Tel.: 514-340-8222 ext. 24643
Fax: 514-340-8124

J. Christopher Perry, M.P.H., M.D.
Senior Investigator, Lady Davis Institute
Director of Psychotherapy Research, Department of Psychiatry, Jewish General Hospital
Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University

Dr. Perry obtained his M.D. from Duke University in 1974, completed his psychiatric residency at The Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts, followed by research fellowship training at Harvard Medical School. He left his faculty position as an Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School at the Cambridge Hospital in 1992 and joined the faculty at McGill University at the Jewish General Hospital. He has been Director of Research in Psychiatry at the JGH, and is currently Director of Psychotherapy Research and Director of the Douglas Utting Fellowship Program for Studies in Depression.

Major Research Activities

Dr. Perry has a number of research interests that are often combined in studies. His interest in specific diagnoses has included the nosology, psychopathology, course, and treatment of personality disorders and depression. He has a special interest in the process of recovery from suicidality. Throughout his career, he has devised useful assessment methods of observable clinical phenomena to which clinicians attend in psychotherapy. These include the assessment of defense mechanisms, motives (wishes and fears), conscious and unconscious conflicts, coping patterns, and cognitive errors. These methods have been developed and applied in the context of studies of the process and outcome of dynamic psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and psychoanalysis. His clinical trails have used both naturalistic, observational designs, studying the effectiveness of long-term psychotherapy as practiced by experienced therapists, as well as experimental designs, such as randomized comparison trials, comparing the efficacy of different psychotherapy types.

One overall aim that connects these interests is to delineate the characteristics of psychotherapeutic interventions which produce positive changes in personality mechanisms, such as defenses, which in turn lead to overall improvement and sustained recovery in psychiatric symptoms and levels of functioning.

Observer-rated assessment methods devised by Dr. Perry and his colleagues include:
  • The Defense Mechanism Rating Scales (DMRS);
  • The Wish and Fear List Method (WF List);
  • The Psychodynamic Conflict Rating Scales (PCRS);
  • The Coping Action Patterns Method (CAPS).

Dr. Perry has had collaborations with colleagues in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, U.S.A., and Uruguay, many of which are ongoing.

Recent Publications
Perry JC, Bond M. "The sequence of recovery in long-term dynamic psychotherapy." Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease 2009; 197: 930-937.

Perry JC, Körner A. "Impulsive phenomena, the impulsive character and personality disorders." Journal of Personality Disorders 2011; 25(5): 586-606.

Perry JC, Presniak M, Olson T. "Defense mechanisms in borderline schizotypal, antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders." Psychiatry (in press).

Dr. Perry is Director of Psychotherapy Research, Department of Psychiatry at the Jewish General Hospital. He also Directs the Douglas Utting Fellowship Program for Studies in Depression.

He conducts research on the underlying mechanisms of personality functioning and their relevance for studying the processes and course of improvement with psychotherapy for depression and personality disorders. Most of his studies entail long-term follow-along to detect large improvements and/or sustained recovery.

Important Links

Support research at the Lady Davis Institute - Jewish General Hospital