Areas of Expertise

Psychotherapy

 My psychotherapy approach integrates contemporary psychoanalysis, specifically intersubjectivity systems theory with psychodynamic therapies to help you begin to learn, understand and express your emotional world. I strive to understand your individual experience, the context of your life and the unconscious processes that shape your current experiences. Working together, you and I will create a relational space of genuine acceptance, trust, and emotional safety. I will join with you in your experience and provide supportive holding of emotions that may feel unbearable. I will work with you to identify and express these feelings so that together, we may begin to make them bearable. I will help you develop awareness of your own emotional needs, that may be neglected and remain unknown to you. Our collaborative work will result in life changing surprises, born out of a new sense of empowerment from the foundation of self-worth, self-awareness and self-compassion that we will create together.

Dreams

As part of my therapeutic work, I provide dream analysis. Dream analysis is helpful for reaching the hard to feel emotions of our waking, conscious life. Dreams are unconscious gold, in that they help us understand our emotional world through their symbols, images, and emotional narratives.  Dreams can further our work in helping you understand your truest feelings being presented to you by your own psyche. We can work together to interpret your dreams and gain a deeper understanding of your feelings and experiences and help alleviate emotional pain and psychological symptoms.

Trauma

 My work emphasizes traumatic experiences and the impact they have on our lives. Trauma is the experience of overwhelming and intolerable emotions in the absence of an empathic relationship in which it can be  processed. Conceptually, this is the basis for all psychological symptoms and relational difficulties. Trauma comes in all shapes and sizes, impacting every human life; whether it be life shattering trauma or cumulative trauma that occurs over years in such a manner to chip away at one's soul.

 

Trauma does not have to remain traumatic if it can be held, understood and contained within an empathic relationship; a relational home.

We will be patient in exploring, holding and containing your painful experiences to develop greater tolerance and integration of all of your feelings, past and present. I am highly attuned to your emotional world, and to your words. With empathy for your experiences, I help hold your painful feelings allowing them to become more tolerable each time we feel them. We will address the impact your experiences have had on your life and how they may be creating harm for you currently. My approach is to provide a relational home in which you will finally come to feel understood, mirrored and attuned to in such a way that makes pain more bearable so that life, work, love and relating become more manageable and enjoyable for you. Trauma does not spare any of us; what we can do is feel, relate and exist in it together.

I treat the following:

Depression   

Anxiety

Trauma and PTSD

Childhood Abuse

Addiction

Obsessive compulsive disorder

Marital or relationship struggles

Self-harm

Eating disorders

Bipolar disorder

Dissociative disorders

Personality disorders

Co-dependency

People pleasing

Phobias

© 2020 by Melissa McDaniel, PsyD. | Tel. 323-825-1973