BiographyDr. Dennis J. Simon has over 30 years of experience as a clinical and school psychologist and special education administrator. He worked extensively with children and adolescents in both elementary and secondary school settings. For 14 years, he was Director of NSSEO Therapeutic Day School in Arlington Heights, Illinois. This zero-reject program serves the academic and therapeutic needs of students with severe social, emotional, and behavioral concerns. Employing a large multidisciplinary staff, Timber Ridge supports students exhibiting severe internalizing or externalizing symptoms that interfere with learning.
Within standard elementary and secondary high schools, Dr. Simon was involved in multitiered program development that included psychological education to promote health, early identification and support of students viewed as at-risk for psychological and educational problems, crisis intervention, and specialized programming for students with significant psychological disorders.
His intervention approach emphasizes the importance of addressing both individual and systemic factors when problems occur. The advantages of designing interventions that integrate strategies targeting the child, learning and classroom factors, the peer and school culture, and parents and families are delineated in his text: School-Centered Interventions: Evidence-based Strategies for Social, Emotional, and Academic Success. This approach adapts evidence-based clinical intervention strategies to the complexity of the school setting.
Dr. Simon has extensive experience as both an administrative and clinical supervisor. He has been involved in training and supervision both in field-based and university settings. Timber Ridge School was one of the founding sites for the APA-accredited doctoral-level internship program, the Illinois School Psychology Internship Consortium (ISPIC). Along with co-author, Dr. Mark Swerdlik, he continues to provide training and consultation to ISPIC supervisors. ISPIC has been a laboratory for the development of the Developmental, Ecological, Problem-solving (DEP) model of supervision that is delineated in their text: Supervision in School Psychology. Together with Dr. Swerdlik, he has been involved in a wide range of training initiatives and national workshops regarding clinical supervision for graduate students, professional psychologists, and psychological services delivery. The DEP model is the first school psychology-specific approach to clinical supervision but is applicable to related fields as well.
Dr. Simon has taught graduate courses in clinical psychology, school psychology, and special education at Loyola University of Chicago. Instruction has focused on therapeutic interventions, program development that integrates academic and behavioral strategies, clinical supervision, collaboration with parents and teachers, and consultation for systems change. He has provided professional development workshops in these areas at local and national conferences.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Current work focuses on clinical supervision in psychology, school-centered interventions that integrate cognitive-behavioral and multisystemic strategies, and the adaptation of evidence-based clinical strategies to intervention work in schools.