top of page


Group Work


Now is the time to be patient.  We have been in a holding pattern for awhile now.  It has felt like our circumstances will not change.  However, if we look closely, we can notice small changes in our world and in the people around us.  Sometimes we get distracted by the busyness of our lives and we miss the subtle differences that impact us greatly.  The coronavirus is an example, a small invisible difference in our world that is impacting us greatly.  We need to think about the small differences we can make; like wearing a mask, like helping someone in need, like fixing the house, and maybe even voting.   What the pandemic is teaching us is that while we may be small in the world if we come together as a group we can make a big impact.




We all experience Adversity in our life.  Times when it seems that nothing can go our way or perhaps we feel that the world is out to get us.  As tempting as this way of thinking may be, we must avoid the trap of feeling sorry for ourselves.  We must stay focused on what we have control over and let go of what we don’t.  Additionally it is important to resist the temptation to push back against our adversaries.  If we do this we only create more pain.  Try meditating as a way of getting more in touch with your impulses and riding out the waves of negative emotions that may come through your mind.  Before you know it, life will offer a new view and you will be feeling better.  




Change is difficult to achieve, but it is something we all need to do.  We can want to make changes in our life but not be sure about how to do it.  Therapists are often the people we choose to assist us in making change.  As a result therapy can be uncomfortable at times.  However, if you see it as a long term relationship, the benefits far outweigh the momentary discomfort.  Many of us change because the pain of our current experience is greater than the fear of the unknown or our failure.  If you are wanting to make changes in your life, I would encourage you to do so, even if it is uncomfortable or awkward.  If you are looking for someone to guide you through the process Lee Gardner LCSW can help.  804-869-5981.


Looking Forward


    Why is it so hard to let go of the past?  We all have such a hard time letting go of the past.  All the times people hurt us or said something we didn’t like or did something we didn’t like.  It seems so easy to stay focused on our pain.  I think we feel like it will protect us.  However, it does not.  It simply keeps us in pain.  Although it is important to talk about how we feel and express ourselves, it is equally important to decide to let go of them and move forward.  If you are having trouble letting go of the past, call Lee at 804-869-5981.  




     The End of the year is often a time of reflection.  What did I accomplish? What did I not accomplish?  How can I do things better?  These are all good questions to ask.  One thing to keep in mind is that growth is not a one time decision, but a lifelong commitment.  While starting a new year may seem like starting over, it is in reality a continuation of the work you began a long time ago.  Try to avoid all or nothing thinking and remember that mental health is an everyday responsibility not tasks to be checked off your list.  We in the Western World like our labels and categories but the world is too big of a place to control in that way.  Letting go of trying to control is always the way to proceed!


Why Go To Counseling?


      Why go to counseling?  Many people go to counseling looking for answers to     many of life's most challenging situations.  Depression, Anxiety and other experiences are pervasive and often times there are no easy answers.  Counselors can offer guidance and wisdom from experience, clinical knowledge and expertise over many years of working with individuals in pain.   An experienced therapist will treat you as a unique individual, not a diagnosis or problem to be fixed.  If you are experiencing a crisis or just feeling stuck emotionally, you can call for relief at 804-869-5981.


What to Look For in a Counselor?


     What Do I Look For In A Counselor?  Many people are at a loss as to what to look for in a counselor when they are reaching out for help.  Counseling and counselors for that matter, unlike other commodities, is not something that you can objectify.  It is a human relationship, full of nuance and subtlety and uniqueness.  My suggestion is that you look for someone who strikes you as experienced, wise and authentic.  Find someone who has walked down the road you are trying to navigate.  The right counselor will have the qualities that you would like to possess.  He is authentic and genuine, he does not tell you what you want to hear, he is real! Call Lee Gardner LCSW in Fort Collins at (804)869-5981, if you are struggling with Depression, Anxiety or other mental health related challenges.  


Chronic Pain (1)


   We are at a point in the development of medical technology that professionals are able to explore and document the etiology of pain in their patients.  Services offered often include, medication management, surgery, or referrals to services such as physical therapy.  However,  patients often don't respond or  have only a partial response to medical intervention.  This continuing of suffering often results in debilitation and at times addiction to pain medications.  The nervous system is designed to alert us of potential injury or disorder through the mechanism of pain; however, it is designed to gradually diminish the intensity of the pain signal.  Then  the question becomes; how is the source of pain being reinjured?   Is it activity based; such as overtaxing the area physically, or is it emotionally based as certain muscle groups display corresponding tension to feeling states.   Next week I'll discuss the connection between emotion and chronic pain.  Stay tuned, or, call me at 804-869-5981. 


Chronic Pain (2)


   Most of us carry tension in our upper back and neck area which can generate to the rear of the skull which corresponds to feelings of frustration.  If this happens rarely, ibuprofen will do; however, if this is a common experience discomfort and deterioration of the area may result.  While we have made great progress in diagnosing and treating the physical aspects of the pain in the Western world we have at times been resistant to looking at and learning to manage the emotional aspects of chronic pain.  Psychology, which utilizes a focus on the mind/body connection can often be helpful especially if it utilizes holistic elements such as relaxation exercises and meditative methods.  Pain medications may be helpful in the short term, however, may be dangerous if utilized for periods longer than a week.  The rapid occurrence of psychological and physical dependence as well as tolerance and withdrawal often makes it difficult for the patient to withdraw from medication.   It may mimic their prior experience with pain making them feel as if their only answer to pain is medication.  When this occurs psychotherapy may be helpful in addressing the burgeoning addiction process.

bottom of page