Susan Orsillo, PhD

Professor, Psychology

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Director of Undergraduate Studies and Curriculum

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

Licensure: Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Health Services Provider MA.

Specialty Areas

Development, evaluation, and dissemination of acceptance- and mindfulness-based behavioral prevention programs and interventions; Anxiety disorders; Student Mental Health

Can evidence-based behavioral therapies be enhanced by the integration of practices deeply rooted in ancient Eastern religions? How might the cultivation of acceptance and self-compassion, along with encouragement to clarify and affirm personally meaningful values, help to buffer people from contextual stressors, build resilience, improve psychosocial functioning, and enhance quality of life? These are the questions students and I consider in the design and execution of our research. Our work also explores how invalidation, experiential avoidance, and disengagement from personally meaningful activities contributes to psychological distress (particularly anxiety and associated depression) and examines whether prevention and intervention programs can target these processes and help people cultivate the skills they need to enhance their well-being and quality of life.

Publications

  • Sagon, A. L., Danitz, S. B., Suvak, M., Orsillo, S. M. (2018). The Mindful Way through the Semester: Evaluating the feasibility of delivering an acceptance-based behavioral program online. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 9, 36-44
  • Serowik, K. L., Khan, A. J., LoCurto, J., Orsillo, S. M. (2018). The conceptualization and measurement of values: A review of the psychometric properties of measures developed to inform values work with adults. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 40, 615-635
  • Danitz, S. B., Orsillo, S. M., Beard, C., Björgvinsson, T. (2018). The relationship between personal growth and psychological functioning in individuals treated in a partial hospital setting. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 74, 1759-1774
  • Roemer, L., Arbid, N., Martinez, J., Orsillo, S. M. (2017). Mindfulness-based treatments (pp.175-197). In Stefan Hoffman (Ed.), The Science of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: From Theory to Therapy. New York, NY: Elsevier
  • Fuchs, C. H., West, L. M., Graham, J. R., Kalill, K. S., Morgan, L. P.K., Hayes-Skelton, S. A., Orsillo, S. M., Roemer, L. (2016). Reactions to an Acceptance-Based Behavior Therapy for GAD: Giving voice to the experiences of clients from marginalized backgrounds. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 23, 473-484
  • Orsillo, S.M. & Roemer, L. (2011). The Mindful Way through Anxiety: Break Free from Chronic Worry and Reclaim Your Life. New York: Guilford. This best-selling (over 50,000 copies in print), award-winning book (ABCT Self-Help Book of Merit) has been published in English, Finnish, German, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Russian, and Spanish

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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