Jeanette Lorandini

LCSW & Director

“There are two kinds of suffering. There is the suffering you run away from, which follows you everywhere. And there is the suffering you face directly, and so become free. “ — Ajahn Chah

Jeanette Lorandini

I was first introduced to DBT in 2008 when I was working with a client who had Borderline Personality Disorder. I referred her to a DBT treatment provider and during this transition, I learned of the many interesting things she was learning in DBT. I really liked working with clients who had Borderline Personality Disorder and the clients that others might define as difficult. I was able to connect with them, validate them, and offer change strategies through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Although I enjoyed working with this population, CBT was not as effective as I had hoped it would be for this often-misunderstood population. It was at this time that I decided to immerse myself in learning DBT. In 2008, I started on a treatment team, invested in supervision, and became foundationally trained by Behavioral Tech. Later, I also attended other trainings by Behavioral Tech, including “Adolescents with Multiple Problems,” “Emotion Regulation,” “DBT- C for children ages 7-12,” and “Crisis Survival in DBT.”

I honestly just fell in love with DBT and it made perfect sense to me. I live my own life using these skills, and I teach others how to live by applying this incredibly valuable treatment. As the owner and director of Suffolk DBT, my journey has been incredibly rewarding. This therapy is about meeting our clients where they are. When they walk through our doors, it is important for all of our office staff and our team of clinicians to create an environment of hope and acceptance.

My passion is to help families and their children to thrive. I work hard to help create an environment of safety, acceptance, and compassion for both our staff and for our clients.

When I meet a child or adolescent, I want them to know that here, at Suffolk DBT, they will be accepted as they are. I will work with them to embrace their own sensitivity, and to learn how to be brave and scared at the same time. As a DBT therapist, I am able to be warm, accepting, genuine, and “tread where angels fear to tread.” This basically means that it is my job to be warm, available, empathetic, and at the same time, blunt, and honest. I may even use humor to discuss serious issues. It is a style that kids find validating. These children feel like I understand them, and I do.

It is my job to walk with you through this journey. I may need to remind you of who you are and where you have been when you forget how far you have come. It’s important that I not only know you, but that I really know you. I am here to remind you of why you started this journey and to help you find “freedom from suffering.” I am here to to lead you to what Marsha Linehan, the creator of DBT, defined as “a life worth living.”

Ready to speak with a licensed Mental Health Specialist?

Suffolk DBT Mental Health Team

Nelida Deleon

Nelida Deleon

LMHC
Spencer Oliveira

Spencer Oliveira

LMHC
Stephanie Madler

Stephanie Madler

LMSW
Victoria Nielsen

Victoria Nielsen

LMSW
Bridget Castro

Bridget Castro

LMHC
Ariella Grosse

Ariella Grosse

Student Intern
Maggie Fitzsimmons

Maggie Fitzsimmons

Student Intern
Denise McDonald

Denise McDonald

Office Manager
Ally O’Kula

Ally O’Kula

Program Developer
Meghan Webster

Meghan Webster

Administrative Assistant

Nelida Deleon

LMHC

“It’s okay to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.” —AnonymousNelida Deleon is an exceptional bi-lingual clinician who brings a broad range of clinical experience to our practice. Nelida has worked extensively with children, adolescents, and families for more than 20 years. She has also worked with couples and adults of all ages in a variety of settings, including early intervention, residential, clinics, probation, community centers, and school settings.Nelida attended Long Island University CW-Post to earn her Master of Science degree in Counseling, and then went on to obtain her Mental Health Counselor License and Provisional Certification in School Counseling.Nelida’s clinical experiences at Queens Counseling Services, Pathway Pros, Longwood School District, Suffolk County Juvenile Probation and Clinical Care have given her invaluable experience with substance abuse, domestic violence, anxiety, depression, ADHD, child and adolescent conduct, and other mental health-related concerns and disorders. She has used several different modalities to aid clients in overcoming life changes, barriers, trauma, and crises, including crisis management, behavior modification, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychotherapy. Through working in a variety of settings, Nelida has learned the importance of collaborative services with other professionals such as medical providers, psychiatrists, school personnel, and court liaisons.Nelida’s passion for working with children and adolescents stemmed from working with at-risk adolescents and families at a residential setting; it was there that she decided to further pursue her career in the mental health field. Since then, Nelida has worked with a mission and passion to help children, adolescents, adults, individuals, and families overcome life barriers in order to build healthy, successful lives and relationships and to become productive members of our society. Currently, she is motivated and committed to the application of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. She completed the Advanced Case Conceptualization and Treatment Planning given by Nancy Gordon, LCSW. Additionally, Nelida attends our weekly consultation team meetings.

Spencer Oliveira

LMHC

“You jumped when you didn’t know where you would come down. That’s it. That’s those little brave steps we gotta take. To try to become whole again, to find purpose” -Steve Rodgers, Captain AmericaSpencer Oliveira, LMHC, has been serving clients at Suffolk DBT since January 2020. He previously worked with organizations that have served clients with drug/alcohol use, monitoring offenders for local courts, domestic violence victims, has consulted inside hospital psychiatric emergency rooms as well as currently serves individuals with varying levels of intellectual functioning that are overseen by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) in their day programs and residences. His primary specialization involves working with the Autism population who in conjunction have mental health diagnoses and/or criminal histories.Spencer graduated from the State University at Albany with his degree in criminal justice and psychology. He then combined his two passions and went on to obtain a master’s from John Jay College in forensic mental health counseling. Since coming to Suffolk DBT, Spencer has completed his DBT Skills course taught by Marsha Linehan through Psychwire as well as been Foundationally trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy in August 2021. He is a licensed mental health counselor with a wide variety of skill sets. Spencer takes pride in the fact that he addresses each client as a unique case when developing a treatment plan that will work specifically for their needs. His preferred approaches include Socratic questioning, metaphors, and real-life examples to help clients master elements of mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, behavior modification, and develop coping skills.Spencer is open to having a caseload of all ages, genders, ethnicities, and sexual orientations, He believes that every person’s life is a gift and deserves a therapist who can provide unconditional positive support in their efforts towards self-improvement. In his personal life, those around Spencer feel comfortable to confide in him their concerns. Those who get to know him quickly build rapport due to his candid and lively disposition.Spencer values most about himself that he cares deeply for his patient’s self-esteem and well-being. He is a welcome addition to our team who puts his full heart and soul into each client and looks forward to working with you soon.

Stephanie Madler

LMSW

“Challenges can be stepping stones, or stumbling blocks. It’s just a matter of how you view them” Author unknownStephanie Madler graduated from University of Hartford with a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology, and received her Masters in Social Work from Springfield College. Shortly after, she obtained her License in Social Work.Stephanie is new to the private practice setting; however, she is not new to the mental health field. She began working as a case manager, close to 10 years ago, where she was able to decipher client needs and assist with helping them navigate the demands of the social services system to receive benefits, such as housing, food, and other necessities. Stephanie transitioned to a residential setting where she worked with young adults with a variety of mental health concerns including Autism, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar, personality disorders, substance abuse, and gender dysphoria. Stephanie has interned at an elementary school where she learned how to incorporate games into talk therapy before she found her passion at an Outpatient Mental Health Clinic which focused on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Stephanie has worked with families, couples, and individuals to identify barriers to happier living.Stephanie learned the practice of DBT and has grown to appreciate the complexity of the modules and incorporate experience from previous settings. She has participated in consultation teams to grow a deeper understanding of the practice from others and working as a team has only enhanced her abilities. Stephanie’s experience has grown with collaboration among colleagues, school personnel, medical providers, and Child and Family Services.In 2017, Stephanie completed training through Behavioral Tech, including DBT Skills Training, and Mastery of Anxiety and Panic for Adolescents (MAP-A). Stephanie is eager to continue working as a DBT therapist and provide skills in assisting clients build a life worth living.In 2020, Stephanie completed the DBT Foundational Training, and Eating Disorder Training through B-Tech.More recently, in 2021, Stephanie attended the DBT-C training to begin working with children in order to share DBT skills to a younger population and their families.

Victoria Nielsen

LMSW

“Being highly sensitive does not at all rule out being, in your own way, you are a tenacious survivor.” – Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.Victoria Nielsen is a Licensed Social Worker in New York State. Victoria began her journey into the mental health field by completing her undergraduate education at The State University of New York at Oswego where she studied psychology and cognitive science. This is where Victoria first became interested in DBT and took it upon herself to further dive into Marsha Linehan’s research and development of DBT. Victoria continued her education, receiving her Master’s degree in Social Work at Stony Brook University.She has since fulfilled NYS requirements to gain licensure. Victoria has worked in a multitude of settings, including psychiatric hospitals, mental health outpatient facilities, community residency programs, emergency foster care settings, and private practice. Victoria has provided individual and group therapy to individuals living with a wide range of diagnoses and symptomatic behaviors. During these experiences, Victoria would often work with client’s wanting to learn healthy ways to manage their emotions, and maladaptive coping skills. It was with these clients that Victoria would find herself returning to DBT skills as other forms of therapy were helpful, but she could sense the need for a more specific therapeutic approach designed for these individuals particular needs. She also started to see the complexity of the clients who required the full DBT treatment. She came to learn that adherent DBT requires, individual, diary cards, skills group, skills coaching, and for the provider to be on a consultation team. This is when she pursued employment with Suffolk DBT.Victoria greatly values the diversity of clients and is open to working with individuals at all stages of their lives. Victoria welcomes individuals of all ages, genders, race, and all members of the LGBTQ+ community.Victoria believes a key component of therapy is providing a warm, safe environment for individuals seeking mental health treatment. Victoria firmly believes it is best to practice with compassion, empathy, understanding, and acceptance. She believes this is a vital aspect in assisting individuals to gain a better understanding of their symptoms, and guide them towards enhancing their strengths, and independence.

Bridget Castro

LMHC

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”-Mary Anne RadmacherMany of us feel unheard or that no one could understand what we have gone through in our lives. Many of us do not even know where to begin when telling our story when we enter into therapy. Bridget became a therapist to help her clients unravel the threads of their stories and gain the skills to live the life they deserve.Bridget is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who is excited to be joining Suffolk DBT. She received her master’s degree in counseling from Long Island University. She also specialized in substance use counseling during her program and went on to receive her certification as a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor.Bridget became interested in DBT when working in a mental health housing agency. Many of Bridget’s clients were diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and she found that other forms of therapy were not as effective. She completed an introductory training in DBT and saw how this research driven approach could help so many people. As a yoga instructor, Bridget especially loved the emphasis on mindfulness. Bridget has worked with individuals with developmental disabilities and utilized her training to assist her clients to improve their emotional regulation skills and distress tolerance. Bridget also interned at a college counseling center where she gained experience working with teenagers and young adults.In 2021, Bridget attended the DBT-C training through Behavioral Tech to further share DBT treatment with children and their families.Bridget welcomes individuals from all walks of life and values supporting her clients to find their unique gifts and strengths. She feels that the most effective therapeutic relationship is built on trust and authenticity. Bridget is eager to work as a DBT therapist at Suffolk DBT and support her clients to gain the skills to be the best versions of themselves.

Ariella Grosse

Student Intern

Ariella Grosse is currently a second year MSW candidate at Columbia University, where she is part of the Dialectical Behavior Training Program. During her first year of graduate school, Ariella interned at CBT/DBT Associates , a private group psychology practice. At CBT/DBT Associates, Ariella participated in the bi-weekly Dialectical Behavioral Therapy training program and didactic workshop to enhance her theoretical understanding of DBT and its application in session. She also co-lead two weekly skills groups and participated in weekly Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectic Behavioral Therapy case conferences with practice cliniciansPreviously, Ariella worked at CBT/DBT as the clinical intake coordinator, where she served as the first point of contact for all incoming patients. She conducted preliminary clinical screenings for all incoming patients, inquiring about previous treatment history, psychiatric hospitalizations, psychotropic medication, suicidality, and behaviors they seek to treat.Ariella completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Georgetown University, where she served as president of the Georgetown chapter of the International Psychology Honors Society, Psi Chi. While there she was heavily engaged in both clinical work and research. She worked as a peer mentor at Georgetown’s online anonymous peer support program, a collaboration with Georgetown’s Consulting and Psychiatric Services. As part of this program, she completed an intensive 12-week training program that familiarized mentors with basic and foundational knowledge of psychopathologies and equipped them with tools and protocols in case of a crisis.She worked at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (CASD) at Children’s National Medical Center, with research databases for studies including executive function and academics, intervention programs, and gender identity. Her work at CASD resulted in her being the 3rd author of a poster presented at the International Neuropsychological Society’s annual conference. Throughout the duration of her senior year, she was a research assistant at the Early Childhood Innovation Network (ECIN) lab at Georgetown’s Medical School. Ariella’s senior year she conducted a personal research project, exploring the role of social support as a protective factor against maternal depression in the period immediately following post-partum. This research resulted in Ariella’s second publication, where she was a first and presenting author at the 2019 Eastern Psychological Society Conference in New York, NY and the 2019 Society for Research in Child Development Conference in Baltimore, MD.

Maggie Fitzsimmons

Student Intern

Maggie Fitzsimmons is currently working toward her MSW at Columbia University School of Social Work. During her second year, she is participating in CSSW’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy Training Program and Lab where she will train intensively in all things DBT. During her first year at CSSW, she worked as a school counselor helping students gain behavioral skills to maximize social and emotional well-being.Maggie first became interested in specializing in DBT during her undergraduate education at Boston College where she majored in Applied Psychology and Human Development. She participated in an internship with Harvard Vanguard Behavioral Health Associates where she was able to participate in a fellowship training in DBT skills. Since then, Maggie has focused her education on behavioral therapy and clinical social work. Upon graduation this May, Maggie intends to work as a DBT clinician for children and adolescents.Before returning to school in the fall, Maggie will have completed several intensive trainings in DBT, and is very excited to begin working with clients of Suffolk DBT! Maggie finds unmatched value in helping others work toward a life worth living, and is eager to join our team!

Denise McDonald

Office Manager

Denise joined our team in 2012 as the medical biller; but with her unmatched work ethic, Denise was promoted to the position of office manager.As the office manager, Denise handles all client intakes, appointments, insurance verification, filings and billing and she also oversees the schedules for our team.Denise’s down-to-earth nature gives her the ability to make everyone that visits the office feel comfortable. She is the first person that clients speak with when they call our office and the first face they see when they come in for an appointment. She is passionate about making every person, especially our clients, feel welcome and at home.Denise is more than just the office manager for Suffolk DBT. She is a friend to all staff and makes the office run smoothly.

Ally O’Kula

Program Developer

Ally recently joined our team as Coordinator of Services in June 2021 as a graduate of Emmanuel College in Boston, Massachusetts with a degree in Developmental Psychology. She hopes to further her education to earn her Masters Degree in clinical psychology some time in the near future.After completing two internships during her time at Emmanuel College, Ally has solidified her passion for psychology and is eager to keep learning more every day! DBT stands out as an interest to Ally because it is unlike other therapies and there is always more room for improvement of skills! Ally believes that every person deserves to live a life that they love and should utilize the resources available to make that happen!

Meghan Webster

Administrative Assistant

Meghan started at Suffolk DBT in the Fall of 2020 as an intern while finishing her senior year at St. Joseph’s College. After completing her internship she came back to Suffolk DBT as a part-time Administrative Assistant. In June 2021, Meghan graduated from St. Joseph’s College with a bachelors degree in Psychology. She plans to attend Adelphi University this fall to pursue her masters degree in Social Work.After completing her internship Meghan realized she has a passion for DBT. DBT is unlike any other therapy and has seen the light it’s brought into not only the patients life but their loved ones. She wants to focus her career on helping the people who don’t have an advocate. Meghan firmly believes that everybody deserves a chance to live the best life they possibly could! She’s eager to continue learning what Suffolk DBT has to offer!