Who I Am

I have been married for two decades and am a mother of a beautiful son. I realize that I didn’t reach 20 years of marriage by chance or luck. My spouse and I reached this milestone in part from tenacity, a lot of trial and error and most of all a willingness to “do the work”. As a result, we both feel our relationship is at its strongest place. We are fortunate to be living in a time when there is actual research (a road map) to guide couples in developing secure, healthy, bonds.

I am also a “mamapreneur” and understand the challenges of mothers who work outside the home. Having been a full-time mom for my son’s first two years (after working outside the home), I also have great respect for stay at home parents. I do my best in finding a  balance between gratifying work, family time, couple time, and self-care/spiritual growth, and feel grateful for all of it!

Where I’ve Worked

From inner city Chicago to affluent suburbs and more currently the Denver Metro area, I have worked in a variety of settings, such as K-12 schools (as a social worker, teacher, & 504/special education coordinator), intensive outpatient programs for teens and adults, a dual diagnosis transitional residential treatment center, DUI groups, couples & families “teaching clinics” with one way mirrors and filmed sessions, and private practice. One aspect of private practice that I love is being able to work with individuals and family members throughout their life span and support generational change, which is the most powerful change possible.

Why I Became a Therapist

I believe that everyone has an important story to tell that can open our hearts to ourselves and others, inspire growth, impart wisdom, and perhaps most importantly, help us feel less alone because we’re all in this journey together.

As a teen, I was appreciative of many aspects of my family- most importantly the love that filled my home. I was also well-aware of some of my family’s dysfunctional patterns. Thus, I knew how extremely fortunate I was to have an outstanding high school counselor, Mary Murphy. Mary saw the best in everyone she met and helped all of her students see strengths in ourselves that we previously didn’t know existed. On a daily basis I strive to uphold Mary’s legacy- to always see and reflect the gifts in others and encourage others to believe in themselves.

Mary encouraged me to not only join, but lead student clubs- most impactful the peer counseling club. This led me to participate in a teen Utopian-like personal growth weekend retreat called Snowball. Snowball brought together teens from all different backgrounds who had similar needs- to belong, to express and discover ourselves, to have fun, and to connect in a profoundly honest way. The one ground rule at Snowball was that everyone was accepted for who they were.

Later, as a young adult, I realized that I was drawn to the field of therapy because I wanted to pass on the gift that my counselor shared with me. I also continue to feel it is an incredible honor to be a part of my clients’ lives as they strive to overcome adversity, improve their relationships, and learn to accept themselves for exactly who they are.

How I Work with Clients

“The places where you have the biggest challenges in your life are the places where you have the most to give – IF you do your inner work”- Tracy McMillan

First, I look for your strengths to help you remember your true nature and to help you and your partner or family member(s) also rediscover one another’s best qualities.

I simultaneously strive to build trust by creating a safe space upholding the values of unconditional positive regard, genuineness, and empathy. I believe in “keeping it real” and at times will share a story from my own life.

Next, I will deeply listen to your story of pain and help you feel seen, cared for and understood.

Sometimes our pain stems from traumatic situations that seem to have no purpose or reason. More often than not, if we search, we can eventually find that our greatest challenges are often spiritual gifts in disguise and that reaching out for help, being authentic when we’re struggling and building a support network are actually signs of strength!

Thirdly, I will collaborate with you so you can expand your possibilities for healing, change, and growth. This process begins by courageously speaking and listening from your heart- expressing your pain, needs, longings, and dreams. New solutions can also be discovered by your willingness to engage in deep self-reflection to understand the stuck patterns that you and your family members find yourself repeating.

I will facilitate experiential exercises in which you and your family member(s) can receive guidance and support in “real time” in order to learn new, more effective ways of interacting. EFT (couples & family) research and my experience with clients shows that repeated present moment corrective experiences lead to sustaining change.

I will also help you grow by sharing direct, bold feedback about your areas of needed growth (because we all have blind spots). This will allow you to develop new perspectives and skills to overcome thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that have hindered your ability to reach the goals you identify- while holding you all in the highest regard.

My mission is to empower you to become a relationship hero!

You have the power to change your life and future generations. Most people aren’t able to do this alone. I am continually inspired by my clients’ courage, valiant efforts and extraordinary growth.

Training and Education

  • EFT Core Skills- Robert Allan, Ph.D & George Faller, LMFT- online (Jan-April 2021)
  • EFT Externship- Kathryn Rheem, Ph.D, Falls Church, VA
  • Telebehavioral Health Practice- Shawna Wright, PhD, DU Webinar
  • EFT Master Class- Advanced Issues in Couples Therapy (sexual intimacy, substance and porn addictions, complicated grief), Psychotherapy Networker
  • EFT Master Class with Sue Johnson, Psychotherapy Networker
  • EFT Master Class- Attachment, Emotions, & Addiction- Denver, CO
  • Multi-generational Trauma- Terry Real Online Course
  • RLT Level I & II Couples Therapy- San Francisco, CA
  • PACT Level I Couples Therapy- PACT Institute, Boulder, CO
  • Couples and Addiction Recovery- The Gottman Institute, Mission Viejo, CA
  • Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Denver Family Institute (DFI), Denver, CO
  • Certificate in Yoga Teacher Training- Axis Yoga, Denver, CO
  • Certified Senior Addictions Counselor, Level III- CO #7085; Odyssey Training Center, Denver, CO and Oakton Community College, IL
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker- CO #1434; Master of Social Work (MSW): Loyola University- Chicago, IL
  • Licensed Special Education Teacher, Bachelor of Science Degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison

Teaching, Workshops, & Presentations

  • Workshop assistant- “Hold Me Tight” (created by Dr. Sue Johnson) for all couples
  • Adjunct Professor: University of Denver, Graduate School of Social Work: Relationship (Couples) Therapy
  • Adjunct Professor: Denver Family Institute: Self of the Therapist
  • Workshop creator and facilitator- “Keeping the Spark Alive” for couples with young children.
  • Workshop creator and facilitator- “Have Each Other’s Backs Again!” for couples in recovery who are in need of rebuilding trust and connection.
  • Trainer: “Helping Couples in Recovery Build Secure Attachments”- Sierra Tuscon at Ocean Prime, Colorado C-SEAP, Family Rockstars, CAAP Conference
  • Trainer: “Rebuilding Trust in Recovery”- Exempla West Pines
  • Trainer: “Bridging the Gap: Integrating Family Therapy and Addictions Counseling” at NCAD Conference
  • Presenter: Connecting New Mamas Group at Lutheran Medical Center- “Emotional Wellness in Motherhood” (post-partum mood disorders)

“We are born into relationship, we are wounded in relationship, and we can be healed in relationship.”

~ Harville Hendrix

Lana is a compassionate and dedicated therapist who helped me feel heard, understand how my past has affected me, and identified patterns in my life. What brought me into therapy was feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and irritable, which led to me drinking too much and emotional eating. After working with Lana, I’m headed in the right direction and more mindful of my eating and drinking patterns.