Clinical Psychologist and Psychoanalyst

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Christal Daehnert, Ph.D., Psy. D.

About My Practice:

As a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, I have frequently been asked whether I have an area of specialty.  Perhaps the way that I can best answer that question is to talk about some of the qualities present in people with whom I have been most helpful.

I like to work with people who are curious about themselves and their relationships.  These are individuals who want to make sense of their experiences, and enjoy the process of reflecting upon them. Whether these experiences take the form of relational patterns, life transitions, creative endeavors, existential issues, or curiosity about thoughts, feelings and dreams, the people with whom I work seek to understand themselves better, and to increase the quality of their lives, and the lives of people they love.   They also value having someone who will listen as they tell their stories, and help them reflect upon their life experiences.   They are open to engaging in a dialogue with another--depth conversations that invite new ideas and ways of understanding themselves.  In the process of doing so, suffering tends to diminish, updated stories tend to be generated, and an expanded sense of identity tends to evolve.

The people with whom I have been most effective have many different kinds of issues and symptoms, but what they have in common is that they are seekers--striving to be their best selves and to contribute to the world in meaningful ways.  Many are fellow psychotherapists and individuals in the helping professions.  I have been privileged to be invited along on these personal journeys for 35 years, and derive a great deal of pleasure and meaning in doing so.

 I have been similarly fulfilled by my 25 years of experience in preparing and training psychologists, social workers and marriage and family therapists, through teaching within various graduate programs, individual and group consultation and group seminars.  A significant component of my current practice consists of providing consultation and mentoring to early career clinicians and experienced professionals.

I have consulted with non-profit organizations.  Currently, I serve as an advisor to The Partnership Advantage, an organization dedicated to assisting leaders in becoming more self and relationally aware.

Education and Credentials:

I earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (1982) and a Psy.D. in Psychoanalysis (1994).

I have been licensed as a Psychologist since 1983, am a fellow of the International Psychoanalytical Association, a member of the Los Angeles Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies (LAISPS), a Training and Supervising Analyst at Newport Psychoanalytic Institute (NPI), and a member of the American Psychological Association (APA). 

New Publication

I have had a long-standing interest in the value of children’s literature in fostering the emotional, intellectual, moral and relational development of children.  My new book Kelly Finds a Way is available for purchase. If you'd like more information please visit my website:

Through an innovative use of a child's imagination, combining elements of realistic as well as imaginary spaces, several universal developmental themes are explored.  These include a little girl’s fascination with the feminine adult world of her mother, as well as the process by which resiliency, competence and self-esteem can be created through encountering obstacles and developing strategies to master these challenges.  Also emphasized, and equally universal, is the importance of a secure parent-child bond in fostering a child’s curiosity, insight and desire for growth and expansion of the self.

It is my hope that this picture book will not only provide a rich and compelling story for children, but also convey ideas that are symbolically meaningful for the development of the child.  As such, the book is appropriate not only for the general parent-child population, but its depth lends itself for use in educational and therapeutic settings as well.


  • 2008.  Daehnert, C.  Crossing Over:  A Story Of Transformation And Surrender.  Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 44(2), 199-218.
  • 2008 (3/28).  Daehnert, C.  Good Morning, Mrs. Koyen:  A Tribute to a Teacher.  Orange County Register.
  • 2007 (10/10). Daehnert, C.  Tribute to a Teacher.  Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC).
  • 1998. Daehnert, C.  The False Self As A Means of Disidentification:  A Psychoanalytic Case Study.  Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 34(2), 251-271.
  • 1987.  Daehnert, C., and Carter, J. D. The Prediction Of Success in a Clinical Psychology Graduate Program.  Educational And Psychological Measurement, 47(4), 1113-1125

Contact Information:         
Christal Daehnert, Ph.D., Psy. D.
734 East Chapman Ave.
Orange, CA. 92866