Danni McDougall
Danni McDougall

Hi, I'm Danni

I am an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, Art Therapist and Pet Therapist. I specialise in mental health and eating disorder therapy. 

I am committed to providing compassionate, evidence-based care to help patients overcome these challenges and improve their quality of life.

danni mcdougall
Danni Mcdougall

About Me

I have a Bachelor of Social Work and a Masters of Art Therapy. I have been practicing as a Social Worker for 20 years and have over 10 years of experience working in specialised mental health. In addition, I deliver workshops and training on mental health and working with eating disorders, and provide external supervision for therapists and health professionals. I have lived experience of an eating disorder, which informs and enhances my work and gives me a deeper understanding than theoretical learning alone.

Our Struggles Unite Us As Humans

During my lived experience I felt so much pain, isolation, shame, guilt, worthlessness, and so many more difficult emotions. 

When I relapsed as an adult, I felt like a hypocrite, I was a practising social worker living with an eating disorder. I learnt that my professional qualifications and experience did not protect me from my human-ness.

Our struggles do not make us less than anyone else, it unites us as humans.

The Power of Art

Along with the eating disorder voice in my head, I had another strong internal voice desperate to turn my experience and pain into something worthwhile.

Art was such a great tool throughout my experience and without having an eating disorder, I may not have discovered my creative side. I started by drawing one card a day to express and let go of emotions.

I ended up with quite a lot of cards and wondered if these cards could be a vehicle to support others and turn my pain into something positive. With lots of hard work, reflection and support, my original cards turned into something better than I could have imagined. They are now cards for all of us, and to support us all on the difficult days and moments. Enjoy them and make them your own.

tools for therapists

Cards

I am the Lead Author of the “Eating Disorders and Other Shadowy Companions” card deck, designed to help open up and facilitate respectful and productive conversations about eating disorders and other mental illness. 

The cards value lived experience and give space for clients to express what it like to live with an eating disorder and/or other mental illness. By validating and acknowledging these experiences, we bridge the gap of isolation and open up opportunities to explore the function of their illness and set goals for recovery.

$ 84.95

Supporting Therapists and Clients

Personal Experience

I have my own experience of being heard and am passionate about giving therapists space to explore and reflect on their work and consider different tools they can use.

I believe that creative tools like cards and art-based activities can support this process and open up more conversation and exploration than words alone.

I know the pain of living with an eating disorder and how lonely this is. I am passionate about walking alongside someone in their recovery.

My Contribution

We all have a role in reducing body stigma and the judgmental stance society takes about bodies.

It seems that no matter the way we are (size, shape, height, colour etc.) someone will not be happy. I am passionate about contributing to a world where all bodies are valued, respected and treated equally. 

Through my workshops, individual therapy and personal life I contribute to this world by being mindful of my own biases and being a voice for acceptance, diversity and valuing all in any shape or size we come in.

Specialised Training

The specialised training I have done in eating disorders enhances my practice and gives me the skills to support others in their journey of recovery.

I work in collaboration with care teams to ensure the safety and continuity of care for the person I am working with.

My Qualifications

I completed a Bachelor of Social Work in 2002 and have over 20 years’ experience as a Social Worker. I have expertise in a range of fields such as Child Protection, Child, Youth and Adult Mental Health, Eating Disorders and Group Facilitation.

With over 10 years of experience working in mental health I successfully became an accredited mental health social worker in 2022. This gives me capacity to specialise in mental health work and register with Medicare.

I completed a Masters of Art Therapy in 2018 and have experience in art therapy with children and youth. I have expertise in group facilitation providing professional development on mental health and art therapy.

Clinical Supervision Training completed in 2022 with The Bouverie Centre. This course covered a mixture of theory and practice relating to supervision and a range of topics, including supervision models, trauma-informed supervision, contracting, feedback, legal and ethical issues, power, diversity, and the use of self. This course took a relational approach to supervision which is consistent with my practice as connecting with supervises is essential.

I have completed theoretical and practical therapy dog training and am accredited under Therapy Dogs International. I have done over 200 hours of training with my dog Beanz and in addition to being a therapy dog he enjoys performing in dog entertainment and agility shows such as The Melbourne Royal Show.

In collaboration with Innovative Resources, we created cards, Eating Disorders and Other Shadowy Companions. I am so grateful for the work we did together, the relationships we formed and that the cards can support people.

In collaboration with Innovative Resources, I have facilitated several workshops to support professionals and family members in using Eating Disorder and Other Shadowy Companion cards. I continue to offer workshops for professionals, and for family and friends, and tailor the workshops to meet the needs of participants.

What you can expect when working with me

Compassion

I have a compassionate and empathetic approach towards clients and my work. This allows me to build a trusting relationship with clients which is the essential foundation to individual sessions.

Trust & Safety

I establish trust and safety with clients by being reliable, predictable, compassionate and non-judgmental. These are core values that underpin my practice.

Experience

I have experience in credentialed mental health services and lived experience of an eating disorder. I undertake regular evidence-based professional development. 

Holistic Care

I provide holistic assessment and support and take an interest in my clients’ life and interests. I encourage clients to set goals aligned with their interests and life goals.

Team Approach

In line with best practice and evidence-based treatment, I engage with clients’ care teams to ensure that all aspects of their physical and mental health are considered. 

Transparency

I have open and honest communication with clients and involve them in all aspects of their care, as my service is designed with meeting their needs as a priority.

Growth Mindset

I value and embrace all forms of learning and knowledge, including lived mental health experience, formal study, and work experience. 

Confidentiality

At the outset of individual sessions, I speak with clients about my confidentiality policy and duty of care.