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Lori Poland Jackson Denver Counseling Options

Watch: Lori Talks About Long-Term Effects of Trauma

One of our therapists, Lori, talks about the long-term effects of trauma and how more often than not, when an adult hurts someone, that person was hurt as a child and made ongoing choices to compound that hurt into a greater pain.

Lori explains the beauty of working with people through difficult things, and how the joy is in watching people heal, find love, and grow from their experiences in life.

Lori helps to explain some of the long-term effects that individuals with trauma go through, such as carrying fear around for years and letting it make the choices in life as opposed being a strong independent individual who has chosen to live the life they do.  (more…)

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Lori Poland Jackson Denver Counseling Options

Watch Lori’s Interview with 9NEWS

We all know Lori as a helpful, supportive and insightful therapist at Denver Counseling Options. What you may not know is that she has overcome significant trauma in her own life after being kidnapped at the age of 3.

In a new interview with Cheryl Preheim of 9NEWS, Lori opens up about how the experience has shaped her and helped her find her greater purpose.

Click here to read more and watch the interview below to get to know Lori better. (more…)

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New clients: Get a special rate for summer therapy sessions

Happy Summer, friends!

At Denver Counseling Options, we are committed to helping you unlock the keys to achieving optimal mental wellness. Have you been thinking about giving therapy a try or know someone who is? Well, this summer is a great time to act. We are offering special, discounted sessions for new clients. We want counseling to be more affordable and accessible to everyone who wants to be well, so our new client rate is $50 an hour — a $70 discount off our regular rate. Please contact us if you want to work with one of our therapists but need to discuss other financial options and rates. We want to help.

Maybe you’re going through a tough time, or maybe you’re feeling great. No matter where we are in life, we can always make more progress toward being our best selves.

All of our therapists are highly trained and experienced and provide beneficial counseling in a comfortable, safe setting for couples, families and individuals of all ages using a variety of therapy methods.

We will work with you to help you feel inspired and empowered in your own life and relationships with others. You deserve love and happiness!

Click here to set up an appointment or call us at 720-432-2813 to learn more.

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Want to Discuss Life-Changing Books? Join ‘More Than a Book Club’

By Elisha Gilb

Have you ever read a book that changed your life? Yes?! Many of us have, and it can be such an amazing experience. Indeed, this is part of the powerful experience of reading. However, have you ever been given the experience to process the life-changing book in a warm and friendly exchange that focuses on the psychological contribution and impact said book has on your life?

The group More Than a Book Club will do just that. This 12-week group therapy class will provide a place to process and share experiences of four profoundly life-changing books.

This group’s focus starts with a welcome and introduction to the books we will be exploring. This group is therapeutic in nature and is a place to process our own material sparked by the spiritual books. For example, we may ask ourselves, “How does reading this book impact me and my personal life?” “In what ways am I affected by reading this book?” “How do I relate this to my life and experiences?”

We will read “The Alchemist,” “The Celestine Prophecy,” “A New Earth,” and “You Can Heal Your Life.” Each week, we will review the books and discuss how this reading has impacted us.

In each reading, we will explore relevant themes in the books and apply and process these themes to our own lives. If you have never read these books or if this is a repeat reading there will be much to gain in discovering More Than a Book Club.

The group will meet Aug. 15-Oct. 31 and costs $30 per week. Meetings will be 10-11:30 a.m. Saturdays at Denver Counseling Options’ office, 7456 W. Fifth Ave., Suite 300, in Lakewood. Books are not included. Call us at 720-432-2813 today to reserve your space.


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Why should I go to therapy?

A client and I are in a session together. He or she begins to whisper when the conversation turns to explaining to others why they come to therapy. Often times, their voice turns softer, they look at me with lost eyes, and then begin almost desperately trying to justify every reason why they are sitting in front of me. It often feels like a slight mixture of fear, confusion, and desperation. Fear of judgment or having made the wrong choice, confusion because they are better now than when they started coming (but is this just because I am not as upset about “that thing” anymore?), and desperation because they want me to tell them that they are here for the right reasons and help comfort them in validating their choice.

Believe you me, a few years ago, and sometimes even today, I hear the above conversation, and the little voice in my head begins to panic and creates a cocktail that looks really similar to the above remedy. I too, doubt myself, my choices, my work, my actions, all at certain times … Why? Because I am a warm-blooded human who is scared like the rest of us, who wants to be sure that it makes sense and that “they” won’t “say” X, Y or Z about little old ME.

Well, here’s the honest to God truth: there is no such thing as “they.” “They” are YOU, and ME, and our NEIGHBORS, our FRIENDS. “They” are the next person who is scared, confusednand desperate.

So my answer to why do I go to therapy at times is this: “Because when I go and see Mark, I leave there feeling like for the last hour, I could just be me. I could talk about myself and how I felt, I could have him lovingly help me to see how what I am thinking or feeling or doing is or isn’t helping me and my relationships. When I do go to therapy, I feel heard, I feel valued, I feel insightful, open, willing, dedicated, determined, loving, happy, accepting, joy-filled, honored, excited, hopeful, eager, and most importantly and frankly, just BETTER.” I often find that the people to judge or ask me why I pay to go, or tell me their opinion as to why it’s not a good thing — “they” — those people, are often times the ones who need the most love and support and, yep, I’m gonna say it: THERAPY.

Do what you do for you and the world will be so rad!

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What Every Mom NEEDS To Know About Post Partum Depression

There are 3 types of post-partum;
 a) Post-partum anxiety, which is a heightened experience of anxiousness that is onset after the birth of a baby. Symptoms of anxiety often include, racing thoughts, sweating, rapid talking, headaches, dizziness, and an increased heart rate.

b) Post-partum depression, which is an increase in depressive symptoms such as crying, isolation, feeling helpless, alone and sad.

c) Post partum psychosis is a much more integrated form of post-partum and needs medical attention, as mothers often begin having delusional thoughts, rapid mood swings, increased irritability, mania, swings from mania to depression, all of which feel real and scary which can often lead mothers to acting in ways she would not normally act.

More women experience a form of post-partum that statistics typically show;

If you were to ask around to all of the women you know, and inquire about whether they had experienced post-partum after the birth of their child, many would say that they did. Most women are unable and or unwilling to announce their experience, ask for help or admit they are struggling because of the stigma that is placed on new mothers and post-partum.

Often times women are not asked how they are feeling, and if they do announce their struggles it is minimized as being “baby-blues” or maximized so people think that the mother or baby are not safe.  So, in turn, there are thousands of women who do not report, are not asked, and are unaware of the symptoms they are experiences as being considered post-partum until typically 18-24 months after the birth of their child. Women are usually able to look back and say, “wow, I think I was really struggling.”

Most women feel like they don’t have a place to turn to;

Often times new mothers are unsure what is happening to them, and if they have the courage to ask for help and announce their feelings, knowing where to turn after this is difficult. Increasing the awareness and supportive community between mothers, providers, and people who work directly with new and planning families is imperative.  Helping women by creating support groups, finding therapists and psychiatrists who are specialized in post partum are a must.  If you know a woman or are a woman who is/has experienced post-partum, don’t be afraid to reach out, find a safe person, ask them to ask, and spread the word about the need, and more will be created.

Post-partum is treatable;

The majority of mothers who experience post-partum go through it for typically between 2 and 18 months.  Depending on the time of intervention, and increased support, women can feel a sense of relief if they have a safe place to turn to and can work through her emotional struggle.  With support and awareness women can work through post partum fairly smoothly.  There are treatment program that are specific to a 12 week model while others can be focused on the individual mother and can last up to 24 months depending on the needs of each person.  However, nearly all mothers who experience post-partum have a “light at the end of the tunnel” and can feel relief when it is pas them.

Post-partum does not mean you will always struggle with depression and anxiety;

Post-partum is typically a combination of environmental factors and chemical imbalances after the shift of hormones in the body. In turn when the chemicals reorganize and find their old or new homes, and the environment the new mother is in has calmed, found normalcy, and is adjusted to the major life shift, she can typically experience a sense of release. Most mothers who experience post partum will highly benefit from the support of professionals and will find her recovery period is shortened after seeking support.

Infant attachment can have lifelong effects on children if not corrected or mitigated;

Many adults who struggle with attachment, feeling internally secure, and or experience difficulties with relationships can often look back and determine that their mother had post-partum. When mothers are unable to attach to their infants in the first 18 months, the likelihood of being able to attach to their children after this (to the degree needed for improvement in those first 18 months) is very low.

When children are not securely attached to a caregiver, they will more than likely not securely attach to anyone as they develop and grow. They may be fine academically, developmentally and intellectually, however emotionally they will have a difficult time adjusting, building trusting relationships, feeling connected and secure, and creating a safe internal sense of security and trust. If you know any women who experienced post-partum that was untreated and her child is older and acting out in attention seeking manners, inquire if she/you experienced post-partum.

And know, it is not too late to rebuild that trust, it just takes a little extra work and focus but can be mitigated, and the earlier the better, so not to create many unwanted behaviors and coping skills in the interim.

All in all post partum is difficult, can be scary, and can feel extremely isolating as a new mother.  If you are or know a mother who is experiencing any form of post partum let you know there are resources an support available to her.

What is NEXT FOR ME?

Monthly support groups, walk-therapy, mother-infant attachment work, individual counseling, couples therapy, family therapy, parental coaching, and parenting classes are all forms of support that may help a mother in her transition and may allow a form of release that can change the lives of families

photo credit: ♥KatB Photography♥ via photopin cc

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What the heck does Post Partum actually mean?

As mothers there seems to be an unspoken understanding of what “post-partum” actually means.

Women who say, “I have PPD” (or Post-Partum Depression), can get a variety of responses to this one statement.  Many women simply are terrified of saying this statement due to the high levels of stigmas that have engulfed our culture and mothers in general. 

When I work with a mother who is experiences the birth of a new child, whether it is her first, or fifth baby, my first job is to understand her emotional state. As a mother to three little ones, I can empathize with the “emotional state” she experiences, but as a clinician I want to help both demystify and normalize the experience of what having a little person can do her women emotionally, physically and intellectually.

I help women identify whether they experience post partum depression, post partum anxiety, post partum psychosis, and the baby-blues.

What is all of this?

One often asks, and I help by explaining, first, it is a very normal response that your body is having physical changes as well as the hormonal imbalances, but add to it, major life stressors that cause women to struggle.

Most woman who experience anything other than sheer joy after having a baby, often keep the ladder to themselves, meaning they don’t share their feelings, fears, worries, or sadness for fear that people will judge them, think they are less than normal, believe they are going to harm their children, and they are treated similarly to how one might think an alien to be treated.

It is OK to not be filled with elation after your baby is born, it is what you do with it, that can help yours and your babies future.

Our lives are stressful enough, we have enough judgment and shame and fear as it is, why would, should we punish a woman who has just gone through what, anyone who has actually witnessed childbirth may describe as, a traumatic, yet life changing event.

Let’s work on taking the stigma out of post partum and know that the majority of women who experience post partum often experience a mild form of depression or anxiety and typically very few women experience post partum psychosis.  When we lump the names together there is much more stigma that comes from the experience, so let’s delineate them.

Post partum baby-blues; this is common in many mothers which often occurs shortly after having a child and typically only lasts a few weeks. Women are weepy, sad, lonely, feel isolated, overwhelmed, and often anxious.

Baby-blues typically is short lived and corrects itself as hormones begin to find the places in and out of your body.

Post partum depression; otherwise known as PPD, often occurs within the first 18 months after childbirth. Women who experience depression, typically show signs of feeling depressed, such as sadness, being tired, losing energy, lack of emotion, distancing selves from others, lack of drive, inability to relate or connect with family, baby, or friends.  Post partum depression can also overlap with anxiety in some women and is often heightened if there is a history of abuse in the home, substances are involved, and often with young mothers feeling like they’ve lost a sense of self.

Post partum anxiety; this often occurs within the first 18 months after childbirth and can manifest into full anxiety attacks and anxiety disorders if not supported or treated. Women are prone to anxiety when they feel unsupported, lonely, fearful, judged, tired, and nervous and as though they are not “keeping up” with what is expected.

Anxiety is, in translation an experience of the body saying “this is too much, I can’t hold all of this in.” So when the body gives up to the stressors it is carrying, the mind begins to race, the heart will pound, hands may shake, and many other symptoms can begin to occur.

Post Partum Psychosis; this is the most severe form of post partum one may experience. Symptoms typically occur within a week to two after the birth of their baby, and are followed with depression sometimes at later dates.

The psychosis portion is when a woman will begin to have severe and drastic mood swings, hallucinations, extreme irritability, mania, paranoia, delusions, and a rapid swing from depression to mania as well.  Postpartum psychosis is treatable and will end, and when a woman is experiencing postpartum psychosis, this is very serious and needs medical attention and support immediately, so please help support yourself or her.

All forms of Postpartum can and are treatable and all women who are even curious, questioning, or feeling symptoms have the right to seek and find support.

Finding the right support is imperative. Interview several doctors, ask them about their history in working with post partum, interview several therapists, and ask them if they can help support you with your family. Find support groups for women and mothers, one will be surprised at the number of women who struggle with the same things as you do.  And always listen to your gut to determine your path and what you need, you know you best, and you are deserving of health and wellness.

For more information:
Lori Jackson, MA, NCC


photo credit: Lars Plougmann via photopin cc

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What You Need To Know About Postpartum Nutrition & Self Care

Cindy Nasky, Nutritionist with Knowing Wellness

CindyNaskyHaving a baby is one of the most exciting, wonderful, life changing times in a woman’s life.  It is also one of the most intensely emotional and exhausting times!  If ever there is a time to take good care of yourself, it is during this special time.  Good self-care insures that you will be all-there to enjoy your new baby.

After the baby is born, everything is different … sleep schedules (or lack therein!), emotions, your body, appetite, hormones, etc.!

When my first child was born – my mother offered up some wisdom that seemed painfully basic at the time, but was really golden.

For instance:

  • Sleep when the baby sleeps (sleep deprivation is cruel mentally & physically)
  • Don’t expect to get anything done during the day – set low expectations and enjoy that baby!
  • Respect the power of your hormones (they affect emotions, that scary mother-bear mentality, energy, sex drive, etc.)
  • Nutritionally, remember that your body has been through the ringer and deserves some kindness and tender care after the miraculous feat of childbirth.  Also keep in mind that breast milk is a direct result of the foods that you are putting into your body.  Keep it simple and eat real whole foods!
  • Eat lots of fruits & vegetables (shoot for 10 ½ cup servings daily)
  • Steer clear of ‘white’ foods like sugar and refined flours
  • Enjoy pasture raised meats and high quality cheeses
  • Drink lots of water (a good start is 8 glasses a day)
  • Focus on good fats – avocado, olive oil, nuts, and coconut oil (non-fat foods are not your friend)
  • A glass of red wine or a chewy dark beer are not only good for your soul, but also good for your health
  • Take whole food supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps (there are a few that are super beneficial for the postpartum mom)

There are a lot of specific things related to nutrition that you can do for your particular situation and if you would like more support with nutrition during this time, I do love talking about this stuff!  Contact me to set up a personal consultation at 303.520.6307 or by email at cindy@knowingwellness.net.

I’d love to hear from you! Comment below with your nutritional questions that leave you guessing!

photo credit: jonycunha via photopin cc


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How Prenatal Chiropractic Care Helps the Pregnant Women

DrMauraFletcherAs a prenatal chiropractor, I believe that the work I do with pregnant women helps to support the mama-baby bond. As I provide a chiropractic adjustment to a pregnant woman, the adjustment brings ease, balance, and better function to the mama. This ease and balance is transferred to and felt by the growing baby. Ease in mom’s body helps to create ease in the womb which helps support the developing mother-infant bond.

When my husband and I made the decision to consciously conceive, we made several choices to prepare my body to become a womb/home for the little being that decided to come earth side. Mentally, I was very ready to be a mom. I had some work to do physically. I was so committed to the process of preparation because I knew that the choices I made during pre-conception, conception and pregnancy would have an impact on my health, the health of my child and the bond that was developing between us. The things I did for myself are the same things I recommend for my pregnant clients.

To support my health I chose, prenatal chiropractic care, massage, herbal supplementation, exercise, good nutrition, and a birth provider that honored my philosophies around the human body and the natural process of birth. Taking care of yourself is one of the best things you can do to build a secure bond between you and your baby. When you feel good, your baby feels good. It is so, so critical to do the things you need to do to support yourself as your body does the amazing work of growing another human being.

One of the staples of my self-care plan during pregnancy was prenatal chiropractic care. As a prenatal chiropractor, certified in the Webster Technique, my focus is on the function and balance of the nervous system. I focus on the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and nerves) because it is the master controller and regulator of all body function. I use the spine as a window into the function of the nervous system. With pregnant women, I pay particular attention to the alignment of her pelvis. I do this because there is a relationship of the alignment of her pelvis and uterine function due to the many ligamentous attachments of the uterus to the pelvis. When the pelvis is out of alignment, we call this a subluxation. A subluxation of the pelvis can create unequal tone of the uterine ligaments which can affect the position of the uterus which can in turn affect the position of the baby. Additionally if the pelvis is out of alignment, there can be pressure on the nerves that supply the uterus potentially creating less than optimal uterine function. My job as a prenatal chiropractor is to check the spine and pelvis for subluxations and adjust the subluxations. When I remove subluxations, there is less tension in the body, a better brain body communication and the body functions better.

Pregnant women come to my practice for different reasons. Some come because of an issue of discomfort such as low back pain, pubic symphysis pain, pelvic pain, and headaches. Some come because they did not have the birth experience they desired with their first child and want a different birth experience with their second child. They have heard that prenatal chiropractic care can help support that goal. Some come because their baby is not in an ideal position for birth. Some come because they just know it is the right thing to do to support herself and her baby. Whatever her reason for seeking care, my job is to clear her nervous system and allow her body to function better.

I loved being pregnant. I am very proud of my birth experience. I want as many women as possible to have the pregnancy and birth that they desire. That is why I do what I do. Weekly when I work with my pregnant clients, I am in constant awe and wonder of the amazing ability of the female body to support the growth and development of another human being. I know that what I do helps this process. I am thankful for the opportunity to support women and the bond that exists between her and her baby.

Dr. Maura Fletcher is a prenatal chiropractor at Well Beings Chiropractic Family Health in north Lakewood. Along with her husband, Dr. Jacob Fletcher, they help families heal, grow, and thrive. They serve the entire family from infants to grandparents. If you want to learn more about how chiropractic care can help you during your pregnancy, feel free to contact Dr. Maura at DrMaura@WellBeingsChiropractic.com.

I’d love to hear more about your pregnancy and birth experience! Comment Below.

photo credit: J. Star via photopin cc

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