Blais MA. The Schwartz Outcome Scale-10: A Unique mental health outcome measure. Integrating Science and Practice, (In press).

Conklin AC, Malone JC, & Fowler JT. Mentalization and the Rorschach. Rorschachiana, (In press).

Haggerty G, Kahoud D, Walsh E, Ahmed Z, & Blais MA. A brief inpatient measure of symptom severity: Initial validation of the Brief Symptom Measure-25 for an adolescent inpatient sample. J Nerv Ment Dis, (In Press).

Slavin-Mulford J, Sinclair SJ, Stein M, Malone J, Bello I, & Blais MA.  External Validity of the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) in a Clinical Sample. Journal of Personality Assessment, (in Press)


2013

Blais MA, Malone JC, Stein MB, Slavin-Mulford J, O’Keefe SM, Renna M, Sinclair SJ Treatment As Usual (TAU) for depression:  A comparison of psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and combined treatment at a large academic medical center, 2013. Psychotherapy, 50(1):  110-118.

Malone JC, Stein MB, Slavin-Mulford J, Bello I, Sinclair SJ, & Blais MA. Seeing red: Affect modulation and chromatic color responses on the Rorschach. 2013; Bull Menninger Clin, 77(1): 70-93.

Siefert CJ, Stein M, Sinclair SJ, Antonius D, Shiva A, Blais M.  Development and initial validation of a scale for detecting inconsistent responding on the Personality Assessment

Inventory-Short Form, 2012.  J Pers Assess, 94(6): 601-606.

Sinclair SJ, Slavin-Mulford J, Antonius D, Stein MB, Siefert CJ, Haggerty G, O’Keefe S, & Blais MA. Development and preliminary validation of the Level of Care Index (LOCI) from the personality assessment inventory in a psychiatric sample. Psychological Assessment, 2013; DOI: 10.1037/a0032085.

Stein, MB, Jacobo, MC:  Brief inpatient psychotherapeutic technique.  Psychotherapy (in Press)


2012

Blais MA, Sinclair SJ, Baity MR, Worth J, Weiss AP, Ball LA, & Herman J. Measuring Outcomes in Adult Psychiatry. Clin Psychol Psychother, 2012; 19: 203-213.

Hardy C, Rosedale M, Messinger JW, Aujero N, Silva H, Goetz RR, & Malaspina D. Odor acuity is associated with mood and function in stable bipolar patients. Bipolar Disorders, 2012; 14(1): 109-117.

Lowmaster SE, & Morey LC. Predicting law enforcement officer job performance with the Personality Assessment Inventory. Journal of Personality Assessment, 2012; 94: 254-261.

Malaspina D, Goetz R, Keller A, Messinger JW, Bruder G, Goetz D, Opler M, Harlap S, Harkavy-Friedman J, & Antonious D. Olfactory processing, sex effects and heterogeneity in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 2012; 135(1-3): 144-151.

Malaspina D, Andreas Keller A, Antonius D, Messinger JW, Goetz D, Harkavy–

Friedman J, Goetz R, & Harlap S. Olfaction and Cognition: Sex Matters. Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 2012; 24(2): 165-175.

Sinclair SJ, Bello I, Nyer M, Slavin-Mulford J, Stein MB, Renna M, Antonius D, & Blais MA. The Suicide (SPI) and Violence Potential Indices (VPI) from the Personality Assessment Inventory:  A Preliminary Exploration of Validity in an Outpatient Psychiatric Sample. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 2012; 34(3): 423-431.

Stein MB, Slavin-Mulford J, Sinclair SJ, Siefert CJ, & Blais MA.  Exploring the Construct Validity of the Social Cognition and Object Relations Scale in a clinical sample. Journal of Personality Assessment, 2012; 94(5): 533-540.

Westen D, Malone JC, & DeFife JA. An empirically derived approach to the classification and diagnosis of mood disorders. World Psychiatry, 2012; 11: 172-180.


2011

Balsis S, Lowmaster SE, Cooper LD, & Benge J. Personality disorder diagnostic thresholds correspond to different levels of latent pathology. Journal of Personality Disorders, 2011; 25: 115-127.

Feldman G, Greeson J, Renna M, Robbins-Monteith K. Mindfulness predicts less texting while driving among young adults: Examining attention- and emotion-regulation motives as potential mediators. Personality and Individual Differences, 2011; 51: 856-861.

Hardy C, Tal A, Babb J, Perry N, Messinger J, Antonius D, Malaspina D, Gonen O. Multivoxel Proton MR Spectroscopy Distinguishes Anterior Cingulate Metabolic Abnormalities in Schizophrenia. Radiology, 2011; 261(2): 542-550.

Hopwood CJ, Malone JC, Ansell EB, Sanislow CA, Grilo CM, McGlashan TH, Pinto A, Markowitz JC, Shea MT, Skodol AE, Gunderson JG, Zanarini MC, & Morey LC. Personality assessment in DSM-V: Empirical support for rating severity, style, and traits. Journal of Personality Disorders, 2011; 25: 305-320.

Malone JC, Westen D, & Levendosky AA. Personalities of adults with traumatic childhood separations. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 2011; 67: 1-24.

Messinger JW, Trémeau F, Antonius D, Mendelsohn E, Prudent V, Stanford AD, & Malaspina D. Avolition and expressive deficits capture negative symptom phenomenology: Implications for DSM-5 and schizophrenia research. Clinical Psychology Review, 2011; 31(1): 161-168.

Morey LC, Lowmaster SE, Coldren RL, Kelly MP, Parish RV, & Russell ML. Personality Assessment Inventory profiles of deployed combat troops:  An empirical investigation of normative performance. Psychological Assessment, 2011; 23: 456-462.

Sinclair SJ, Siefert CJ, Slavin-Mulford J, Stein MB, Renna M, & Blais MA. Psychometric Evaluation and Normative Data for the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scales-21 (DASS-21) in a Non-Clinical Sample of United States Adults. Evaluation & The Health Professions, 2011; 35: 259-279.

Slavin-Mulford JM, Hilsenroth MJ, Blagys MD, & Blais MA. Experiences related to expert supervisors’ views of ideal therapeutic practice, Counsel Psychother Res. 2011; 11: 97-104. 

Stanford AD, Messinger, JW, Malaspina D, & Corcoran C. Theory of mind in patients at clinical high risk for psychosis. Schizophrenia Research, 2011; 131 (1-3): 11-17.

Stein MB, Siefert CJ, Stewart RVS, & Hilsenroth MJ.  Relationship between the Social Cognition and Object Relations Scale (SCORS) and Attachment Style in a clinical sample. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2012; 18(6): 512-523.


2010

Blais MA. The common structure of normal personality and psychopathology: preliminary exploration in a non-patient sample. J Pers Individ Differ. 2010; 48: 322-326.  

Blais MA, Jacobo MC, & Smith SR. Exploring therapeutic alliance in brief inpatient psychotherapy: A preliminary study. Clin Psychol Psychother, 2010; 17: 386-94. 

Blais MA, & Little J. Toward an integrated study of Narcissism. J Pers, Theor, Res and Treat. 2010; 3: 197-19.

Charnas J, Hilsenroth M, Zodan J, & Blais MA. Should I stay or should I go? PAI and Rorschach indices of early withdrawal from psychotherapy. Psychother Theor, Res, Pract Train, 2010; 47: 484-499.

Haggerty G, Blake M, Naraine M, Siefert CJ, & Blais MA. Construct validity of the Schwartz Outcome scale-10: Comparisons to interpersonal distress, adult attachment, alexithymia, the five factor model, romantic relationship length and ratings of childhood memories. Clin Psychol Psychother, 2010; 17(1): 44-50.

Lowmaster SE, Morey LC, Baker K, & Hopwood CJ. Structure, reliability, and predictive validity of the Texas Christian University Correctional Residential Self-rating Form at Intake in a residential substance abuse treatment facility. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 2010; 39: 180-187.

Malone JC, Levendosky AA, Dayton CJ, & Bogat GA. Understanding the ‘ghosts in the nursery’ of pregnant women experiencing domestic violence: Prenatal maternal representations and histories of child maltreatment. Journal of Infant Mental Health, 2010; 31: 432-454.

Markey PM, Lowmaster SE, & Eichler WC. A real-time assessment of interpersonal complementarity. Personal Relationships, 2010; 17: 13-25.

Morey LC, Lowmaster SE, & Hopwood CJ. Manual assisted cognitive therapy for borderline personality disorder. Psychiatry Research, 2010; 178: 531-535.

Perrin M, Kleinhaus K, Messinger JW, & Malaspina D. Critical periods and the developmental origins of disease: An epigenetic perspective. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2010; 1024 Suppl: E8-13.

Rosenfield P, Kleinhaus K, Opler M, Perrin M, Learned N, Goetz R, Stanford A, Messinger J, Harkavy-Friedman J, & Malaspina D. Differential sex effects and symptomatology in a paternal age-related schizophrenia subgroup. Schizophrenia Research, 2010; 116(2-3): 191-195.

Sinclair SJ, & LoCicero A. Do fears of terrorism predict trust in government? Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, 2010; 2: 57-68.

Sinclair SJ, Blais, MA, Gansler DA, Sandberg E, Bistis K, & LoCicero A. Psychometric properties of the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale: Overall and across demographic groups living within the United States. Eval Health Prof., 2010; 33(1): 56-81.

Sinclair SJ, Antonous D, Shiva A, Siefert C, Kehl-Fie K, Lama S, Shorey HS, & Blais MA. The psychometric properties of the Personality Assessment Inventory-Short Form (PAI-SF) in inpatient forensic and civil samples. J Psychopath Behav Assessment, 2010; 32: 406-415.

Stein MB, Pesale F, Slavin J, & Hilsenroth MJ. A Training outline for Conducting Psychotherapy Process Ratings:  An Example Using Therapist Technique. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 2010; 10(1): 50-59.


Published Books

In press

Sinclair SJ & Antonius D. The political psychology of terrorism fears. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming Spring 2013.

2012

Sinclair SJ & Antonius D. The psychology of terrorism fears. Oxford: Oxford University

Press, 2012.

Jackson RJ & Sinclair SJ. Contemporary debates in terrorism. London: Routledge Publishing, 2012.

2010

Antonius D, Brown AD, Walters T, Ramirez M, & Sinclair SJ. (Eds.) Interdisciplinary

analyses of terrorism and aggression. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010.

Blais M, Baity M, & Hopwood C. (Eds). Clinical Applications of the Personality

Assessment Inventory. New York: Routledge Mental Health, 2010.


Edited Book Chapters

In press

Morris L, Messinger JW, & Malaspina D. Diagnosis of Psychoses. In D Charney, J Buxbaum, P Sklar, & E Nestler (Eds.), The Neurobiology of Mental Illness, 4th Edition. New York, NY: Oxford University press. (In press).

2012

Sinclair SJ, Blais MA, & Sherman JC. Chapter 32: Neuropsychological Assessment. In TA Stern, JB Herman, & T Gorrindo (Eds.), MGH Psychiatry Update and Board Preparation, 3rd edition. Boston: MGH Psychiatry Academy. 2012.

Sinclair SJ, O’Keefe S, & Blais MA. Chapter 31: Psychological Assessment. In TA Stern, JB Herman, & T Gorrindo (Eds.), MGH Psychiatry Update and Board Preparation, 3rd edition. Boston: MGH Psychiatry Academy. 2012.

2011

Morey LC, & Lowmaster SE. The Personality Assessment Inventory. In TM Harwood, LE Beutler, & G Groth-Marnat (Eds.). Integrative Assessment of Adult Personality (3rd edition). New York: The Guilford Press. 2011.

Perrin M, Kleinhaus K, Opler M, Messinger JW, & Malaspina D. Pages 71-96:

Epidemiology Research and Epigenetics: Translational Epidemiology of Schizophrenia.

In A Petronis & J Mill (Eds.), Brain and Behavior: the Epigenetic Perspective.

New York, NY: Springer. 2011.

Rosenfeld B, Lowmaster SE, & Edens JF. Measure development. In B Rosenfeld & S Penrod (Eds.), Research methods in forensic psychology. New York, NY: Wiley. 2011.

2010

Morey LC, & Lowmaster SE. The Personality Assessment Inventory. In IB Weiner (Eds.), The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science (4th edition). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. 2010.


National Awards:

Mark A. Blais, PsyD
2009    Theodore Millon, Award in Personality Psychology, American Psychological  Foundation
        “For outstanding work in advancing the science of Personality Psychology”
 
S. Justin Sinclair, PhD
2007    Dr. Chris Hatcher Memorial Scholarship Award, Association for threat Assessment Professionals


Research Collaborations:

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Borderline Psychopathology: MGH DBT program, Michelle Jacobo, PhD, Director

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Processes and Outcome Research Program, The Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, Adelphi University, Mark J. Hilsenroth, PhD., Professor of Psychology

Inpatient Treatment Outcome Project, Nassau University Medical Center, Greg Haggerty, PhD, Staff Psychologist

Psychological Instrument Validation Project, Psychological Assessment Center, University of California, Santa Barbara, Steve R. Smith, PhD., Associate Professor of Psychology

Forensic and Aggressive Personality Assessment Project, New York University School of Medicine,  Daniel Antonius, PhD, Assistant Professor, Institute for Social and Psychiatric Initiative.

The Psychological Evaluation and Research Laboratory (PEaRL)

One Bowdoin Square. 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-724-9143
Email: mblais@partners.org

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes

Please contact us with any questions or comments:

Dr. Mark A. Blais, Director, PEaRL
Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School
One Bowdoin Square, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
617-724-9143
mblais@partners.org


Get Directions and View Larger Map

patient

Proto magazine

Proto magazine stakes its ground on medicine's leading edge, reporting back from the frontiers of research and practice - exploring breakthroughs, dissecting controversies and opening a forum for informed debate.

Research at Mass General

Discover the largest hospital-based research program in the U.S. and how clinicians and scientists chart new terrain in biomedical research to treat and prevent human disease and bring the latest advances to patient care

Work for one of the nation's top hospitals

Discover what makes Massachusetts General Hospital not just one of the best places to receive patient care but also one of the best places to work.