About Darlena

Darlena Dench is a cerified hypnotherapist with a Ph.D. in Mythological Studies and Depth Psychology. She is also an educator, writer and retreat facilitator based in Santa Barbara, CA.

A born counselor, with an empathetic ear and keen analytic insight, Dr. Dench is a lifelong student of psyche and a mythologist who understands the tapestry of the world’s most potent archetypal stories and their underground connection to our lives. Furthermore she is a world traveler and global citizen with a keen curiosity for culture and languages, having dabbled in French, Dutch and now learning Spanish. She has led travel programs and guided groups for over 15 years, facilitating a deep connection with place, history and/or culture while simultaneously encouraging the exploration of soul. An avid Latin dancer, Darla believes that certain changes can only be achieved through harmonious shifts in physical movement.


Doctoral Work

Darlena Dench earned her doctorate from Pacifica Graduate Institute, a graduate school “framed in the traditions of depth psychology,” and participated in the “only doctoral program in the country dedicated to the exploration of human experience through the interdisciplinary and multicultural study of myth, ritual, religion, literature, depth psychology, and art […for] those who seek to understand and express the depths of the psyche. The program was richly informed by the pioneering works of Sigmund Freud, C.G Jung, Marie-Louise von Franz, James Hillman and mythologist Joseph Campbell, who taught that myth has the power to touch our deepest creative energies, and to generate symbolic images that confer significance upon the complexity of modern life and history. It thrives on paradox, ambiguity, and the shape-shifting ways that metaphor informs and transforms our lives. Cultivating the mythic imagination leads to self-revelation and a profound and dynamic understanding of cultures—both of our own and others.”*

Depth Psychological in approach, Darlena’s doctoral dissertation ventured in the unconscious aspects of Western travel to discover: the meaning behind the impulse to travel, archetypal travel experiences tied to shared ancestral history, the role of ritual in the traveler’s engagement with place, and the impact of projection in the traveler’s relationship with Other. She concluded that the same unconscious forces inherent in travel can be found in the journey of life, whereby an exploration into one’s own psyche can help unearth the meaning behind impulses, along with the previously unseen ancestral/mythic heritage influencing daily events. Understanding the nature of projection and projective identification aids in self-awareness and interpersonal awareness and understanding the dynamics of ritual (the engagement between psyche, the physical body and our environment) offers a means of personal and/or communal transformation.

*As quoted from Pacifica Graduate Institute

Hypnotherapy Training

Darlena is a certified hypnotherapist who trained and interned at Hypnosis Motivation Institute (HMI), the most comprehensive hypnotherapy program in the United States. She is a member of Hynotherapist Union Local 472 (Certification #51534560) and the American Hypnosis Association. She has received the following specialty certifications:

* Goal Setting
* Phone and Online (Skype/Zoom) Sessions
* Releasing Guilt and Shame
* Smoking Cessation
* Therapeutic Imagery (Master’s level certification)
* Weight Loss          


“I have worked with other therapists before, but, in working with Darlena, I have noticed a lot of change in myself in just a few months. She explains things in a way that really make sense to me.”

Client in Oxnard, CA

“The conversation flows quite naturally with Darla. I appreciate her Jungian approach, and I actually feel a physical shift, something new constellating, after the hypnotherapy portion of our sessions.”

Client in Nova Scotia, Canada

“I learn so much from Dr. Dench. She has a lot of expertise when it comes to working with dreams, and mythological imagery.”

Client in Los Angeles, CA

Together, you and I can make positive changes

For a free consultation,
call 805-267-9815 or email: darlena.dench@gmail.com

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