Hanna Sahlin

Adjunct lecturer

About me

I am a clinical psychologist, licensed psychotherapist and Specialist in clinical psychology. I earned my PhD on Deliberate self-harm - characteristics, clinical correlates and interventions in April 2018.




Research description

I completed the psychology programme (MSc) in 2001, at Uppsala University and worked clinically with Dialectical Behavior Therapy for women with borderline personality disorder and deliberate self-harm for 12 years. I worked at a specialized treatment clinic named the Borderline Unit within the Stockholm County Council. In 2006 I became the director of the Borderline unit, but continued to work clinically as well. After many years of clinical work I wanted to move on to research, as there were many questions raised in clinical practice that could only be answered within a research framework. 

My PhD-thesis called "Deliberate self-harm – characteristics, clinical correlates and interventions" focused on both cross-sectional and registry-based studies of deliberate self-harm as a phenomenom "outside" of borderline personality disorder, as well as on treatment intervention studies. Our intervention studies are focused on increasing emotion regulation skills in adults and adolescents with self-harm.

I have worked closely with Professor Kim L Gratz and Professor Matthew T Tull at University of Toledo, Ohio, in implementing and developing novel treatments for non-suicidal self-injury.

Current research is on developing an internet-based version of Emotion Regulation Therapy, a trans-diagnostic treatment focused on emotion regulation in individuals with GAD and depression. Together with the treatment developers, Professor Douglas S. Mennin and David M. Fresco, we are translating a face-to-face treatment, evaluated in several RCT:s to an internet format. Feasibility pilot will begin in 2019.


2018 PhD Deliberate self-harm – characteristics, clinical correlates and interventions.

2013-2017: PhD programme at the Karolinska Institutet, Department of Clinical Neuroscience.

2012-2015: Research school of Psychiatry. Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm. 

2013: Board Certified specialist in Clinical Psychology, Swedish Psychological Association.

2010: University diploma in Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Stockholm University, Department of Psychology.

2003: Licensed psychologist, National Board of Health and Welfare

2001: Master of Science in Psychology. Uppsala University, Department of Psychology. 




Academic honours, awards and prizes

International Society for the Study of Self Injury 2014 Student Presentation Award for oral presentation of  “Emotion Regulation as a Mechanism of Change in the treatment of Deliberate Self-harm”.

Lead author of the regional clinical guidelines for Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder within Stockholm County Council. Published on http://www1.psykiatristod.se/Psykiatristod/Psykiatriprogram/EIPS-2/