About Dr. Potoczniak


Education and credentials

Daniel Potoczniak is licensed as a Psychologist in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and is a board certified psychologist through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). After receiving a Bachelor's degree in English from Georgetown University, he completed his doctoral coursework at the University of Florida, and earned his PhD upon completing an internship at the University of Pennsylvania. He remained at the University of Pennsylvania to complete a postdoctoral fellowship. After several years in private practice, he earned board certification to demonstrate his commitment to helping others through psychological services.

Board certification indicates that after earning his PhD, Dr. Potoczniak completed further written examination, his psychotherapy work was reviewed by a body of examiners, he completed oral examination before a group of certified psychologists, and he was then granted certification by the national board to demonstrate his competence in providing high-quality services in Counseling Psychology.

Dr. Potoczniak is also a certified EMDR practitioner through the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA). This indicates that he completed training in EMDR (through the Parnell Institute), and through 20  further hours of  consultation with certified EMDR consultants, had his practice reviewed for further improvement.  After such training and consultation, Dr. Potoczniak earned EMDR certification.

Clinical focus

Dr. Potoczniak currently focuses on treatment of anxiety and/or stress, whether related to work, relationships, or more general stress/anxiety affecting  areas of one's life. As above, he has been certified in the use of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, and uses that method in treatment of traumatic incidents.

Dr. Potoczniak is also well versed in work with issues relevant to the LGBTQ community. He is familiar with problems related to minority stigma, problems with the coming out process (whether before or after), shame - including religious shame - around an LGBTQ identity, or peer and familial rejection. His work has focused on resolution of anxiety or depression caused by such issues.

Dr. Potoczniak’s work with individuals is typically “integrative,” meaning that each person's treatment is tailored for that individual from a variety of therapeutic approaches. Having been trained in psychodynamic, humanistic, and cognitive-behavioral treatment, Dr. Potoczniak uses these styles of therapy according to each person's therapeutic needs. Additionally, he strives to maintain working knowledge of current psychological research so that each individual benefits from up-to-date clinical information and research findings in the field. 

Dr. Potoczniak's earlier career focused on psychological research in development of identity, and he was most prominantly published in the Handbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Clients. He currently focuses his efforts, though, on full-time psychotherapy and psychological evaluation, while continuing to use research to inform and guide his practice.

Trauma treatment

As a society, we are all increasingly faced with incidents of trauma, whether through the media or as a first-hand experience. The experience of trauma might be the result of a "life or death" situation, such as abuse (physical or sexual, whether in childhood or as an adult), medical trauma, an automobile accident, or being the victim of an assault or other violent crime. Often, simply the threat of one of these events can be undeniably traumatic. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may be a relevant diagnosis in such cases.

Even if not necessarily "life or death," other traumatic events can leave a serious impact on a person's emotions and functioning. Trauma may result from neglect, rejection from peers or family members, difficult relationships, or even embarassing moments. Perhaps affection and/or support were needed at a point in one's life, but the need went unmet. Such incidents certainly feel traumatic and leave their mark on a person's psychology. Dr. Potoczniak specializes in helping resolve the memories, thoughts, and feelings that often accompany the types of trauma just mentioned.