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Academic Background

Dr. Holbert graduated from Boston University as a psychology major in 1973 and then received his Masters and Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Educational Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley. He trained at the Charles River Hospital in Wellesley in short-term individual therapy and in structural/strategic family therapy. He then went on to work at the one state hospital for children, the Gaebler Children’s Center. He became the Director of Psychology there in 1988 and moved to the UMass Adolescent Treatment Program in 1992 where he has served since that time.

Dr. Holbert has made a career of treating some of the most persistent and severely mentally ill youth in the Commonwealth. Many of these youth are at substantial risk to others and Dr. Holbert has worked as a Certified Juvenile Court Clinician/ Forensic Psychologist for over fifteen years. He would describe his passion as finding ways to forge alliances with alienated families in order to improve the quality of their lives and the lives of their children. Dr. Holbert has presented at UMass Pediatric Grand Rounds and at DMH conferences with parents with whom he has worked. The essential steps for forging a healthy and balanced alliance have been accentuated through his presentations.

Dr. Holbert was instrumental in establishing a psychology training program at the Gaebler Children’s Center and at the UMass Adolescent Treatment Program. He has taught psychology interns, medical student, and psychiatric fellows for over twenty-five years. Dr. Holbert has begun to consult with other clinical programs that are searching for assistance in finding positive approaches to their most challenging cases.

On February 18, 2010, Dr. Holbert received the Deb Janssens Award for distinguished service to adolescents and their families.

Dr. Kenneth Holbert

Research Interests

Dr. Holbert is particularly focused on the diagnosis and treatment of complex PTSD and other severe psychiatric disturbances. His interests lie in working with the complex dynamics of the milieu to create an effective multidisciplinary team. Dr. Holbert specializes in treating families that have been previously alienated from systems of care.

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  • Teaching Rounds