Jennifer Vannell, M.S.
main phone: 303-547-3700
My path toward becoming a therapist was long and winding. "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I knew I wanted to listen to people and help them, but I had no idea what that meant at a young age. I loved music and other creative arts, but it became increasingly important to me to make a major difference in people's lives. I began working with survivors of human trafficking and this opened the door to holding others' pain and devastation. As my passion grew for helping others in this direct way, I hadn't yet realized how my skills as a musician and a teacher would influence my development as a therapist. The work in human trafficking was overwhelming and I wasn't prepared for the impact on me. On the other hand, the candle had been lit. Also, it turned out that teaching music was a lot like therapy. Teaching is about listening. And each student--or therapy client-- is unique in their experience of expressing themselves. It's my job to get a sense of your overall well-being and help you move forward. In either case, I need to meet you where you are, and go at a pace that nurtures and challenges you.
When I decided to become a therapist, I chose a program (Purdue University Northwest) that I felt would give me the best training and take full advantage of my background in expressive arts. Now I get the privilege of helping others emerge from darkness, find their paths, their voices, their 'instruments' and to create the life and world they want to live in. With the addition of expressive arts therapy (which benefits many clients), I'm able to bring a lot of different skills and methods into our work, including how to listen and care about the most difficult of human experiences and stay to provide the support that others need.
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