Dana McNeil

Dana is a gifted, compassionate, and practical therapist and the founder of The Relationship Place. Dana has achieved the highest level of training possible in the Gottman Method of couples therapy. She has special interests in working with all clients, including those who live out-of-the-ordinary lives or have alternative relationships.

successful couples practices

Successful Couples Practices – Podcast Interview

Successful couples practices require leaders who are dedicated, driven, and confident! That’s what Confident Couples Therapist is all about. My friend and colleague Nancy Ryan and I developed Confident Couples Therapist to help clinicians on their journey to developing a thriving couples practice. We help them navigate the guesswork and trial and error and avoid needless frustration.

We were recently invited to speak with Gordon Brewer on his podcast, The Practice of Therapy. In this podcast we discussed some tips for developing successful couples practices. The need for confident couples therapists has been on the rise in recent months, which makes this topic so timely. During these uncertain times, couples are specifically seeking therapists specializing in couples therapy.

Every therapist has their own personality and style. However, the tips we discussed in this podcast can be helpful to every couples therapist.

long-distance infidelity

Infidelity in Long-Distance Relationships

Unfortunately, infidelity is a problem for both in-town and out-of-town partners. However, the idea of “out of site out of mind” is often a reality for many long-distance relationships. One of the main the reasons is that maintaining a connected far-away relationship is difficult at best even for the most loyal partners.

The reason most of us get into a relationship is so that we can have a person by our side who is there both emotionally and physically to weather the storms of life with. The temptation to physically connect with another person who can give you a hug when you have a bad day, put their arm around you and snuggle on the couch, and have sex with you has a strong influence on why infidelity occurs.

Even couples who have strong friendship and communication skills are vulnerable to having a really bad day and find themselves needing support that is in person. The opportunity for a physically present potential partner to come along and fill up the void created by long-distance love is real.

Confident Couples Theerapist

Confident Couples Therapist – Podcast

My friend and colleague Nancy Ryan and I were recently featured on a podcast with Alison Pidgeon from Practice of the Practice to promote our new joint venture, Confident Couples Therapist.

The theme of this podcast was our purpose at Confident Couples Therapist, which is to help clinicians become better couples therapists and build cash practices confidently. Ultimately, therapists who are knowledgeable, prepared, and CONFIDENT will better serve the needs of their clients and provide the quality care they desire. In turn, this will result in a clientele that will return, as well as refer their friends and colleagues to that practice.

In this podcast Nancy and I discuss the benefits of having a cash-pay practice, both for the clients and for the practice, as well as provide some useful marketing tips and ideas for setting up office space and hiring quality clinicians.

Some of our tips include creating a safe an comfortable space for clients, paying attention to details (furniture, wall colors, background music, etc.), and providing a relaxed, warm, welcoming, and friendly environment.

You can listen to the entire podcast here.

Cuddle Positions

Cuddle Positions – Benefits and Meaning

Who doesn’t love to cuddle?

If you are one of the people lucky enough to have someone to cuddle right now, you know how meaningful it can be to experience comfort through human touch. Elizabeth Kirkhorn interviewed me recently for an article in O.school in which we discussed the benefits of cuddling, as well as different cuddling positions.

Specifically, the article discussed six different cuddling positions, what they are, and what they mean.

For example, most of us have heard of “spooning”. But have you heard about “being small”, “the stronghold”, or “the honeymoon hug”? Did you know that each cuddle position means something different? Did you know that although cuddling is intimate, your preferred position in the cuddle says something about your needs or preferences in the relationship?

self quarantine

Quarantined from your Partner?

People in essential services have continued working throughout the quarantine, and those who have had the option to work from home have been able to remain on the job as well. Many others have only recently begun returning to work.

Every day we hear reports about new cases of Covid-19, increased rates of positive tests, and speculation about another shut-down. For those venturing out into the world and workplace, they are increasing their exposure to other people and the risk of being infected themselves.

Concerns about exposure is leading many to quarantine themselves from their partners and/or families in order to protect them. As an example, I have a relative who routinely flies for work, stays in hotels, and eats take-out (when sit-down dining is not available). When he returns home, he quarantines himself from his wife for two weeks to ensure he does not have any symptoms.

Quarantining yourself this way may be prudent and responsible, but it can also cause anxiety, stress, and feelings of disconnection from your partner.

Here are some ideas to help you stay connected and reduce anxiety and stress during your time of quarantine:

emotional neglect article

Emotional Neglect in Marriage

Clients sometimes seek out marriage counseling because one or both partners feel unappreciated, ignored, or disconnected. Sometimes they can feel lonely even when their partner is in the same room. Often these emotions can signal when emotional neglect is happening in a relationship.

Sometimes the emotional disconnection in a relationship can get to the point where one partner speaks to and thinks about their partner with contempt. Contempt may not be as obvious as you think, it can take the form of small continuous digs and comments made about a partner’s intelligence or value, an inability to ever catch the partner doing something right, or comments to those outside of the relationship where a partner is demeaned or whose value is minimized.

conference speaker

Guest Speaker: Modern Therapist Conference

I’m privileged to be selected as a guest speaker at this year’s Therapy Reimagined Modern Therapist Conference!

Special thanks to Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy of Therapy Reimagined for always making this such a great event and for inviting me to participate.

This is the 3rd annual Modern Therapist Conference. I have attended both of the prior conferences and found them to be so informative, engaging, and inspirational.  In addition to top-notch keynote speakers, the conference has several break-out sessions, panels, and opportunities for continuing education. The conference also provides a great opportunity to network, make new friends in the therapy world, and learn new ways to think about the issues we face in today’s ever-changing world! To be selected as a guest speaker is an honor, and I’m excited to be a part of it.

Dana Feelings

Seeing Light: Authority Magazine Feature

I was recently interviewed by Dr. Ely Weinschneider, Psy.D of Authority Magazine for an article titled “Seeing Light at the End of the Tunnel: 5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis.” As we are beginning to see the world slowly start opening up (although limited), this article is timely. I’d like to pull some highlights out which could help improve mental health and feelings.

illness

Things to Never Tell Someone With An Illness

I recently had the pleasure of contributing to an article by Leah Groth for Eat This Not That concerning attitudes towards people who may be suffering from illness. A huge thanks Leah and Eat This Not That! For my readers, here are some of the things we at The Relationship Place believe you should never say to someone suffering from COVID-19: #1: “It will be fine. Just don’t think about it and pretend like it’s not happening.” You might think you are helping someone keep their mind off their illness, but “it” is happening, and being in denial doesn’t help. “It is likely the sick person is thinking about very little else and telling them to the opposite of their reality makes them feel disconnected and shamed.” #2: “Just suck it up and deal with it.” When you discount a sick person’s condition it can really hurt. “Having an illness is scary and makes the person feel vulnerable.” #3: Saying nothing at all! The worst thing you can possibly do if a person you care about is sick is nothing at all. Ghosting the person or not checking in on them, can make them feel incredibly isolated. “Check in with the sick person to let them know you are thinking about them. When we avoid talking about the illness, it gives the other person the impression they may be burdening you.” At The Relationship Place, we believe every individual can benefit from therapy. For a free consultation, visit our website!  You can read …

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I do Uncertainty

“I Do” Uncertainty Podcast

Of course, life is uncertain. Now more than ever we’re collectively feeling the uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Chase and Sarah Kosterlitz for their “I Do” podcast to discuss tips and advice for couples dealing with uncertainty. You can listen to the podcast here. 

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