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  Dorothea acquired a M.Ed in Counseling Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles, CA, in 1976.

After seven years at the Verdugo Mental Health Center in Glendale, CA as Coordinator  of Adult Services and their graduate student Training Program, Dorothea transitioned into full time private practice. 


Dorothea with Heather

She sees individuals, couples, and families, with a specialization in crisis intervention, sexual abuse, marital issues, adoption, borderline personality, learning difficulties, parenting special needs children, and surviving as a working artist.  She has always maintained a sliding scale fee, believing that psychotherapy should be available for all people at all socioeconomic levels.

In 1982, Dorothea acquired Diplomatic Status from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) and served on their board from 1987-1993.

Dr.  McArthur has done many presentations over the years on adoption, parenting, borderline patient, crisis intervention, and short term therapy.  She has also supervised many interns, and done training psychotherapies for graduate students in Clinical Psychology.

Dorrie's dogs and cats have been part of her private practice for many years. They each greet clients at the door, walk them to the waiting room and office, stay right next to them when the work is painful, and celebrate with each client when a constructive resolution is reached. Each animal listens carefully, respectfully and accurately with his own ears. Each animal has rarely, if ever, missed an hour.

Everyone who walks into my office has a wish, a goal and a plan; but we discover that they may have a behavior that protected them in childhood from some vulnerability. However, that same behavior may be backfiring on them in the present in terms of reaching their future goals

From a psycho dynamic frame of reference, I have created a new form of therapy that appears to be extremely successful. First we take a careful history of their unique life story. We look at what the younger part of themselves needed to do to survive, while lifting repression, clearing away misconceptions, and understanding unresolved issues. Then we can look closely at what the adult part of the client is trying to accomplish for the future.

The adult part of the client learns to respect and take over the care of the younger part As conversations unfold between the two parts, the younger part of the client and the mature adult integrate, using visualization, and cooperate with each other so that we can design a new behavior for the present that will work to reach designated goals. Both parts of the patient decide together how to handle the future in place of being separate and out of contact with each other. Any dysfunctional behavior previously needed and leftover from the past comes under control or is completely eliminated.

The future goals begin to manifest and become accomplished successfully. We make sure that the new behaviors are working well. We both see the pride, depth of character, and self-esteem that emerges as a result of this work together. Finally the client becomes too busy with a successful life to see me anymore.

I am an artist (author of six books) as well as a Diplomate Clinical Psychologist. Both jobs strengthen and reinforce each other. Many of my clients are artists.

A Glimpse Inside Dorrie's Office

  Dorothea S. McArthur, Ph.D., ABPP All rights Reserved
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