Daniel Callahan, PhD, LMHC

Welcome !

Therapy is not easily described in general statements. How the work goes forward depends on the personalities of therapist and patient, the patient’s family context, and the particular problems you bring forward.  I was trained as a developmental psychologist in the 1970’s and 80’s.  As a therapist, it gives me a framework from which to view patient’s struggles through various life stages,  and their inevitable conflicts, which we all pass through.  There are many different methods I may use to deal with the problems that you hope to address. Psychotherapy calls for a very active effort on your part to change sometimes well-practiced behaviors and ways of thinking. In order for the therapy to be most successful, you will have to work on things we talk about, both during our sessions and at home.

Effective therapy, in my view, moves forward only when you, the patient, do not feel judged, talked down to or told what to do. It is only in this atmosphere of mutual respect and regard that you will surface and examine your issues in ways that give you insight to the “why’s” of the choices you’ve made in the past, your responses to life’s events, and options you might choose in the future.    I practice and encourage, independent of any particular spiritual or religious practice, a mindful approach to living.

Mindfulness” has become a bit of a buzzword in the last few years.  Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Clinic forty years ago at the University of Massachusetts Medical  School, has described mindfulness as, “The awareness that emerges by paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally, to things as they are.”  I myself have had a personal meditation practice for nearly sixty years. I have been formally trained in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy through the University of Toronto Medical School by Zindal Segal, one of the co-authors of “Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy” with Mark Williams and John Teasdale. Research in the last fifteen years clearly supports the efficacy of mindful practices in dealing with a wide variety of life stressors.  I offer samples of the practice and encourage each of my patients to develop a regular mindful practice.  I formerly taught an eight week group class in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. Whether as my individual patient or participating, virtually or in person, in a class, you will be encouraged to cultivate kindness and care toward yourself and your experiences, seeing thoughts, feelings and sensations that arise as part of the human experience rather than a sign of weakness or limitation on your part.  Experience has shown me that those who do, especially those for whom sitting still seems beyond them,  see significant gains in personal resiliency with life’s inevitable struggles.

Since therapy often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. The good news is that through this work, therapy often leads to solutions to specific problems, significant reductions in feelings of distress and better relationships with yourself and others.  “As in any journey, there is risk; any deepening of character necessitates a loss.  Nonetheless, initiating such a journey remains a watershed, an outpouring of unanticipated grace, an indelible opportunity to drink from the deep well of your life.”  Saki Santorelli

Building a meanigful life asks us to pay regular attention to the balance among our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves. I will do my best to support you finding your own balance and a more fulfilling life in each of these areas.