Below you will find some specific information about my education, training and how we will work together in a therapeutic relationship
Thank-you for your interest in my practice
I’m sorry but I am not currently accepting new patients / clients into my practice and my waiting list is closed.
If you are searching for a Trauma-Informed psychotherapist, I encourage you to take some time to look through the Your Treatment Options section of my site for information on current and effective models of psychotherapy.
If you are interested in help with a referral to a clinician who practices in a manner similar to me please check my Links to Resources page. There I’ve listed professional organizations which oversee the training I’ve received. Each has a directory of practitioners which is searchable by geographic location.
If you are a student or clinician seeking consultation or training, please use my Contact page to e-mail me or call.
Dave MacDonald MSW, LCSW
I’m a clinical social worker, consultant and educator. My undergraduate studies were in Philosophy and Sociology and I hold a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia. I’m licensed to practice independently in North Carolina and I have certification(s) from EMDRIA as an Approved Consultant in EMDR and as a Certified Therapist in EMDR. I am also an artist and I believe that at our core we are all creative beings. I’m deeply curious, have a passion for learning and I am comfortable living out of both sides of my brain. I spend a lot of time watching the developments in my field and I work to integrate the best of them into my clinical practice.
About My Work History:
I began my career working in an addiction treatment facility and spent well over a decade as a Certified Addiction Counselor. I recognized that many of the folks I treated for addictions also had a trauma history. This realization started me on a long and continuing journey to discover and learn the most efficient ways to treat trauma and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
In the 1990’s I radically changed my life when I introduced 2 new types of therapy into my practice. HeartMath® and EMDR Therapy® (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) offered me personally and my patients a very different way to solve issues. Learning these approaches opened the door for me to begin studying other types of therapy that were less focused on talking and more oriented on how the body reacts and signals us when it senses trouble and when it senses safety. Learning Sensorimotor Psychotherapy® – a therapy which includes the body in the process of therapy (beyond simple body language) revolutionized the way I work and continues to fascinate me every time I sit with my clients / patients. I’m excited to offer cutting edge therapeutic approaches many of which are backed by a substantial base of research.
I’m also trained in IFS® – the Internal Family Systems® model of psychotherapy. I study and integrate into my clinical work the concepts of Attachment Theory, Structural Dissociation Theory and Interpersonal Neurobiology.
In 2018 I began formal training to study and include Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy as one of the treatment options I offer. The word Psychedelic means “mind-manifesting” and I believe these medicines hold great promise in revolutionizing the way we treat many mental health issues. Currently many psychedelic compounds are in the research phase and are not available legally in the US outside of research settings. Ketamine is a compound typically used for anesthesia, sedation and pain relief but in lower doses has the properties of a psychedelic medicine. Ketamine is currently the only psychedelic compound available legally North Carolina and most states. I’m continuing my training and plan to offer Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) on a limited basis in cooperation with local ketamine providers. In the near future I expect MDMA and Psilocybin (the active ingredient in “Magic Mushrooms”) will be approved by the FDA for therapeutic use in Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy. These and other currently illegal psychedelic compounds are undergoing rigorous research to determine their usefulness in treating an array of mental health issues, stay tuned.
About Our Therapeutic Relationship:
I believe that appreciation, compassion, curiosity and gratitude are essential to my day to day work as a therapist. Although I was originally trained to be in the role of a blank slate (viz. to reveal as little as possible about myself / be neutral so you could project onto me your needs, desires etc.) when sitting with a patient, I now have stepped from behind that role and I bring myself into each session. I will relate to you in a way that invites our humanity into the session.
True, the therapy hour is about YOU and should be. We will not spend time talking about my life…that is not why you’ve come to therapy. What you will find is that I am engaged, honest, interested and present. And, we will use the fact of our relationship and the connection that forms while we work together to help you reach your goals. No, it won’t mean that we become friends; a friend is something very different. It will mean that you will have a fierce champion for your growth, healing and wholeness.
About My Areas of Clinical Expertise:
* I work with adults who have a history of trauma – both childhood and adult.
* I teach skills for stress management, developing intuition and coherent decision making using HRV Biofeedback tools developed by HeartMath.
* My work with addictive disorders is limited to folks who have already established a solid foundation of daily recovery and now are wishing to work on other issues including factors contributing to the addiction.
* I work with artists who wrestle with creative blocks.
* I work with couples and individuals who want to explore the limits that keep them from living more fully.
* I blend traditional and non-traditional approaches and will engage collaboratively with you to help you solve your problems and reach your goals.