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Jennifer Vannell, M.S.

LPC Candidate

720-469-3638

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Jennifer Vannell, MS   720-469-3638

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main phone: 303-547-3700

areas of treatment

Click on some of these topics to learn about how I think and work with my clients. Please call me about your concerns to get a sense of whether I may be the right therapist to work with.

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adult children of addicted parents
anxiety
caretaker fatigue
depression
LGBTQIA issues


adult children of addicted parents

Were you "walking on eggshells" at home as a child? Do you still have to be in charge of the grownups in your family? Did you want to be taken care of but you needed to control everything because of the chaos? A household with addiction is challenging, to say the least. Growing up into an "adult child of an alcoholic" (or other addiction) is complicated. Children learn to cope and survive. They develop patterns of behavior and ways of relating to people that shape their adulthood. Where's the adult's guide to what's normal when you grow up in an addicted family? I can help you build a new sense of normal that will positively change your life. We will create more awareness of the patterns you brought into adulthood, deal with the lies you were told, and reshape what no longer serves you. Learning and creating a new normal is a real possibility. You can have better relationships and become a more grounded person. There is a new life beyond that chaos. I'm here to help you find it.

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anxiety

Anxiety is physical--the body reacting when we don't know what else to do. Stress is a part of the human experience, and anxiety is our way of responding to the stresses we've been through. Therapy can help you create a real sense of safety and overcome the things that feel insurmountable. How is it that people can feel calm when there is so much stress in life? After we explore the sources of your anxiety and how it shows up, there are a series of small exercises that we can safely do in therapy sessions (and perhaps even some homework) that can reduce or dissolve that anxious reaction to the situations you fear.

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caretaker fatigue

Having to care for a loved one can cause a mental and physical exhaustion beyond anything you've known. You feel tired. You feel worn down. Your well is dry. Where is the time to refuel? How can you get any of your needs met as this goes on. This level of overload makes you more susceptible to illness. Have you already noticed that? Spending time, money, and energy on coming to therapy may seem impossible right now. Yet, if you don't get some support or relief, the stress may overtake you. If you have been through the wringer or you are facing many months or years of caretaking ahead of you, you need to attend to your own needs, too. Caretaking can feel so one-way, and so lonely. Replenishing yourself and having a place to talk about what's going on and be heard can ease the stress. Take this time for yourself. It's worth the investment and can really help.

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depression

Do you feel like hope is just an idea that others experience, but feels out of reach to you? Has your depression taken all the joy out of things or even prevented you from completing basic tasks? Depression and feelings of hopelessness and sadness that don't go away can be scary. Others may not see the ways you're suffering. You may feel invisible to the people around you, and have mixed feelings about whether you even want them to know. Each day is a constant struggle. But what I want you to know is that I help a lot of people who have struggled this way. Exploring these feelings in therapy and getting them out with someone who is listening carefully--and actually cares--can help you break through something that may feel permanent. It's okay to take a first step. Or a next step. It's okay to be where you are, but to want something better.

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LGBTQIA issues

Are you struggling with getting a clearer sense of your identity? Is acceptance from family or loved ones still an open question? Expecting lots of resistance, everywhere you turn? Or are you a parent of an LGBTQIA child and find yourself fearful when you imagine your child's future struggles, and also about the newness this creates in your life? In a same-sex relationship with a bunch of challenges and not enough solutions? Alone at the crossroads of intersectionality? Facing discrimination in a world that's struggling to make sense of it all? The experience of living as a minority creates turmoil and anxiety for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, or other orientation or gender identities. It is important to find a therapist who understands the challenges of the LGBTQIA community, but also your own challenges however you may connect (or don't) with that community. Therapy should be a place of unconditional acceptance and understanding-a place where you feel heard and understood. Therapy can help you make sense of these challenges. It can help you gain awareness and acceptance of yourself and the world around you. Therapy is a pathway. It is possibility and hope. You have real value just as you are, and you're worth it.

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