Daniel Merwin, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
BIO: Daniel was born in Northern Illinois and moved to Corinth, Mississippi at age 3. He grew up in the North Mississippi Hill country discovering a love for blues music and the outdoors. Throughout college and his early career, he lived and/or worked in Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Virginia, and North Carolina. Daniel enjoys learning, creating, tinkering, and fixing things. He loves music, backcountry camping, canoeing, and volunteers with the Eno River State Park as an Exotic Invasive Plant Removal Technician. He is married to wife Rhonda and has a 7 year old daughter, and 2 dogs (Unalii and Rose).
TRAINING: Daniel obtained his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of North Alabama (UNA) located in Florence, Alabama. After graduation, he remained in Florence and worked for several years as a substance abuse (SA) counselor at an opiate replacement program. He moved to Johnson City, TN in 2000 to begin work on a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology at East Tennessee State University (ETSU). While at ETSU, Daniel studied reasons for living and empathy in substance using college students, further exploring these concepts in clinical populations of substance dependent adults receiving residential drug and alcohol treatment. In addition to his clinical training at ETSU, Daniel worked in the behavioral neuroscience laboratory of Dr. Russell Brown supporting his research on the effects of nicotine on brain plasticity and compensation after brain injury and neurotransmitter mechanisms of addiction. Also while at ETSU, Daniel interned on the admission unit of the Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute in Marion VA, and on the Child and Adolescent unit at Woodridge Psychiatric Hospital in Johnson City.
Upon completion of his graduate coursework in 2002, Daniel moved to Mississippi with his partner Rhonda while she completed her PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Mississippi. It was through Rhonda that Daniel was introduced to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Relational Frame Theory (RFT), and Kelly Wilson, one of the founders of ACT. Kelly welcomed Daniel into his “labbie family” offering him many of training opportunities afforded to his PhD students. Daniel took full advantage of the opportunity and attended many of Kelly’s 3 day experiential ACT workshops, consulted with Kelly on development of a co-occurring substance use (SU) and mental health (MH) group protocol, and sought Kelly’s feedback and supervision when dealing with challenging therapy situations. This training firmly planted Daniel as an ACT therapist with him becoming and remaining a part of the ACT and now Association of Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS) community.
After moving to NC in 2005, Daniel was trained and participated in the development and implementation of several evidenced based (EB) treatment services. These include the first Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment (IDDT) team in North Carolina, Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT), and Wellness Management and Recovery modeled from Illness Management and Recovery (IMR). He also has training in Motivational Interviewing (MI) and familiarity with DBT skills, integrating both into ACT treatment of anxiety, depression, and substance use concerns.
EXPERTISE: Daniel has extensive, specialized training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and identifies ACT as his primary treatment modality. Within the ACT model, he has expertise working with individuals with mood disturbance, anxiety and stress, emotional over-control, emotion dysregulation, and co-occurring substance use concerns.
EVIDENCE-BASED THERAPIES OFFERED: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Daniel sees both adults (ages 18+) and adolescents (ages 12+) for individual therapy.