I majored in psychology, taught in a private school for two years and went to graduate school at the University of Minnesota, finishing my Ph.D in Psychology in the early 90's while working as a school psychologist, getting married and having two children. Over the last 15 years, and as I finished up nearly 30 years as a school psychologist, I decided I was feeling mature enough to work well with people of all ages, not only children, their parents and teachers. I completed my post-doctoral hours and passed the licensure test in 2018 to practice as a psycholgist, doing therapy in a solo practice.
The resolution and confidence came from two places – my family roots and my growth in music.
I have heard it said, that we are a family of healers and I suppose it is true. My father, Dr. David Gasman and my mother Kathleen of Redding, California, were both in the healing professions. My brothers and sisters are all nurses, doctors and teachers.
My father, a psychiatrist, was my enthusiastic mentor and cheerleader. He practiced short term methods that routinely started with a long session – something I continue. He has inspired me in many ways and observing him even as a child, also caused me to approach this practice with caution. I am sure my brothers and sisters remember those many evenings we waited to have dinner with a father that came late to the table. Yes, it is true, all of my family are healers of some sort. My mother even went back to school after all six kids were raised and then did therapy for a number of years.
I took up music late in life as a challenge until it became a driving passion. Learning to play bass and sing, eventually joining up to form a band that does convention presentations about dealing with stress, inspired me to renew my efforts to achieve my private practice license.
Life-long learning and challenging ourselves builds connections and strengthens the brain. Therapy with me will be a challenge and a growth experience, too.
As I moved toward the clinical and therapeutic aspect of psychology, I have sought out training that compliments my goals of achieving quick results and lasting change such as Family Attachment, Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Gottman couples therapy. I often find my background in educational techniques helpful when I strive to teach couples new and effective methods of communicating with each other. For instance, I might model a role-play and then have them practice by role-playing a new way of interacting with each other. I also love using mindfulness, music, art, therapeutic stories and cognitive-behavioral methods.
I have found ways to incorporate music into my goals of helping others with my band. Playing music is my favorite form of self-care and I have found artists and musicians seek me out simply because they see a guitar hanging on my wall. We are all attracted to others for unique reasons and I strive to bring out the best in each person I work to help and heal.
With the research-proven tools and my years of experience and maturity,
I believe I can help you make rapid progress toward your goals.
dr Margaret Ann dixon - psychologist
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