About Susan

img_0839Susan Smiley is committed to helping her clients live their lives more optimally through self-regulation. She became a Certified Neurofeedback Practitioner after she received her Ed.M. from Harvard University in the cognitive neuroscience based program, Mind, Brain, and Education where she focused on the life-long effects  of traumatic stress on the brain and nervous system.

In addition, Susan has built a career in mental health advocacy. She is a sought-after speaker, her presentations bridging the fields of neuroscience, mental health and human development. In addition to presenting at behavioral healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, she has keynoted and presented at state and national conferences (NAMI, American Society of Bioethics and Humanities, Women’s Mental Health Symposium). She has also spoken at professional organizations (American Psychiatric Association, Biennial Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia Research in Davos), advocacy groups, universities (Boston University School of Public Health, UT Southwestern, Tulane), and government agencies (Departments of Health and Human Services and Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services).

Designing and conducting talks and trainings with psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and case managers, Susan’s work has been called “memorable and masterful,” “inspirational,” “emotionally powerful,” and “filled with style and grace, wit and compassion.”

A deeply personal connection

Previous to her graduate school experience, Susan was a successful documentary filmmaker. She went public with her own personal story as told in the acclaimed PBS film Out of the Shadow. An intimate portrait of her mother’s battle with schizophrenia, it is also a moving chronicle of Susan and her sister as at-risk children enduring chronic adversity. It is now widely used to train therapists, physicians, nurses, social workers, public health and other allied mental health professionals.

These experiences as well as Susan’s personal success with neurofeedback treatments, are what drive her work in helping numerous children and adults use neurofeedback. This also drives her passion in educating the public about its efficacy.

Susan received her B.A. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a double major in Biology and English Literature and a minor in Psychology, and her Ed.M. from Harvard University.