1- 888- 4-TARA APD

The Treatment and Research Advancements Association for Personality Disorder, TARA APD, is a 501 C3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to foster education and research in the field of personality disorder, specifically but not exclusively Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD); to support research into the causes, psychobiology and treatment of personality disorders; to support and I encourage educational programs and endeavors targeting mental health professionals, consumers of mental health services, families and/or the community at large in order to reduce stigma and increase awareness of personality disorder, to disseminate available information on etiology and treatment and to lawfully advocate for accomplishments of these goals.
Valerie Porr, MA
Founder and President
Michael Lionza
Vice President and Treasurer
Sandy Boone, Pres.
TARA Southern California
Kathleen Cary, CSW
Emil Coccaro, MD
Marcia Frank, RN, Pres.

TARA San Rafael, CA
Eric Hollander, MD
Nancy Leo
Ed Mannion, Pres.

TARA Philadelphia, PA
John Oldham, MD
Gail Rockwood, Pres

TARA Pittsburgh, PA
Larry Siever, MD
Diane Sterenbuch

TARA Washington DC
Norman Bartels, MPA, MA
Dupage County Health Dept., IL
Aaron Beck, PhD
University of Pennsylvania
Leon Bernhardt
Metropolitan Hospital, NY
Nancee Blum, CSW
University of Iowa
Robert Cloninger, MD
Washington University in St.Louis
Donald Dutton, PhD
University of British Columbia
Allen J. Francis, MD
Duke University Med. Ctr.
John Gunderson, MD
Harvard Medical School
Ronald C. Kessler, PhD
Harvard Medical School
Marsha Linehan, PhD
University of Washington
Paul Links, MD, FRCP
University of Toronto
John Livesley, MD
University of British Columbia
John Mann, MD
Columbia Univ. Coll. of Physicians & Surgeons
Susan McElroy, MD
Univ. of Cinncinati Coll. of Medicine
Juan E. Mezzich, MD, PhD
Mt Sinai School of Medicine
Antonia New
Mt Sinai School of Medicine
Lewis Opler, MD, PhD
Columbia Univ. Coll. of Physicians & Surgeons
Joel Paris, MD
McGill University
Paul A. Pilkonis, PhD
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Bruce Pfohl, MD
University of Iowa
Charles Schulz, MD
University of Minnesota Medical School
Kenneth R. Silk, MD
Univ. of Michigan Medical Center
Paul H. Soloff, MD
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Barbara Stanley, PhD
Columbia Univ. Coll. of Physicians & Surgeons
Michael Stone, MD
Columbia Univ. Coll. of Physicians & Surgeons
Ezra Susser, MD, DrPH
Columbia Univ. Coll. of Physicians & Surgeons
Bessel A. Van der Kolk, MD
Harvard Medical School
Rachel Yehuda
Bronx VA Medical Center
Mary Zanarini, EdD
McLean Hospital
Founded in November of 1994 by Valerie Porr, MA in response to the realization that patients with personality disorders are stigmatized by the mental health community, as a group are; underdiagnosed, have little or no information available on etiology, nosology and treatment, and have little or no effective treatment available to them. These problems are prevalent nationwide.
A voice was needed to call attention to BPD. TARA, created to be that voice, advocates with legislators, mental health administrators, providers and other advocacy organizations for parity for BPD with other major mental illnesses, for decreasing stigma against these patients and for the establishment of appropriate treatment. The work of the dedicated professionals doing research into the etiology and treatment of BPD has not received the recognition it merits. Research programs focusing on BPD are often the first to be eliminated; treatment protocols are often cut out of managed care programs. People suffering I with BPD rarely receive optimum treatment, are the patients with the highest rate of recidivism and the longest and most frequent hospital stays They are the most intensive and expensive users of mental heathh and substance abuse services and broader human services such as the criminal justice system. These 'Grand Repeaters" leave health care professionals feeling helpless and are labeled "treatment resistant". Families, trying to cope with difficult be-havior without necessary skills, understanding, insight, support or guidance are devastated and hopeless. Improving treatment would be cost effective.
TARA APD is the only national not-for-profit education and advocacy organization providing information on BPD to families, consumers, and providers. TARA APD refers people nationwide to clinicians and treatment programs that use empirically based treatment modalities.
NATIONAL HOTLINE: We operate the only BPD HOTLINE in the nation, We also send each caller an educational packet on BPD.
BPD BROCHURE: TARA APD Is the only organization in the nation that has produced a brochure explaining BPD. This BPD brochure, edited by TARA APD Board members LarrySiever, MD, John Oldham, MD,and Dixianne Penney, DrPH, is also distributed by many of our Scientific Advisory Board members.
BPD JOURNAL: The BPD issue of The Journal of the California Alliance of the Mentally Ill, co-edited by TARA APD President, Valerie Porr, MA, is in its second edition and has already sold over 7000 copies.
RESOURCE & REFERRAL CENTER: Organizations such as NAMI, the DANA Alliance, NMHA, NIMH and Lifenet in NYC refer requests for help on personality disorder to TARA APD. In turn, TARA APD refers callers to appropriate treatmentt and support groups. (e.g. Recovery, Inc.)
SPEAKERS: As part of our ongoing efforts to raise awareness of personality disorder, especially BPD, organize workshops, symposia and lectures at major conferences locally, nationally and internationally.
INTERNET: Information TARA APD can be found on Borderline Sanctuary, the busiest site on BPD on the Internet. We are now developing our own web site. Our E-mail address:
MEDIA TARA APD has been featured the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Boston Globe, the Long Island Voice. Common Boundaries, NYS Psychiatric Bulletin, Pharm/Alert Notes and in countless newsletters of mental health organizations across the country.
MEMBERSHIP & MAILING LIST Presently over 5OOO. Requests for information increase on a daily basis.
PERSONALITY DISORDER COMMITTEE Manhattan Mental Health Council Personality Disorder Committee organized and chaired by Valerie Porr; membership includes NYC DBT practitioners. Issues of DBT Practitioners inform our recommendations to the NYC and NYS Commissioners and policy makers.
PUBLIC RELATIONS We publicize BPD treatment programs, latest research findings, co-morbidity studies and relevant personality disorder conferences.
ADVOCACY TARA APD meets with members of the Senate & Congress and their health aides to raise awareness of BPD, its' comoroidities as a Public Health Problem, the high costs of inappropriate treatment, inclusion of BPD in parity legislation, the need for creation of treatment programs as well as increased research funding.
TARAAPD is a catalyst for change. We connect people to effective treatment and work to coalesce a constituency that will inform public policy, Our crucial role is to build this constituency just as NAMI has done for schizophrenia and NARSAD has done for schizophrenia and affective disorders.
Supporting our efforts to build a major constituency of people concerned with treatment and research for personality disorder can help more people in a great deal of pain gain access to effective treatments. To bring about change in BPD treatment and professional perceptions, service systems must change. To change service systems, large agencies and policy makers must be involved, pilot programs must be initiated, public and private research funding must increase. Without advocacy change will not occur. Our goal is to help the people who call our hotline, be they consumers, providers or family members, by connecting them to the best possible treatment and training. Join TARA and help us to accomplish our goals.