Daniel Ahlers, M.D.

About Me

Education and Training
I earned my medical degree from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in 2015 and completed residency training in general psychiatry at the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in 2019. I went on to complete the Certificate for Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research at the California Institute of Integral Studies. I am currently continuing to pursue my passion with further training through the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Program at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis.
My Approach
My general approach to psychotherapy falls under the framework of psychoanalytic psychotherapy (AKA "psychodynamic psychotherapy"). This involves building a unique and meaningful therapeutic relationship over time and creating an environment that fosters emotional honesty. During our sessions, you will be encouraged to share your thoughts, feelings, body sensations, fleeting fantasies, and whatever other parts of yourself you notice arising in the moment.


I view my role in the healing process as similar to that of a wilderness guide. As we embark on this journey, I will use my experience with the process of exploring to be of assistance; however, I have never been to your unique wilderness, so what we will discover is a mystery for us both! Our main duty is to face what we find on the path with curiosity and compassion, so that your innate self-healing ability may flourish.


In addition to a wide range of modern psychoanalytic influences, my approach is eclectic and draws from a variety of theoretical frameworks. These include Internal Family Systems therapy, existential psychotherapy, Buddhist psychology, Jungian psychology, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, attachment theory, polyvagal theory, and mentalization-based therapy.  
Medications are often an important part of mental health treatment. However, according to my clinical experience and study of the available scientific evidence, I have found that medications are rarely sufficient on their own to treat the complexities of human suffering, and are not a long-term solution. I believe that I can best help people by approaching the whole person- including the biological, psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual factors. We will decide together whether a medication is right for you by weighing the potential risks and benefits along with an exploration of what taking medication means to you.


Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy is a powerful modality to assist the healing process. I am knowledgeable in non-ordinary states of consciousness and understand the importance of integration work- whether or not we're working with ketamine directly, I am happy to provide a space to process and weave these profound experiences into our everyday mindset in order to promote psychospiritual wholeness.