D. Brent Dawson Child and Family Institute

What its all about I am a nationally recognized psychotherapist, writer and humorist. I like to think of my counseling approach as warm and safe while punctuated with a sharp sense of the here and now.

It is an optimistic approach that embraces human potential, while remaining realistic through the recognition of human limitation. There is never a fixed life that each person is supposed to live. Each of us are allowed to find out for ourselves what it is we need. My therapeutic approach guides you down the existential path to freedom and responsibility. I have extensive experience working with children and adolescents with an array of issues ranging from behavior difficulties to autism spectrum challenges. Additionally, I have worked with adults and families coping with significant issues. Below are some of the issues I work with clients with: Anxiety Depression Anger Borderline Personality Disorder Bi-Polar Grief Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Marital issues Intergenerational issues Gender Identity Sexuality challenges Social Skills and many more I am the director of Project S.A.F.E. (Supporting Allen Family Educaiton) and I am in private practice with Katrena Hart at Bridging Harts Psychodrama Institute and Psychotherapy.

Operating as usual

Parents with Confidence

When practiced by families, these six parenting approaches build connection, resilience, and trust, strengthening your family bond and serving as protective factors for your child's stressors.

Barb Schmidt

We can be strong, successful, and confident and we will still struggle with the mind. Mental health is taking care of yourself one day at a time, often one moment at a time.

Brené Brown

Alicia Keys' book, More Myself: A Journey is a masterclass in authenticity and vulnerability.

In this episode of Unlocking Us, Alicia and I talk about the quiet, subtle experiences that fuel our need to armor up and self-protect, and the courage behind owning our worth, listening to our own voice, and living with our own "girl on fire" energy.

I love this quote - I think we're all feeling the "groundlessness" of life right now.

Listen to the episode at https://bit.ly/2yKmSPj


How to Transform Stress into Courage and Connection

This becomes more and more important the more we are quarantined. The Greater Good Science Center

greatergood.berkeley.edu Stress doesn't always lead to fight-or-flight, says Kelly McGonigal. It can also activate brain systems that help us connect with other people.

Special Update COVID-19

Offering telehealth. Don’t let the crisis keep you from accessing the support you need.

shoutout.wix.com I take your health seriously and it is my commitment to ensure you have access to counseling services during these uncertain times. Regardless of the struggles, I will be available to meet your counseling needs. I have made the decision to offer telehealth as an option for clients who do not wish to...

The Gottman Institute

"You can choose how you will respond to the pursuer-distancer pattern if it happens in your relationship. [...] When one partner makes a commitment to change their approach and their responses, on a consistent basis, their relationship will change."

The Gottman Institute

It's normal for couples to struggle navigating chronic relationship disconnection, tension, and defensiveness. Our brain’s ability to be aware of these signals is a phenomenon called neuroception.

Learn how to recognize the safety system of your relationship and create a secure space for your feelings.

The Gottman Institute

We've all heard it before "It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it.”

Approach tough conversations with a Softened Start-Up.

The Gottman Institute

Tough conversations are better than no communication at all. Get yourself "75% of the way to a happy marriage" with these 4 tips backed by research.

The Gottman Institute

A healthy relationship requires a balance of assertive self-expression paired with an ability to selflessly consider your partner’s needs.

Explore the five common myths about conflict in premarital relationships.


The Mistake I Made With My Grieving Friend

huffpost.com The author of We Need to Talk reveals how she learned to help -- and not help -- a friend with loss.

The Gottman Institute

Surely, with 24 hours in a day, we can all find at least one person to be thankful for. Learn how Kristen Manieri leveled-up her gratitude practice with 365 "thank you" notes.

The Gottman Institute

According to Zach Brittle, MA, LMHC, and Certified Gottman Therapist, “The Four Horsemen are—simply put—behaviors that [...] represent unkind and unkempt strategies that partners often employ with one another."

Learn how to identify the four troublesome signs in your relationship.


Things I've learned from my clients and fellow travelers.

Motivation Monday


3 Keys to Intimacy

dbrentdawson.com Intimacy exists on three levels.  Breadth refers to the number of activities and interests the spouses share. The greater the number of activities and int

The Gottman Institute

People raised in neglectful or chaotic homes develop protective strategies that make it especially hard to build healthy adult relationships. Here's how they can better cope.

The Gottman Institute

"Sometimes, we outlaw our own grief, failing to give value to our feelings; seeing the tears as intruders that must be defended against."

Gottman Relationship Blog contributor, Jonathan Trotter, shares observations gleaned from their time spent trudging through the valley of grief, lessons learned from those who comforted and others who tried along the way.

The Gottman Institute

Trauma generates painful emotions that are hard to live with, but ignoring them can have serious consequences. Here’s what to do instead.

The Gottman Institute

“These days, there’s no harm in sharing it,” Andrews said. “I think everybody knows the great work it can do. And anybody that is lucky enough to have it, afford it and take advantage of it, I think it would be wonderful.”

The Gottman Institute

"Our brains are wired to keep us safe, to detect danger and send us warning signals. What is often labeled as codependency is actually our brain trying to look for safety and make sense of our reality." - Anna Aslanian, LMFT. Read more on the Gottman Relationship Blog.

The Gottman Institute

Outdoor preschools are becoming more popular nationwide, encouraging kids to spend more time in nature. Washington just became the first state in the country to officially license them.

The Gottman Institute

Admitting that you need help or a moment to yourself requires courage in its starkest form: vulnerability.

Vulnerability means baring your truth to other people, and removing the mask we often present to the world, and doing so takes guts.

The Gottman Institute

Here's why why raising brilliant kids starts with redefining brilliant.

The Gottman Institute

A flower won’t bloom until conditions are supportive. Similarly, our tender heart won’t open and reveal its beautiful secrets unless we feel internally safe.

The Gottman Institute

New studies show that men don’t experience or express anxiety in the same way as women. That could be affecting men’s access to treatment, and their mental health.

The Gottman Institute

Shutting your brain off can provide some rest in certain situations, but it’s just one of the several forms of rest that help us to recharge. #SelfCareSunday

The Gottman Institute

Burnout, sometimes known as compassion fatigue, is common among helping professionals because they are routinely exposed to the trauma and anxiety of others.

The Gottman Institute

When we see someone struggling, we want to fix it for them, but sometimes we unintentionally add fuel to the fire. Here are 8 things not to say to someone who deals with anxiety, and what actually helps.

The Gottman Institute

“I don’t claim to know what fuel works best for everyone, but what I know for sure is that I believe in love’s promise and I run best on love.” — Brené Brown 💗

The Gottman Institute

Conflict is unavoidable when living with another person, but whether a fight tears down or builds up the relationship depends on how the couple behaves in its aftermath.


"Shame is highly, highly correlated with addiction, depression, violence, aggression, bullying, suicide, eating disorders." — Brené Brown

Watch the full TED Talk here: http://t.ted.com/Wi2EKdf

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700 Central Expressway S. Suite 400
Allen, TX

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 22:00
Tuesday 08:00 - 22:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 22:00
Thursday 08:00 - 22:00
Friday 08:00 - 22:00
Saturday 08:00 - 22:00
Sunday 08:00 - 17:00
Other Counseling & Mental Health in Allen (show all)
North Texas Counselors North Texas Counselors
800 N. Watters Road, Ste 110
Allen, 75002

Counseling Private Practice

Bridging Harts Bridging Harts
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Allen, 75013

Bridging Harts is a place for learning and creativity. Many participate in individual therapy, intensives, and workshops to gain a fresh perspective.

Allen Psychiatry Allen Psychiatry
1774 W McDermott Dr, Suit 150
Allen, 75013

Allen Psychiatry is a recovery-oriented practice which emphasizes and supports a person's potential to recover from a wide range of psychiatric problems.

Believe in Hope Counseling Believe in Hope Counseling
550 S. Watters Road
Allen, 75013

Licensed Professional Counselor

I Choose Change I Choose Change
1514 N Greenville Ave, Ste 310
Allen, 75002

Our mission is to help the entire family thrive in their home, work, and in all relationships, either in-office or Telehealth services. Schedule online at www.ichoosechange.com.

Erin Phifer M.A LPC Erin Phifer M.A LPC
1333 W McDermott Dr, Ste 180
Allen, 75013

Better Living Center for Behavioral Health Better Living Center for Behavioral Health
1333 W McDermott Ste 150
Allen, 75013

We provide Day Treatment, Intensive Outpatient (IOP), and outpatient treatment for OCD and anxiety disorders.

Emerald Palace Practice Emerald Palace Practice
125 W Main St, Ste 100
Allen, 75013

Emerald Palace Practice gives new hope and strength to families and children who would otherwise find themselves alone or unsure of how to proceed to the next step in their lives.

Susan Blandino, Psy.D. Susan Blandino, Psy.D.
101 W McDermott Dr
Allen, 75013-2751

Clinical Child Psychology and Psychological Testing

AssuraSource AssuraSource
100 Allentown Pkwy 206
Allen, 75002

At AssuraSource, we specialize in placing highly-qualified, compassionate professionals with those in need of In-home behavioral health counseling.

Envisions Counseling Envisions Counseling
1420 W. Exchange Pkwy, Suite 140
Allen, 75013

Envisions Counseling offers assistance in managing the life stressors and opportunities that arise in daily life.

Michelle Nietert, Speaker & Counselor Michelle Nietert, Speaker & Counselor
1506 N Greenville Ave, Suite 200
Allen, 75002

Contact Michelle who has been teaching, encouraging, and inspiring audiences of parents, students, and women in the DFW area and beyond for over 20 years.

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