About Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan Metevier
My first adult Call to Adventure happened during college when I got married and had a daughter. I was living in the Chicago area. To support my family, I started a career in the corporate world (another Call to Adventure). After about five years, my wife and I split up and I eventually married my current wife (more Calls to Adventure). Meanwhile, I spent over 20 years being a middle manager (a Hero’s Journey, for sure). In the beginning, I was a computer jock, all mind, some body, very little soul. Over time, my roles became less technical and more people-oriented until that focus was nearly 90% of my time. Employees, colleagues, and sometimes even bosses lined up at my door wanting me to help them work out some issue.
Mid-Life Career Change
This was all well and good, but people skills were only valued up to a point in that environment. I saw that my real strengths involved listening to and helping people. I decided that I needed to follow my heart, so to speak. In addition, my older brother (my only sibling), my mother, and my father all passed away within a ten-year period. So, seeking more meaning in my life I saw a career counselor to explore changing careers (meeting with the mentor after other Calls to Adventure). She eventually said to me, “The typical corporate person is like this (pointing her finger in one direction), and you, well, you are like that (pointing in the complete opposite direction).” I suddenly realized why I had felt like a “stranger in a strange land” for the prior two decades. Working with the counselor, I decided to go into psychology professionally. With that, I left the corporate world for the adventure of “graduate school.”
Becoming a Psychologist (A Mentor?)
I received a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree in clinical psychology and became a licensed psychologist after moving to California. Before this, I trained or worked in a range of environments, including a state mental hospital, a university student counseling center, and private practice.
We must let go of the life
we have planned,
so as to accept the one
that is waiting for us.
Successful Private Practice
I had jumped through countless fiery hoops on my Hero’s Journey to become a licensed psychologist and found myself in a pretty successful private practice (“successful” in the traditional sense). But, even though I was working in the world of the “science of the soul” (the original meaning of the word “psychology”), it was still all at the level of the mind and, to some extent, the body. I established myself as a “trauma therapist” and, over time, attracted an assortment of clients ranging from car accident victims to highly suicidal childhood abuse victims to people with a couple dozen “multiple personalities.” I encountered a wide range of human experience and found the people and the work fascinating.
My Latest Call to Adventure
Although work-wise I was going along very well for quite a while, I periodically succumbed to bouts of anxiety and depression. This had occurred in my corporate days too. When I did anything at all, I fought these off at the level of the body (medication, a Refusal of the Call) and, occasionally, the mind (half-hearted attempts at therapy). But these problems seemed to get worse each time. I spent an entire year working with a brilliant psychiatrist trying literally every medication known to the pharmaceutical industry to get relief from what was now severe anxiety and moderate depression. I was given the gift (I now see) of having none of the medications do a single, darn thing to me, good or bad. The pills I put in my mouth were as effective as if I had put nothing in my mouth. I was Refusing the Call big time!
Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.
Approaching the Threshold and Meeting the Mentors
OK, so working at the level of the body alone did not do anything. On to the mind, where I tried three different therapists within a year. I also pursued other “non-traditional” providers, including shamanic healers, a medium, a psychic, and a New Age minister. All these people helped in their own way and I was able to make some modest progress, but I still did not feel anywhere near 100%.
You can only get as high
as your therapist.
The Approach, The Ordeal, and the Reward
The most significant benefit of my work with these mentors was that some of them inspired me to move past the levels of the body and mind (although those were still important) and into the level of the soul, or heart, if you prefer. With that in mind, I worked extensively on my own, exploring things of the soul and spirit, such as yoga, poetry, mythology, something called the “deep masculine,” and various religious and spiritual traditions from both the east and west. This, along with another try at anti-depressants, helped me slowly crawl out of the dark hole I was in and find myself experiencing life in an entirely different, and yes, I’d say wonderful, way.
If all you can do is crawl,
Returning with the Treasure
As I became ever stronger, I tried my new self out by giving some of my spare time to a local hospice where I served as a Patient Care Volunteer, visiting people with terminal illnesses and helping them to find their way home, so to speak. As I found myself able to do more of that kind of work, I soon felt ready to work with clients on a whole new dimension. I could still call it “psychology” or “psychotherapy,” but I now work at all levels of body, mind, soul, spirit, and relationships, depending on where my clients are at, and work to stay at the “soul level” myself as much as possible. I like to attract people who are going through some of the same processes as I did, which some call a “Dark Night of the Soul,” and help them gain the benefits that I gained by doing so. While I would not wish that pain on anyone, I do wish on them the rewards it brings in the end.
Along with providing psychotherapy, I engage in several activities that serve the community of therapists in the local San Diego and north county areas. These include facilitating a twice-a-month peer consultation group, mentoring other therapists who are early in their careers, and providing free training to other therapists in topics where I have a special interest. These topics include: therapy with men and helping victims of emotional abuse.
What lies behind us and
what lies in front of us
are tiny matters compared to
what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Other Rewards and Interests
I have been happily married for over 38 years and have an adult daughter who has two daughters of her own. For recreation, I enjoy reading, writing, poetry, photography, jazz, hiking, travel, collecting meaningful quotations, studying comparative religions, and continuous learning. I have been told that I am an “Old Soul,” if that means anything.
Petunia, the world’s cutest dog