Susan Orsillo, PhD

Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies and Curriculum
Department of Psychology

Phone: 617-305-1924
Fax: 617-367-2924
Email: sorsillo@suffolk.edu
Office: 73 Tremont Street, 8014

 

Education

  • PhD, University at Albany, SUNY
  • MA, University at Albany, SUNY
  • BA, University at Albany, SUNY

Internship: Tufts University School of Medicine/Boston Department of Veterans Affairs Psychology Internship Consortium; Postdoctoral fellowship: National Center for PTSD: Behavioral Sciences Division Boston VA Healthcare System; Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Health Services Provider MA.

Specialty Areas

Acceptance and mindfulness; acceptance-based behavior therapy, anxiety disorders, evidence-based therapies, dissemination and implementation.

I am interested in developing, refining and disseminating acceptance-based behavioral approaches to improving psychological functioning, health and quality of life. Acceptance-based behavior therapy (ABBT) involves integrating acceptance and mindfulness-based approaches (such as ACT, MBCT, DBT and MBSR) with more traditionally behavioral approaches to therapy (e.g., psychoeducation, skills training, exposure therapy).  With funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, my colleague Liz Roemer and I developed an ABBT to treat generalized anxiety disorder and examined its efficacy in a randomized control trial comparing ABBT to applied relaxation.  We are currently examining the efficacy of a self-directed version of the treatment and developing more effective methods of training and dissemination.  In collaboration with graduate students in my lab, I have also develop acceptance-based behavioral approaches to target other problem areas.  For example, we have developed programs aimed at decreasing depression in first year college students, decreasing relational aggression among middle schoolers, reducing the risk of sexual assault among college students, decreasing procrastination and improving body dissatisfaction.  My second research interest involves experimentally examining the nature and parameters of the constructs we target with ABBT, including emotional avoidance, suppression, and the strategic withholding of emotion across several channels of responding including self-report, facial expression, psychophysiological responding and narrative expression. 

View the Acceptance, Mindfulness, and Emotion Lab's Research Web Page.

Selected Publications

Orsillo, S.M. & Roemer, L. (2016). Worry Less, Live More: The Mindful Way through Anxiety Workbook. New York: Guilford.

Danitz, S., Suvak, M.K., Orsillo, S.M. (2016). The Mindful Way Through The Semester: Evaulating the Impact of Integrating an Acceptance-Based Behavioral Program Into a First-Year Experience Course for Undergraduates.  Behavior Therapy, 47 (4), 487-499.

Danitz, S., & Orsillo, S.M. (2016). Acceptance-based behavior therapy for preprofessional students. In J. Block-Lerner & L. Cardaciotto (Eds.). The Mindfulness Informed Educator: Building Acceptance and Psychological Flexibility in Higher Education. New York: Routledge.

Eustis, E.H., Hayes-Skelton, S. A., Roemer, L., & S.M. Orsillo (2016). Reductions in experiential avoidance as a mediator of change in symptom outcome and quality of life in acceptance-based behavior therapy and applied relaxation for generalized anxiety disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 87, 188-195.

Roemer, L., Arbid, N., Martinez, J., Orsillo, S. M. (in press). Mindfulness-based treatments. In Stefan Hoffman (Ed.), The Science of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: From Theory to Therapy. New York, NY: Elsevier.

Courses Taught

PSYCH 326 - Abnormal Psychology
PSYCH 340 - Professional Development in Psychology
PSYCH 350 - Psychology Internship
PSYCH 711 - Writing for Psychological Science
PSYCH 721 - Evidence-Based Principles in Psychotherapy
PSYCH 741 - Clinical Supervision and Consultation (Clinical Practicum)
PSYCH 779 - Acceptance & Mindfulness in Psychotherapy