How I Work

Left and Right Brain Hemispheres

While my practice and experience is quite varied, there has always been an emphasis on working with adolescents and their families. The developing teen brain and the beautiful chaos that ensues, has always been a passion of mine.

I work from an attachment theory base, combined within a neurobiological framework. I consider myself an “Interpersonal Neuropsychologist”. A model of therapy coined by a psychiatrist very influential to me: Daniel Siegel. This model of therapy is based on the premise that brains develop and create neurological patterns, as influenced by personal relationships.

Working from this basis, I want to understand what is happening in someone’s brain when they are experiencing negative symptoms. Even more specifically, what patterns in the brain have been learned, then rehearsed, and are currently getting an individual in trouble. I believe healing and growth can occur with the combination of a positive, emotionally attuned relationship and an understanding of what is likely happening in the brain.  Our brains heal and essentially re-wire, in relationship to others.

To quote the aforementioned Daniel Siegel: “What Fires Together Wires Together”.  So, if neuro-synaptic connections in the brain are first learned, then become our automatic ‘go-to system’ if practiced over and over again…then let’s ‘unlearn’ these connections, and work to develop healthier patterns. Let’s Fire Together and Wire Together a new set of neuro-synaptic connections. Connections that offer us more happiness and less harm.

I am genuinely excited to be in this ‘decade of the brain’ where we now know we have the capacity to re-structure our brains and change for the positive. I don’t believe in just managing symptoms. Yes, we require tools, strategies and other self-regulation skills for healthy emotional wellness. But I also believe in the power of neuroplasticity. The brain grows and changes continuously throughout our lives, so the implications for healing are unending. Why settle for feeling ‘good enough’, when I know, we can shift harmful brain patterns and walk away from emotional distress for good.

“Danelle has the ideal blend of being both equally approachable, gentle and encouraging yet at the same time knowing when to provide leadership and direction.  Very few people possess this skill and when I see it, I always recognize it.  I have experienced this personally as well as watched it again and again with her clients”

– Andrea Holwegner, Registered Dietician, Professional Speaker, and Colleague

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