Hello, I’m Dana Dart-McLean
I am a psychotherapist working in community mental health and private practice. I have an MA in Clinical Psychology with a focus on Expressive Art Therapy from California Institute of Integral Studies. Since 2014, I’ve worked with adults, children, couples, and families to support people with emotional awareness and personal growth. I’ve worked extensively with trauma, mood disorders, substance misuse, and many other issues that interfere with experiencing joy and authenticity. I incorporate mindfulness, psychodynamic, somatic, and attachment based therapy into sessions.
In addition to providing therapy, I’m a painter and facilitate workshops on painting for stress reduction. I am honored and inspired to support people in their progress towards balance and meaning.
A space to get curious about your process
Painful emotions, thoughts, and sensations are symptoms signaling possibilities for deeper self-knowledge. From this knowledge of yourself, compassion, joy, and a sense of vitality are more readily available.
We will explore what feels most pressing to you right now. Past experiences shape our current choices. Becoming curious about your patterns can reveal areas for growth. Anxiety can show up as feeling overwhelmed, numb, irritable, bullied by your inner critic, blocked from being present in the moment. With a safe, nurturing space to explore your thoughts, feelings, and somatic experience, it’s possible to connect with your strength and resilience.
Using tools for increasing awareness like mindfulness and somatics can deepen your understanding of what works and doesn’t work for you. Somatic therapy brings attention to how the body stores stress, emotions, and memory. Getting out of the thinking process and returning to physical presence can reduce anxiety and overwhelm.
Respect trauma responses.
Trauma and resilience are woven together. When a trauma response develops, you are creating a protective pattern to prevent further harm. Sometimes these protective responses can harden into routines that once protected you but now no longer fit. These habituated trauma responses may be larger than you, passed down from generation to generation. Identifying how trauma symptoms show up in your life offers keys to processing what needs to be processed and regaining wholeness.
My approach to working with struggle celebrates neurodiversity, queerness, and individual choice.
Curiosity and trust are key in therapy.
The therapeutic process is generative and enriching when you feel seen and valued. Thank you for taking time to visit my website and for putting energy into caring for yourself. Whether or not we work together, engaging in healing is positive work for each of us individually and collectively, so I appreciate your efforts to connect with support in your growth process.
I work with adults who want support with:
- Relationship issues/dating
- Integrating experiences of neurodiversity and disability
- Life transitions
- Creative blocks
- Substance misuse
- Increasing enjoyment of life work/life balance
- Identity formation
- Stress management
Concentrated Practices is a monthly art therapy newsletter where I share open-ended exercises involving handy materials and introspection.