Katherine Shear, MD

  • Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry in the Faculty of Social Work
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M. Katherine Shear M.D. is Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University School of Social Work. She graduated with Honors from the University of Chicago and attended medical school at Tufts University. She completed a medical residency and fellowship in infectious diseases and is Board Certified in internal medicine. After completing a residency in psychiatry at Payne Whitney Clinic, Cornell University Department of Psychiatry, and a fellowship in psychosomatic medicine at Montefiore Hospital, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, she joined the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Cornell. She established the Department's first clinical research program in Anxiety Disorders, and obtained research grants to study in panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, before moving to the University of Pittsburgh. There, she served as Professor of Psychiatry until January, 2006. She continued her research has been in anxiety disorders, including comorbid anxiety and depression, with a primary focus on psychotherapy studies. Her recent research is in the area of bereavement and grief. This work resulted in completion of the first randomized controlled treatment study targeting the condition of complicated grief, showing efficacy of a modified form of interpersonal psychotherapy.

She is author or co-author of more than 200 publications and a frequent presenter at national and international meetings. She has served as co-chair of the American Psychiatric Association Treatment Guidelines for Panic Disorder, as Chair of the Annual meeting of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, and President of the Association for Clinical Psychosocial Research. She is a frequent consultant to national and international groups interested in bereavement and grief. She has developed assessment instruments, including the Panic Disorder Severity Scale, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Severity Scale, an instrument to assess adult separation anxiety disorder and several new grief assessment measures. She has served as a member of the Italy-based Spectrum Advisory Board (www.spectrum-project.org) that developed a novel to assessment of a range of clinical features associated with different DSM IV disorders.

Academic Appointments

  • Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry in the Faculty of Social Work


  • Female


Research Interests

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Bereavement and grief
  • Diagnosis and Assessment

Selected Publications

  • Shear K Frank E Houck P and Reynolds C : Treatment of Complicated Grief: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association 2005;293: 2601-2608
  • Shear K, Jackson C, Essock S, Donahue S & Felton C: Screening for complicated grief among Project Liberty service recipients after September 11th. Psychiatric Services 2006;57: 1291-1297
  • Shear MK, Jin R, Ruscio AM, Walters EE, Kessler RC: Prevalence and Correlates of Child and Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). American Journal of Psychiatry 2006;163: 1074-1083.
  • Shear MK, Shair H: Attachment, Loss and Complicated Grief . Developmental Psychobiology 2005;47: 253-267
  • Szanto K, Shear MK, Houck PR, Reynolds CF 3rd, Frank E, Caroff K, Silowash R.: Indirect self-destructive behavior and overt suicidality in patients with complicated grief. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 2006;67: 233 -239