Dr. 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.

how to survive a breakup

How To Survive A Breakup

What are some emotions/states of being people commonly experience after a breakup? When a couple breaks up, it can stir up all kinds of emotions from anxiety and stress to feelings of total abandonment or the stages of grief that feel on par with the death of a loved one.  Would you say there are different stages of a breakup, similar to how there are different stages of grief? Or are they one and the …

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does a narcissist know he's a narcissist

Does A Narcissist Know He’s A Narcissist?

If you find yourself in a relationship with someone who you identify as possessing the traits of a narcissistic personality disorder, then you probably have lots of questions about how your partner ended up this way! You also probably wonder how they can seem so inconsiderate, self-centered, and insensitive to your needs and feelings. You may have tried to convince yourself that your person must have experienced a traumatic event in life that left them …

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Shared Meaning

How to Create Shared Meaning as Newlyweds or Newly Engaged

The wonders of the holidays feel special for those who are newly engaged or celebrating for the first time as newlyweds. Couples can feel happy and potentially anxious about how to use them as a springboard to make meaningful memories and celebrate them in a way that uniquely defines them as a couple.

The Gifts of Showing Your Gratitude for Each Other

The Gifts of Showing Your Gratitude for Each Other

This piece was originally published on Gottman.com and is republished here with permission from the Gottman Institute. How a simple “thank you” can create connection As a couple, did you know that you’re not required to do nice things for each other? Did you know you don’t have to want to do those things? It’s true. That’s why anything you or your partner do for each other is a gift.   While many of my clients give me …

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that to expect when you go to Couples Therapy

What to Expect When You Go to Couples Therapy

According to Dr. John Gottman, couples wait an average of six years before they make the decision to seek out couples therapy. That’s six long years of beating your heads against the wall hoping for a different outcome. That’s also more than enough time to have cultivated some ineffective and even downright unhelpful communication habits.

US Capitol Riot

US Capitol Riot – Talking to Our Kids: Fox 5 Interview

This past Wednesday our country shared in collective shock and sadness following the events that occurred in the US Capitol. Never before as a country have we had to experience so many losses and mind-bending concepts about who we are as Americans. How do we explain these types of events to our kids when we don’t really understand them ourselves?

I had the privilege of speaking with Kelsey Christensen of Fox 5 News about how to best help our children understand why this happened and what it means to them. One of the take-aways from our chat was how important it is that we not minimize our children’s fears and that we give them the space to talk about their fears as often as they need to.

We should normalize for them that these big feelings are real and that it is important for them to talk to their parents to help them better understand what they are experiencing. This means that parents need to be willing to have these conversations even though they may not know what to do or say. The important thing is that parents should be a safe space for their children and let them know they will never judge them for having their feelings – even if their children’s thoughts and feelings differ from their own.

enjoy the holidays

Ways to Enjoy the Holidays – Main Street Living

This has been a crazy year for everyone, and navigating life and the holidays is a bit more challenging. People are looking for ways to enjoy the holidays this year given our limited physical connection with friends and family.

I had the privilege of sharing my thoughts for enjoying the holidays with Cheryl Nelson and Danielle Alvari on a recent episode of Main Street Living. You can watch the clip here.

It’s ok to feel your feelings, but you should also look for the silver lining in your current circumstances. Things won’t always be this way.

Here are some of my tips for staying connected during what could otherwise be an isolating holiday season…

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.

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