How I Work

Left and Right Brain Hemispheres

When people ask me about my “model of therapy” I usually just say that I focus on two things: Brains and Relationships 🙂 This way of working is based on my belief that brains develop and create patterns of behaving and functioning as influenced by relationships. I really want to understand what may be happening in someone’s brain when they are experiencing negative symptoms. More specifically, what unhealthy patterns in the brain are causing this distress – then within the therapeutic relationship – work to shift this pattern, restructure the brain, and create healthier coping mechanisms.

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 famous (ok, famous to me) adolescent psychiatrist,  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