Dana Acheson, MSW, LCSW
I firmly believe there are therapeutic opportunities in everything we do. How we speak to ourselves, to others, the choices we make, big and small, the stories we circle back to, the thoughts, we keep close and those we share freely, are rife with opportunities to understand and improve ourselves. We meet the world with what we have carried since birth, with what we have lost and gained along the way. Deciphering what serves you best now, and what is holding you back, can be challenging work: but it works well worth your efforts, and work you will not have to do alone.
My approach is client-centered, strengths-based, and above all else, collaborative. Therapy is a process of guided discovery, and one that I feel honored to embark on with you, should you be new to therapy or have had many years of self-study. I received my Masters’ in clinical practice with individuals and families from The Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in East Harlem, NYC. This training was set in the context of anti-oppression and social justice. The roots of my training are in psychodynamic theory and branched out to suicide prevention and crisis communication, CBT, Family Systems Theory, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Relational and Humanistic approaches, Person in Environment/ Ecological Perspective, and Object Relations. Working in medical social work for the past 10 years, in an inpatient hospital, ER, and outpatient clinical settings in NYC, and in North Carolina, I partnered with people in crisis, in the midst of trauma, adjusting to new diagnoses, new levels of functioning, facing end-of-life decisions, experiencing homelessness, substance dependence, caregivers with burnout, and families experiencing various crises simultaneously. My experience called on acute crisis management, trauma-informed interventions, Motivational Interviewing, Solution Focused Therapy, grief and bereavement management, Harm Reduction, and mindfulness meditation for anxiety. My career prior to clinical social work was in theater in Detroit and NYC. From a family of artists and activists, I learned about the nuance of language, human behavior, motivation, appreciation of cultural diversity, and the meaning we make of tragedy. I learned that storytelling makes meaning of collective and individual trauma, and narratives help us understand our human nature.
I feel strongly that physical and mental health are social justice issues in need of attention, and scrutiny, and should be accessible to everyone, tailored to your individual’s needs; whether that means honing in on the here and now, or examining the patterns of your past, I strive every day to remain culturally humble, curious, and an ardent ally, as together, we meet these therapeutic opportunities head-on.