Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine - Faculty
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Karsten Kueppenbender, MD, CGP

Karsten Kueppenbender, MD


Staff Psychiatrist, Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Pain Medicine; Staff Psychiatrist Massachusetts General Hospital Addiction Services; Director of Addictions Training (PGY2 - 4); Instructor, Harvard Medical School

Clinical Specialty

Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry

Professional Activities

Clinical care: I dedicate the majority of my professional time to the direct care of patients who suffer from mood or anxiety disorders, and struggle with addictions. The experience of physical and emotional pain increases our vulnerability for addictive behavior. Addictions may start out as our best effort to alleviate unbearable suffering. My patients and I work together to identify the benefits and costs of their coping strategies. I draw on my background as a psychopharmacologist, as a psychotherapist, and as a practitioner of mindfulness meditation to identify treatment options that help body and mind. As a certified group therapist, I am keenly aware that we live in networks of social relations, which help or hinder our wellbeing. I welcome the involvement of spouses and family members and encourage them to help where they can without burning out.

Research and education: I teach medical students, residents and fellows in the MGH pain clinic and in the department of psychiatry. I lecture locally and nationally on topics of addiction treatment and group therapy. I am the Director of Continuing Medical Education for the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy. Until 2010, I directed the group therapy curriculum in the psychiatry residency of Cambridge Health Alliance, where I also served as a preceptor for the Integrated Clerkship of Harvard Medical School.

Medical Training

  • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany (MD)
  • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany (Dr. med.)
  • Mt. Auburn Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and McLean Hospital, Internship in Internal Medicine, Neurology and Psychiatry
  • Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital, Residency in Psychiatry
  • McLean Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and North Charles Institute for the Addictions, Fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry


Original Articles

  1. Kueppenbender K, Herman J, Khantzian E, Albanese M. "Narcotics helped, I thought." Recurrent traumatization and recovery from drug dependence. Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2008; 16(5):308-17.
  2. Gunderson JG, Weinberg I, Daversa MT, Kueppenbender KD, Zanarini MC, Shea MT, Skodol AE, Sanislow CA, Yen S, Morey LC, Grilo CM, McGlashan TH, Stout RL, Dyck I. Descriptive and longitudinal observations on the relationship of borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 2006;163(7):1173-8.
  3. Rajadhyaksha A, Husson I, Satpute S, Kuppenbender KD, Ren JQ, Guerriero RM, Standaert DG, Kosofsky BE. L-Type Ca2+ Channels Mediate Adaptation of Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase 1/2 Phosphorylation in the Ventral Tegmental Area after Chronic Amphetamine Treatment. J Neurosci. 2004;24(34):7464-76.
  4. Kuppenbender KD, Standaert DG, Feuerstein TJ, Penney JB, Young AB, Landwehrmeyer GB. Expression of NMDA receptor subunit mRNAs in neurochemically identified projection and interneurons in the human striatum. J Comp Neurol. 2000;419(4):407-21.
  5. Kuppenbender KD, Albers DS, Iadarola MJ, Landwehrmeyer GB, Standaert DG. Localization of alternatively spliced NMDAR1 glutamate receptor isoforms in rat striatal neurons. J Comp Neurol. 1999;415(2):204-17.

Reviews and Chapters

  1. Weiss RD, Kueppenbender KD. Combining Psychosocial Treatment with Pharmacotherapy for Alcohol Dependence. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2006;26:S37-S42.
  2. Roffman J, Kueppenbender K, Smith F, and Huffman J. Patients with neurological conditions: movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, and other neurological conditions. In: Stern TA, Fricchione GL, Cassem NH, Jellinek M, Rosenbaum JF, editors. Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook of General Hospital Psychiatry. New York, NY: Mosby;2004.

Contact Information

Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-726-3030

Office Information

Department of Anesthesia,
Critical Care and Pain Medicine
Gray-Bigelow 444
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

Public Transportation Access: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes