Dana Levinson - Why I became a therapistMy career in social work and my goal as a therapist are inspired by my personal life. My brother was born with a degenerative neuromuscular disease, and I witnessed his countless encounters with prejudice, discrimination, abuse, and social isolation. I also witnessed his perseverance, persistence, and advocacy in response. These personal experiences have given me an intimate understanding of the nature of oppression, the need to protect the welfare of vulnerable people and the value of enabling empowerment for self-advocacy. 

As a Licensed Master Social Worker, I intend to help to establish an inclusive society that allows everyone the opportunity to live a productive and fulfilling life. My aim is to address the unique needs of each client. I maintain an acute awareness of the environmental and systemic influences that contribute to impediments, be they based on disability, race, gender, or social class. In my efforts to provide effective treatment, I seek opportunities to improve my proficiency in evaluating, selecting, and implementing evidence-based treatments. 

I incorporate Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Solution-Focused techniques in my treatment of those experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and adjustment disorders. From my experience as a therapist, I have learned the value of incorporating elements of varying treatment approaches to support client self-discovery, the capacity to identify problem behaviors, and the development of positive coping strategies. My profession gives me the opportunity to critically evaluate theories and available evidence-based treatments in depth.

It is essential that clients improve their ability to negotiate, communicate opinions, and interact with their environment, in order to become socially functioning advocates for themselves. Successful treatment can improve their quality of life through the strengthening of interpersonal skills and the development of coping strategies. My goal as a therapist is to continue to build my knowledge base of theories and practices that are appropriate to the client’s individual background and unique skill sets.