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About Dr. Deanna

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Who Am I?

I am an experienced, licensed clinical psychotherapist and have an extensive education in psychodynamics; not to mention, I’m a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law, giving me first hand knowledge of what goes on in this in-law relationship -- good and bad.

By combining my personal journey with my clinical background, I’ve been able to pinpoint how different perspectives influence this relation in different ways − and how these specific perspectives contribute to the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship.

Working with my clients over the years, I’ve found that rather than ignoring or repeating the same frustrating situations or feelings over and over again, you can really and truly learn how to stop the cycle − and grow more comfortable (or even closer) with your in-law. And although this site does NOT provide psychotherapy, sharing different points of view as well as effective tips can begin changing how you look at yourself and your in-law relationship, making it possible for you to experience this relationship differently.

I want to add, this website was a natural next step for me in providing useful information and reaching out to more people. Its blend of resources, Q&A, topics of discussion, and more, was created to allow not only myself, but others an opportunity to share their mother-in-law/daughter-in-law experience and knowledge – letting us all learn together.

My Career Path

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology

I almost can’t believe it myself, but I have more than 30 years experience in the mental health profession. For 20+ years I have been a private practitioner providing individual, couples, and family therapy. I’ve helped people through life transitions including marriage, divorce, having children, children leaving home or getting married, and even death (indeed, a part of life).

But of course life is made up of more than “big moments,” and I’ve worked with people to help resolve these kinds of relationship issues as well. Through my work, I’ve been able to help many individuals develop more confidence in themselves and, in turn, more confidence in their ability to deal with whatever life throws at them. And this is so true in my work with mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law as well.

Ph.D in Psychobiological Anthropology

As my work has largely focused on family relationships and group dynamics, I’ve even studied a different kind of “family.” My work with nonhuman primates has given me an opportunity to combine my knowledge based in psychology with my study of anthropology to focus on the verbal and nonverbal communication of gorillas. As strange as this may sound, this unique blend of psychology and anthropology has given me another level of understanding not often found in psychology alone. And although I love the study of nonhuman primates, my initial love for understanding people, their struggles, and their desire for change, drew me back to psychology. I just felt I had more to offer people who are struggling with challenging mother-in-law/daughter-in-law issues.

Speaking Events and Programs

As I've moved more specifically into the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship, I spend much of my time speaking to groups of women (and men) about the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship, providing insights and thought-provoking concepts that help audiences shift their thinking to a new level.

I have also found that a great way to help more women feel better about themselves and get along with their in-law is through my proven programs specifically geared to mothers-in-law or daughters-in-law. These programs allow you to go from feeling frustrated, hopeless, and powerless to feeling confident you can make a difference in this relationship with your mother-in-law or daughter-in-law.

Sometimes you just want a little more of a “hands on” approach, and so I've developed coaching packages to help you with your specific mother-in-law/ daughter-in-law issues. These packages allow you to work with me directly for a period of time allowing you to feel better about yourself, about your relationship with your in-law, AND get along better with your mother-in-law or daughter-in-law.

If you’d like more information, head to the Media Room and Programs.