The process of finding balance is creative.
Hello, I’m Dana Dart-McLean
I am a psychotherapist working in community mental health and private practice. Since 2014, I’ve worked with adults, children, couples, and families to support people with emotional awareness and personal growth. Before that, for eleven years, I worked in art and education. I am a painter and facilitate workshops on painting for stress reduction in addition to providing therapy.
Connection is key.
My approach to therapy is nonjudgemental, encouraging, and creative. I draw on psychodynamic and attachment theory, somatics, and art in therapy to support people with identifying their vision for emotional wellness as well as what obstructs them in their movement towards balance. Exploring patterns of relationship throughout your life can offer insight into how you connect and what prevents you from deepening connection.
Somatics, or awareness of the body, can be a key to exploring how patterns of tension and stress are physically held. Through bringing awareness to the wisdom of the body, many people find increased capacity for relaxation. When anxiety and repetitive thought patterns leave you stuck in your head, remembering the body, breathing, and slowing down can help.
In addition to other modalities, I offer art making in therapy to support people who want to have a tactile, embodied experience of feelings as well as access parts of themselves that may be hard to reach with words. Considering these art forms can reveal surprising and helpful knowledge. The process of art making in this context often evokes emotions in a powerful way. Whether we actively use art making in session or not, our work will support you to experience your capacity for flexibility and growth.
Finding a therapist you work well with is essential to positive change. Please contact me for a free 20 minute consultation to determine if we are a good fit to work together.
A space to get curious about your process
How do you make meaning in your life? What experiences do you center and what seems peripheral? What would you like to focus on? Where do you feel stuck? Getting curious about how you make meaning can help you understand your mind, patterns, values, and intentions. Shifting your attention and internal narrative can support you to feel more relaxed, open, and clear about who you are and what you want.
Often painful emotions, thoughts, and sensations are symptoms signaling possibilities for deeper self-knowledge and assurance. I believe you are naturally seeking equilibrium and my role is to support you with cultivating the practices that enhance your fuller expression of yourself.
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. In our work together, we will identify what is working and not working for you now. We will create space for your vision of growth in your life.
My approach to working with struggle celebrates neurodiversity, queerness, and individual choice, while acknowledging the different ways that structural violence and intergenerational trauma impact us all on many levels.
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 to explore:
- 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