Dan’s Clinical Philosophy
Dan’s life experience, education, and professional relationships have produced a clinical style that believes that every persons life is worth a novel. That no individual is a lost cause. The inherent value of an individual is rich, expansive and eternal. Dan believes that the problems we experience in life and the mental health challenges that we endure can be mitigated and alleviated by sound clinical intervention as well as enhanced spiritual living. The combination of understanding these two approaches, and how effective they work together is Dan’s greatest skill. As a mental health specialist Dan has committed his professional life as a therapist, counselor, educator, and writer to the care and concern for a struggling human soul. If you struggle with mental health challenges; depression, anxiety, addiction, family or marital conflict, Dan can be an invaluable resource to help you find reassurance, develop life skills, and find relief. Click here to read reviews from real clients.
Why tell you a life story to describe Dan’s clinical approach. Dan feels that the people that come to him for help, often share all there is to know about them. It seems respectful and fair that they know a little bit about him and his background. Dan is committed to the process of change. While some say that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks….. Dan would say, “we can take old behaviors, emotions, and situations, and create change.” The human spirit is as strong as its source. We can endure much and change even more.
Dan Oakes grew up in the mid-west as seventh of nine children. He loved playing in the woods of the Missouri countryside. He watched his parents struggle to make a living and to raise a family. Just as his father finished building his dream house on ten acres just outside Liberty, Missouri, Dan’s two oldest brothers ran away. This event broke the hearts of his parents. The brothers had become lost in the cultural upheaval of the late sixties and early seventies. Drugs and a “free” lifestyle is what they thought they were running to. In an attempt to get their sons back, Dan’s parents boxed up all they owned, left their dream house and the ten acres and followed their sons to Texas. They moved into a two bedroom trailer. It was crowded with all the kids, but Dan’s parents had agreed to stay for one year in an attempt to get their boys to come home. Every prayer said in that little trailer, either a blessing on the food or an evening family prayer, always included a pleading with the Lord to help them regain favor with their boys and to allow them to reconcile and return home. The year came and went, repair with Dan’s brothers did not occur. At the end of the year, Dan’s parents decided that they had done all they could do.
In their attempt to move on, Dan’s parents moved to Mesa, Arizona. They felt this was an escape from the influence back home that they had lost their boys to. With two daughters already married and gone, and the two boys on their own in Texas. Don and Cyd Oakes started over with a new focus on their remaining five children.
When Dan’s family got to Arizona he was 11 years old. Within a few short years, the brothers that Dan’s parents tried hard to reconcile with had major life changes and came to Arizona as well. Mesa became Dan’s home. He went to Mesa Jr, and Mesa High school, where he was active in sports, theater and student government. After High School he went to South Carolina on a mission for his church and there learned a level of selflessness that could only come through sacrifice and a commitment to something greater than the “self”. While on his mission Dan learned to appreciate his weaknesses and the weaknesses of others, and our need and reliance on something more than ourselves.
After returning to Arizona, he began his education. While at Mesa Community College Dan met and married his sweet wife Shannon. They both graduated from Arizona State University with one daughter in the audience. Dan continued his education with a Masters Degree from Northern Arizona University. Shannon is Dan’s rock and together they have five beautiful children. Dan often says that his greatest accomplishment in life is that his wife is his best friend.