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Why Lori Vann Thinks "Quality Mental Health Care Should Not Be a Luxury Item"

By S. Mathur

Lori Vann Counseling services aim to remove the stigma that is still attached to mental health issues. Recognizing that no one is immune to problems, Lori Vann, MA, LPCS, explains her philosophy.

"Life happens, and sometimes our friends and family member, as well-meaning as they may be, do not have all of the answers, in addition to possibly being a bit biased. A counselor is someone who provides non-judgmental, non-biased, more fact-based or research-based information in a format that the client can understand. If someone is having marital problems, it is a boundary issue to share those issues with friends and family members; plus, you risk them looking at or treating your spouse differently, which, in turn, will create additional problems. Counseling can be a no-spin room, but where the message is given in an assertive, caring manner. It is a place where you can leave the drama at the door and try to find solutions as to how to work through the situations that have been created without, hopefully, creating more chaos."

It can be easier to talk over private issues with a trained, compassionate stranger, and Vann says that "Often times, as we are talking out our problems, we have those light-bulb moments. A counselor can assist a client with being a sound board for some of those epiphanies." Vann was inspired to become a professional therapist by her childhood ability to help people work things out.

"I would say that I had an idea that I wanted to become a counselor since I was in 6th grade; my friends would come to me with their problems and I seem to have a knack for helping them out. At some level, I am sure that Lucy from the Peanuts' cartoons, the psychiatrist in MASH, and Robin Williams' depiction of a psychiatrist in the movie, Awakenings, all probably influenced me to consider the mental health field. It was ingrained in me to help others and to serve the community in whatever way that you are able to with the gifts and opportunities that you have been blessed with over the years."

Her services are based on the belief that "quality mental health care should not be a luxury item. I can say that for the interns I supervise and myself, that we went into the mental health field to serve others, to help break generational patterns of family dysfunction, to save lives, and to try to make the world a bit safer, stable, and mentally healthier place." Vann is also an author, a professional speaker, and national media consultant for tv, radio and print outlets nationwide.

Some of the services offered by Lori Vann Counseling are unique in the area, like self-injury support & therapy groups for tween girls, teen girls, and women, and a support group for the loved ones of those who self-harm. Vann also conducts seminars on a range of issues: Dating 101 topics, The Impact of Mental Illness on Your Company's Bottom Line, Boundaries in Parenting, Stress Management, Self-injury education, The Problem with Perfectionism, and more.

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