zg4Dr. Dara Hayden is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the San Francisco Bay Area who has been working within the field of psychology for over 15 years. She primarily meets with and welcomes a diverse group of adults for individual psychotherapy in a private practice setting with on-line tele-health as well as in-person appointments. A specialty of hers is offering therapy to graduate students as well as to working  professionals around the world who present with a variety of concerns.

In the past, Dr. Hayden has enjoyed being a part of the mentoring, training and supervision of clinical psychology doctoral students in APA-accredited pre and post-doctoral training programs. With this Adjunct Faculty member role, she supervised students at the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), Access Institute for Psychological Services and The Wright Institute; she also taught graduate level core courses at the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) and John F. Kennedy University. Alongside supervising and teaching, she enjoyed being part of an On-Call team of Clinical Psychologists who provided crisis assessment and intervention in the Emergency Room at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. Additionally, as time allowed, she was able to contribute to a few NIH-funded health psychology, mindfulness and stress research projects at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine.

Prior to her career as a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Hayden obtained a liberal arts degree with a focus on painting, pottery, creative writing, music and cultural studies.  She worked in Arts Education and Arts Administration with a few organizations in Portland, OR while also working as a Studio Artist prior to transitioning into the healthcare field. Her initial work in healthcare was as an Expressive Arts Therapist in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area where she worked with adults and adolescents in In-Patient Psychiatry, Partial Hospitalization and Comprehensive Addiction Treatment Services (CATS) Programs.

Currently, and in addition to a full-time private practice, Dr. Hayden is working on a few writing projects, maintains a regular nature meditation practice and continues to dabble in various forms of the arts. To ensure the highest level of care, she maintains several professional memberships and regularly attends courses and conferences in a variety of areas of interest. Dr. Hayden has specialized training in the treatment of stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, addictions and life change; she has expertise in the theory and practice of psychodynamic, contemporary psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness-based, expressive arts, brief psychotherapy, consultation, longer term psychotherapy and emergency crisis care and intervention.

Special topic areas of interests: Stress, Stress Reactivity, Psychoanalytic Theory, Neuropsychoanalysis,  Expressive Arts Therapy, Mindfulness, Mind-Body Health, Creativity, Compassion-Focused Therapy, Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Social Justice and Advocacy.

Find out more about Dr. Dara Hayden’s Therapy Approach.


“Awe & Wonder: An Exploration through Science, Wonder, and Narrative” with Dacher Keltner, Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA

Varela Symposium, Annual Conference at Upaya Institute and Zen Center, Santa Fe, NM

Mind & Life Annual Summer Research Institute, Prien Am Chiemsee, Germany; online during/post-pandemic

Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD), Clinical Psychology, The Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA

Master of Arts (MA), Clinical Psychology, The Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA

Bachelor of Arts (BA), English (Cultural Studies), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Bachelor of Arts (BA), Studio Art (Painting), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Minor in Psychology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA