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.”

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Suffolk DBT Mental Health Team

Denise McDonald

Denise McDonald

Office Manager
Erika Lopez

Erika Lopez

LMSW
Bridget Castro

Bridget Castro

LMHC
Victoria Nielsen

Victoria Nielsen

LMSW
Stephanie Madler

Stephanie Madler

LMSW
Spencer Oliveira

Spencer Oliveira

LMHC
Nelida Deleon

Nelida Deleon

LMHC
Meghan Webster

Meghan Webster

Administrative Assistant
Annmarie Pagano

Annmarie Pagano

MSW

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.

Erika Lopez

LMSW

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” - Audrey Hepburn

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.

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 Radmacher
Many 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.

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.

Stephanie Madler

LMSW

“Challenges can be stepping stones, or stumbling blocks. It’s just a matter of how you view them” - Author unknown
Stephanie 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.

Spencer Oliveira

LMHC