Dr. Daniel Lev

Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a doctor. At the age of ten, this meant I was going to be a veterinarian and take care of all the animals. Later, in high school, my interest changed from healing animals to helping people. By the time I got to college, I decided that I wanted to learn how to be a “doctor of the mind, heart, and spirit.” That lead me to psychology graduate school where I became interested in how to help people solve their problems in the present moment rather than dig through years and years of past history. In fact, I found that the past can often be healed through the actions we take in the present.

I also received training in various forms of meditation, hypnosis, imagery and other attention-focusing practices. While researching meditation for my doctoral dissertation project, I learned about Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn’s work with people in chronic pain. When he trained people in Mindfulness Meditation he found that this empowered them to change their relationship to pain. This eventually inspired me to work with “people-in-pain” (I avoid using the label, “pain patient” because it is very limiting).

After many years of study and practice, I became a licensed clinical psychologist with sub-specialties in chronic pain, Clinical Hypnosis, Positive Psychology, and in Cognitive-Behavioral and Couples/Family Therapy. .

In 2002, I decided to join Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center because I was looking for a health-care organization that was person-focused and provided something close to community medicine. In the 12-years I served in its Chronic Pain Program, I created a “Comfort Workshop,” based on neuroscience and pain research, to train people-in-pain and other clients in a comprehensive and user friendly approach to increasing their comfort, well-being, and daily activity.

I felt very moved by these courageous folks and how they changed their lives by supporting one another and using the skills they learned in the Workshop. Because Kaiser is one of the few places where people-in-pain can learn skills to find relief, I decided to share what I learned with people outside of that healthcare system. One way I’m doing this is by writing a book that includes the Comfort Workshop training program. It’s entitled “You are Bigger than the Pain” and will be published in the 2014-2015 Winter. I also decided to bring this program to Hawaii through my private practice, the Kailua Comfort Clinic.

As a general clinical psychologist, I’m also aware that some of the problems felt by people in chronic pain are also experienced by all people. This is why I have successfully worked with people who face other difficulties in life – anxiety, depression, relationship conflicts, and other common problems. Depending on the person’s needs, I may use a combination of one or more treatment options. My main goal is to join with you in learning what approach will work to resolve your problems, and then support you in making the change you desire.

I’ve engaged in a number of other vocations in my life in addition to psychology, including 30 years serving communities as their spiritual leader (rabbi), and providing spiritual and religious counseling to interested folks. I also work as a storyteller and singer/song leader.

I continue to enjoy living in Kailua with my sweet wife and doing what I can to serve the community here on Oahu and on the other Islands.