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
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.”
Suffolk DBT Mental Health Team
Shirly Aslan Joory
Shirly Aslan Joory
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel – Maya AngelouShirly is a Licensed Master of Social Work in New York State. Shirly completed the Advanced Standing Master of Social Work Program at Columbia university, and attained her New York state licensure shortly afterwards. She is currently accruing hours towards her clinical licensure. She completed her Bachelor of Social Work Program at the City University of New York.Shirly completed her graduate level field placement, and beyond, at The Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) where she began to specialize in working with individuals and groups with an Asperger or similar profile. She completed her undergraduate level field placement at the Addabbo Family Health Center, an ambulatory clinic, in case management.Prior to undertaking full time studies, Shirly had worked as a direct service professional for the intellectually and developmentally disabled community for several years.Shirly also has a background in theater and the performing arts. She finds a great connection between social work and acting, as they share “trying to step into someone else’s shoes” and developing empathy.Shirly first started learning about DBT in one of her Master’s level clinical classes. She was immediately drawn to this structured yet versatile therapy, as she believes its components deliver much needed support to many different populations, as well as the BPD community that it was originally designed for.Shirly sought out, and is thrilled to be working at Suffolk DBT, as part of a unique team. Shirly strives to ensure that every individual feels “seen” and “heard,” and that they feel supported in meeting their full potential.
Erika is a Licensed Master Social Worker in New York State. Erika always knew that she would end up in a profession helping others. She started at Nassau Community College where she completed her Associates in Sociology, Anthropology and Human Services. This is where she grew to love helping others and began to become curious on how best to do that. Erika then continued her education by enrolling in and completing the accelerated hybrid Bachelors and Masters Molloy-Fordham Social Work program.This is where Erika first heard of DBT therapy and began searching for jobs that utilized therapy to gain more experience. Erika has since fulfilled NYS requirements to gain licensure and is currently in training to sit for her clinical licensure by the end of 2022. Erika has worked in a multitude of settings, including a family shelter in the Bronx, a woman’s shelter in Suffolk County and a skilled nursing facility. Erika has provided individual therapy, family workshops and guided group meditations to individuals with a wide range of diagnosis, symptomatic behaviors and age groups ranging from 10 – 65+. During these experiences Erika would often look for ways to support clients, advocate for their needs and provide a safe space for them to express their thoughts and emotions.It was working with these clients where Erika recognized they needed a more intensive type of care beyond talk therapy and she began searching for specialized therapies that recognized and addressed this. This is where she began to pursue employment with Suffolk DBT. Erika strongly values the diversity of clients and in providing a space where they can express themselves non-judgmentally. Erika welcomes individuals of all ages, genders, gender identities, races, ethnicities, sexual orientation, etc. Erika believes that a key component of therapy is building a rapport while providing a validating space for individuals to learn and grow.She believes that with a supportive environment everyone can learn to have a better understanding of who they are, what their strengths are and how they can manage them to live a life worth living.
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” - Audrey Hepburn
“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.
“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.
“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 comes with experience working with 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 those who suffer from anxiety, depression, and emotion regulation difficulties comorbid with Autism, varying 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 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 Foundational Certification in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy as of August 2021. He is a licensed mental health counselor with a wide variety of skill sets. So much so, that he has honed in on the elements of his DBT training that he has found successful with clients and is pursuing additional certifications in CBT therapy.Spencer takes pride in the fact that he addresses each client as a unique case when developing a depression and anxiety treatment plan that will work specifically for their needs. 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. He is a beloved member of our team who puts his full heart and soul into each client and looks forward to working with you soon.At this time, Spencer Oliveira is only taking on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) based clients with limited availability. If he and this service are an interest to you, please schedule a free CBT consultation appointment today!
“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.
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” — Jennifer Lee.Ann Marie has graduated with her Master of Social Work from the Advanced Standing program at Stony Brook University. While in her master’s program, Ann Marie interned at Suffolk DBT and fell in love with the idea of working with emotionally sensitive children, setting goals, striving for DBT adherence, and teaching DBT skills to assist in creating a life worth living. During her internship, Ann Marie has seen tremendous growth in the clients that she has worked with and first handedly has witnessed how this treatment can truly change lives. In the past, Ann Marie interned for a domestic violence agency, and co-facilitated therapeutic groups for adolescents.She has found her passion in working with children, adolescents, and their families. Ann Marie is looking forward to working with her clients to support, advocate, and provide a safe space to help create that life that they deserve. As an adoptee, Ann Marie has noticed how important it is for those who are adopted to feel supported when the “unknown” questions especially when intense feelings arise. She guides her clients and their families through these feelings from an adoptee’s perspective. She also is fortunate that she is well versed in teaching DBT skills to help cope with these often-overwhelming feelings and emotions.Ann Marie is kind, engaging and children easily connect with her. She has fully immersed herself in using the DBT skills in her own life and believes that all clients deserve a safe and validating environment when seeking mental health treatment. She is foundational trained, is an active participant as a DBT-C team member and is an invaluable member of our team.