Hello! My name is Dana. I am passionate about helping individuals make meaning out of their experiences and challenging the life scripts given to us by society so that we can live fully authentic lives. Because there can still be harsh stigma surrounding autism, it is vitally important for us to reclaim our self-understanding and develop compassion for our own unique strengths and abilities.
I am a drama therapist, which means I incorporate the arts as an additional means for navigating self-exploration and understanding. This could look like role play, storytelling, visual art, movement and gesture – the sky is the limit! I believe verbal communication is only one form of communication, and the power of the arts to activate all our senses can assist people in creating meaning and purpose. Creative approaches can be especially useful for neurodivergent individuals who may struggle to communicate verbally, or who want additional support around managing sensory overwhelm or trauma triggers.
I am myself autistic, and have experience working with autistic individuals of all ages in a variety of settings (education, non-profit, inpatient). I am passionate about self-advocacy and I operate from an intersectional social justice lens. I believe that understanding systemic oppression is an important way to help individuals develop a sense of agency and empowerment. I have lived experience as a queer non-binary person and know that autistic people are much more likely to question their gender and sexuality. I can support individuals in navigating the intersections of what it means to be autistic and hold other marginalized identities.
I look forward to getting to know you, and am here to answer any questions you might have about my experience, philosophy, and approach!