Dear DBT friends and colleagues,
I couldn’t say this any better. This following is from Charlie Swenson and Alan Fruzetti. I was honored to know Perry and am so saddened by this loss to her family, friends and the entire world. Nancy
It is with enormous respect and sadness that we post the news that Dr. Perry Hoffman, stricken by a rare disease just a few weeks ago, passed away peacefully this morning in her home, surrounded by family. She is survived by her husband Bruce, her adult children and many grandchildren.
Few have touched so many as did Perry in her 30 DBT years as she passionately worked to advocate for and support those with BPD and especially their families.
Perry began as a therapist and skills trainer, then family skills trainer in 1989 on the first-ever inpatient DBT program, in White Plains, New York. She took to it immediately, having previously done work on providing psychoeducation regarding individuals with schizophrenia. She worked closely for years with Charlie, with Cindy Sanderson, Christine Foertsch, Ed Shearin, Freddi Friedman and others in the DBT world. She directed the DBT Day Hospital program after Cindy left there. She went back to school to get her PhD in social work, and began contributing to the research literature with Jill Hooley as she studied levels of expressed emotion in families of BPD.
She worked across the various models of treatment of BPD, and founded an advocacy, support, and educational organization, the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD). It has been a spectacularly helpful organization, sponsoring conferences and advocating for BPD clients and families everywhere. And as part of that, she and Alan developed the Family Connections program, training families (and professionals) to voluntarily work with other families to help them improve their situations with their BPD relatives. It’s been a huge success and continues to grow around the world, with Family Connections now being offered in more than 22 countries.
Within all of these amazing things, Perry has been the absolute picture of kindness, tact, steadfastness, wisdom, and humility, the best friend, advisor, and role model one could have. We will miss her terribly, as will our entire community. Because of her tirelessness and inspiration the work she has done will go on and continue to help thousands more.
Please take a moment of mindful silence in honor of Perry.
Charlie and Alan