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What to Expect
Dana takes great care to take the edge off of an initial visit to the therapist’s office by incorporating laughter into the session as soon as it is appropriate. Therapy or counseling can be a scary thing for most people as “mental health” still has a strong stigma attached to it. Dana helps individuals feel at ease and in control by using techniques to educate and empower so that the task at hand feels less edgy and more doable. Most clients report significant relief simply after the first session. Most issues brought to Dana’s office can be reworked and easier to deal with in four to six sessions.
In the Office
A counseling session with Dana will likely include dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) strategies, and acceptance commitment therapy (ACT) insight and activities. Dana trained with the developers of Motivational Interviewing (MI) in New Mexico and uses this approach frequently during sessions, as well. MI assists clients who feel stuck and/or ambivalent about something in his or her life. The techniques Dana uses help get people “unstuck”.
Grief (uncomplicated and complicated), trauma, and anxiety are areas Dana works with frequently in her practice. Quite often, other mental health issues such as depression, addiction, and personality disorders stem from unresolved grief, trauma or anxiety. Years of working in the schools, inpatient and outpatient mental health settings have provided Dana the experience needed to work effectively with a variety of mental health diagnoses.
Sometimes clients find that addressing spiritual questions or beliefs during counseling sessions is helpful and/or comforting. Dana is a certified lay chaplain through the Community of Hope lay chaplaincy program with the Episcopal Church. Although Dana is more familiar with Christian faith communities, all spiritual/religious traditions, thoughts, and beliefs are respected.
Yoga and Therapy
Dana is trained to use another therapeutic approach to counseling through her experience as a yoga instructor. Clients learn not only how to incorporate certain yoga postures into their treatment plan, but also how each one changes the messages the brain and body share in an effort to promote healthier neural activity. Breathing techniques, mindfulness, and guided meditation can also be used during sessions with the client’s permission.