Kenneth Levy



Associate Director of Clinical Training, Professor of Psychology
Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
362 Moore Building University Park, Pa 16802
(814) 865-5848


Ph. D., City University of New York, 1999

Professional Bio

Research Interests

Ken Levy is a broadly trained clinical psychologist whose research interests bridge the areas of social, personality, and developmental psychology. His research focuses on attachment theory, emotion regulation, personality disorders, and psychotherapy process and outcome. Recent projects have examined the relationship of the content and structure of mental representations and adult attachment neurocognitive functioning and neural activity and emotion regulation in borderline personality disorder, and psychotherapy outcome in the treatment of personality disorders. Current projects examine mechanisms of change in psychotherapy for borderline personality disorder, the contextual and personality factors that influence post-treatment adjustment in patients with borderline personality disorder, the influence of attachment and representation on stress reactivity in patients with borderline personality disorder, and the developmental precursors of personality problems in children of parents with personality disorders. He and his students pursue this research in their laboratory at Penn State and also in collaboration with colleagues at the New York Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell Medical Center.

Recent Publications

Caligor, E., Levy, K. N., & Yeomans, F. E. (in press). Treatment in psychiatry: Narcissistic personality disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry.

Bernecker, S., Levy, K. N., & Ellison, W. D. (in press).   A Meta-analysis of the relation between patient adult attachment style and the working alliance.  Psychotherapy Research.

Diamond, D., Clarkin, J. F., Levy, K. N., Meehan, K. B., Cain, N. M., & Yeomans, F. E. (in press). Change in attachment and reflective function in borderline patients with and without co-morbid narcissistic personality disorder in transference focused psychotherapy. Contemporary Psychoanalysis.

Diamond, D., Yeomans, F. E., Stern, B. S., Levy, K. N., Hörz, S., Doering, S., … & Clarkin, J. F. (in press). Transference-focused psychotherapy for patients with co-morbid narcissistic and borderline personality disorder. Psychoanalytic Inquiry.

Yeomans, F. E. Levy, K. N., & Caligor, E. (in press). Transference focused psychotherapy. Psychotherapy.
Levy, K. N., & Anderson, T. (in press). Is clinical psychology doctoral training becoming less intellectually diverse? And if so, what can be done? Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 20, 208-216.

Diamond, D., Levy, K. N., Clarkin, J. F., Fischer-Kern, M., Cain, N. N., Doering, S., Horz, S. & Buchheim, A. (in press).  Attachment and mentalization in patients with co-morbid narcissistic and borderline personality disorder.  Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment.

Levy, K. N. (in press). Theory, research, and clinical implications of attachment. Journal of Clinical Psychology: In session.

Levy, K. N., Clouthier, T., Wasserman, R. H., Beeney, J. E., & Clarkin, J. F. (in press).  Psychotherapy in three treatments for borderline personality disorder.  Psychotherapy Research.

Scott, L. N., Levy, K. N., & Granger, D. A. (2013). Biobehavioral reactivity to social evaluative stress in women with borderline personality disorder. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 4(2), 91-100.

Selected for an Article Spotlight on APA social media, May 1st, 2013

Ellison, W. D., Levy, K. N., Cain, N. M., & Pincus, A. L. (2013). The impact of pathological narcissism on psychotherapy utilization, initial symptom severity, and early-treatment symptom change: A naturalistic investigation. Journal of Personality Assessment, 95 (3), 291-300.

Levy, K. N. (2012). The many complexities in treating and studying narcissism. Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy, 8(3), 216-235.

Levy, K. N., & Scala, J. W. (2012). Transference, transference interpretations, and transference focused psychotherapies. Psychotherapy, 49(3), 391-403.

Levy, K. N. (2012). Subtypes, dimensions, levels, and mental states in narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session, 68(8), 886-896.

Roose S., Barber, J., Caligor, E., DeRubeis, R., Gerber, A., Glick, R., Hilsenroth, M., Leon, A., Levy, K. N., Levy, R., Milrod, B., Rutherford, B., Shear, K., Thase, T., & Westen, D. (2012).  The development of a psychoanalytic outcome study:  Choices, conflicts and consensus. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 60(2), 311-335.

Meehan, K. B., Levy, K. N., & Clarkin, J. F.  (2012). Construct validity of a measure of affective communication in a personality disorder sample.  Psychoanalytic Psychology, 29, 145-165.

Fertuck, E. A., Mergenthaler, E., Target, M., Levy, K. N., & Clarkin, J. F. (2012).
Development and construct validity of a computerized text analysis measure of reflective functioning.  Psychotherapy Research.

Lenzenweger, M.F., Clarkin, J.F., Levy, K.N., Yeomans, F.E., & Kernberg, O.F. (2012). Predicting domains and rates of change in borderline personality disorder. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 3(2), 185-195.

Ellison, W. D., & Levy, K. N.  (2012). Factor structure of the primary scales of the Inventory of Personality Organization (IPO) in a nonclinical sample using exploratory structural equation modeling. Psychological Assessment, 24(2), 503-517.

Beeney, J. E., Franklin, R. G., Levy, K. N., & Adams, R. B. (2011). I feel your pain: Emotional closeness modulates neural responses to empathically experienced rejection. Social Neuroscience, 6, 369-376.

Scott, L. N., Levy, K. N., Adams, R. B., & Stevenson, M. T. (2011). Mental state decoding abilities in young adults with borderline personality disorder traits. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 2(2), 98-112.

Levy, K. N., Beeney, J. E., & Temes, C. M. (2011). Attachment and its vicissitudes in borderline personality disorder. Current Psychiatry Reports, 13(1), 50-59.

Levy, K. N., Ellison, W. D., Scott, L. N., & Bernecker, S. L. (2011). Attachment style. Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session, 67(2), 193-203.

Levy, K. N., Beeney, J. E., Wasserman, R. H., & Clarkin, J. F. (2010). Conflict begets conflict:  Executive control, mental state vacillations and the therapeutic alliance in treatment of borderline personality disorder. Psychotherapy Research, 20(4), 413-422.

Levy, K. N., & Kelly, K. M. (2010). Sex differences in jealousy: A contribution from attachment theory. Psychological Science, 21(3), 168-173.
Findings chronicled in numerous media outlets, including Scientific American Mind, Scientific American Podcasts, Newsweek, and Toronto Globe and Mail

Magnavita, J., Levy, K. N., Critchfield, K. L., & Lebow, J. L. (2010). Ethical considerations in treatment of personality dysfunction: Using evidence, principles, and clinical judgment.  Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 41(1), 64-74.

Zanarini, M., Stanley, B., Black, D., Markowitz, J., Goodman, M., Pilkonis, P., Lynch, T., Levy,
K. N., Fonagy, P., Bohus, M., Farrell, J., & Sanislow, C. (2010). Methodological considerations for treatment trials for persons with borderline personality disorder.  Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 22(2), 168-173.

Pincus, A. L., Ansell, E. B., Pimentel, C. A., Cain, N. M., Wright, A. G. C., & Levy, K. N.  (2009). Initial construction and validation of the Pathological Narcissism Inventory. Psychological Assessment, 21(3), 365-379.

Scott, L. N., Levy, K. N., & Pincus, A. L.  (2009). Adult attachment, personality traits, and borderline personality disorder features in young adults.  Journal of Personality Disorders, 23(3), 258-280.

Selected by Faculty of 1000 in Medicine (www.f1000medicine.com) as a Must Read

Yeomans, F. E., Levy, K. N., & Clarkin, J. F.  (2009). The case for borderline personality disorder: Commenting on Tyrer and Paris et al. Personality and Mental Health, 3, 110-115.

Wasserman, R. H., Levy, K. N., & Loken, E. (2009). Generalizability theory in psychotherapy research: The impact of multiple sources of variance on the dependability of psychotherapy process ratings. Psychotherapy Research, 15(1), 1-12.

Meehan, K. B., Levy, K. N., Reynoso, J. S., Hill, L. L., & Clarkin, J. F. (2009). Measuring reflective function with a multidimensional rating scale: Comparison with scoring reflective function on the AAI. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 57(1), 208-213.

Levy, K. N., Chauhan, P., Clarkin, J. F., Wasserman, R. H. & Reynoso, J. S. (2009). Narcissistic pathology:  Empirical approaches. Psychiatric Annuals, 39(4), 203-213.

Lenzenweger, M. F., Clarkin, J. F., Yeomans, F. E., Kernberg, O. F., & Levy, K. N. (2008). Refining the borderline personality disorder phenotype through finite mixture modeling:  Implications for classification. Journal of Personality Disorders, 22(4), 313-321.

Critchfield, K. L., Clarkin, J. F., Levy, K. N., & Kernberg, O. F. (2008). Organization of co-occurring Axis II features in borderline personality disorder. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 47(2), 185-200.
Selected by Faculty of 1000 in Medicine (www.f1000medicine.com) as a Recommended Read

Critchfield, K. L., Levy, K. N., Clarkin, J. F., & Kernberg, O. F. (2008). The relational context of aggression in borderline personality disorder: Using adult attachment style to predict forms of hostility. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 64(1), 67-82.

Levy, K. N. (2008). Psychotherapies and lasting change. American Journal of Psychiatry, 165(5), 556-559.

Kenneth Levy
Kenneth Levy


Primary Investigator:

Program Areas:

Adult Clinical