It is a difficult decision to begin counseling and to choose to trust a total stranger with the intimate details of your life. For this reason, I attempt to take some of the mystery out of the process of beginning counseling, and tend to share information about how therapy works and why. The chemistry and connection between a psychotherapist and a client is a very vital ingredient in healing. People need to feel respected, valued and understood by their psychotherapists.

Most people begin psychotherapy at a point in their lives when what they have been doing in the world is no longer working for them. They would like to find alternative ways to think, act, feel, and perceive themselves, but do not have the tools to discover those alternatives on their own. Many people also go through life with unresolved losses that can affect their behaviors and attitudes about others. I am very familiar with helping people to examine their relationship struggles and patterns, and to create positive changes through increased communication and connection.

It has always been my privilege as a psychotherapist to assist clients to reach their goals and empower themselves to live to their full potential, as well as to achieve internal harmony and peace of mind.

Boulder Therapy for Women
Lori Bennett, LCSW

A MESSAGE RELATED TO COVID-19 FOR MY PAST, CURRENT and FUTURE CLIENTS:

These are unprecedented times. I am continuing to conduct both telephone therapy, and confidential virtual therapy, during this period of social distancing. In navigating this new territory together, please remember to be gentle with yourself. The amount of uncertainty that surrounds us can lead to feeling very vulnerable and powerless. Fear tends to trigger a ’fight or flight’ response, which increases the production of cortisol in our bodies. We can counter our bodies’ stress response with self-soothing and calming behaviors. Remember that laughter and music are healing. These behaviors will help our immune systems remain strong.

Many of us are dealing with grief, loss, anxiety and depression. When we are under great stress, we often rely on our old ways of coping. This is an opportune time to practice the skills that you have learned in re-parenting yourself. Remember that you are not a victim any longer. If you live with a supportive and caring partner, remember that your partner is not your abuser. Keep that perspective in the front of your mind when dealing with any conflict that may arise. It may feel counterintuitive to connect with others, especially if our old ways of coping included isolation and withdrawal. Challenge your limits. I hope that you’ll be pleasantly surprised by your increased capacity to love.

For my clients with PTSD, please be hyperaware of the stories that you are telling yourself about this crisis. This is a crucial time to focus away from the negativity in your mind. We believe as survivors of abuse and neglect, that if we can predict the worst case scenarios, we will be protecting ourselves. Predicting the worst was a survival skill that was very necessary in childhood; it is unproductive now.

Being quarantined at home can trigger old responses of feeling trapped, with no escape. Please take time to walk outside, to enjoy nature, to breathe the fresh spring air. Doing this may assist you to alleviate the trigger of feeling trapped.

Many of us remember the feeling of being out of control from childhood as well. If you’re feeling helpless, find some new ways to take control in your life. Sew some face masks for the nearest hospital. Create some structure in your day if you’re not working. Schedule times to talk with friends virtually. Volunteer. If you’re having trouble sleeping, schedule a virtual appointment with your doctor and discuss options. Lack of sleep increases anxiety.

Cultivate hope and gratitude as much as you can.