About Susan Simon-Fleischer, LCSW

How I learned about Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a bunch of big words that offer tools for your personal journey

I had been a psychotherapist for over 20 years, working with clients who had a range of presenting problems. Trained as a psychoanalyst in the 1980’s, I was really good at helping my patients understand their unique issues and helping them find ways to change.  Over time I realized what was missing:  They needed practical skills to help them get through those times when their emotions or behavior were out of control, or when their depression or anxiety became overwhelming and debilitating.

My life and my practice changed when I found DBT

A few years ago I attended an International Eating Disorder Conference. I had an open slot in my schedule and chose the clinical lecture, “DBT for Eating Disorders.” I found a seat in the huge conference room.  The instructor asked, “Who does not know what DBT is?”  I raised my hand. I looked around and saw I was only one in the room with a raised hand!

It is incredible how, when you are not looking for something, you find it

So there I was, the only person in the room who had no clue of what DBT was. By the end of the workshop I not only understood what DBT was, I knew that DBT Skills were the missing link I needed to help my patients. Skills Training is a set of tools that can be learned. They are practical skills to help people navigate through stressful times.  Skills to help in a crisis so that one does not make situations worse.These skills help one understand and manage emotion.They are skills to deal with distress, skills on how to effectively ask for what one wants or effectively say no, skills to learn how to be taken seriously and skills on how to be in the present moment. Yes, Skills Training was what had been missing from my own toolkit until that life-changing day.

Once you ‘get it’ you have to do it

So there I was having found this incredible way to help my patients in therapy.  It sounds fabulous right? Yes, this treatment path is terrific, but in order to implement it adherently I had to collaborate with other therapists who were passionate about DBT, form a consultation team and then train specifically as a DBT team. In addition, I knew I had to personally practice each skill myself.

Bringing you up-to-date

For the past few years I have been a member of an adherently trained DBT team, Consultants for Eating Disorders. We have undergone intensive training at Behavioral Tech, Inc., the organization founded by the originator and developer of DBT, Marsha Linehan Ph.D.

Presently, I am even more passionate and convinced of the benefits of DBT skills. I personally use the skills every day and they have helped me immensely. In fact, I see how DBT has helped everyone who completed the skills training with me.

I provide full adherent DBT as well as offer DBT Skills to participants who work with non-DBT therapists. I believe so completely in the effectiveness of the DBT Skills that I now incorporate them in most of my therapy sessions even if the patient is not in DBT skills training. It really is THAT effective and useful.

Formal Education

  • New York University, MSW
  • Syracuse University, BSW
  • Postgraduate Center For Mental Health
  • Rational Emotive Therapy – Primary Training at Albert Ellis Institute
  • Intuitive Eating PRO Skills Intensive – Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD & Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA

Licenses

  • LCSW, New Jersey
  • CSW-R, New York State

DBT Trainings through Behavioral Tech, LLC

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy Intensive Training with DBT Consultation team
  • Mindfulness, Willingness and Radical Acceptance in Psychotherapy – with Marsha Linehan, Ph.D, ABPB
  • Updates to Emotion Regulation and Crisis Survival Skills in Dialectical Behavior Therapy with Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., ABPB
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Treating the Eating Disordered Client with Multiple Problems
  • DBT Skills, Chain Analysis & Validation – Through Behavioral Tech, LLC 
Online Learning
  • Treatment Implementation Collaborative
 “Doing DBT to Adherence and with Competence”© with Dr. Charles Swenson

As a member of a DBT team, Consultants for Eating Disorders, I meet weekly for consultation meetings and I am committed to the therapeutic practices developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan Ph.D..  Our whole team has been intensively trained in DBT through Behavioral Tech, Inc.  

Professional Organizations

  • Academy for Eating Disorders
  • Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders
  • Binge Eating Disorder Association
  • Evidenced Based Practices- Learning Community Member
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • National Eating Disorders Association
  • New Jersey Association for Cognitive Therapists
  • New Jersey Association of Women Therapists
  • New Jersey Society for Clinical Social Workers