STEP 1: Pick Location > STEP 2: Pick a Counselor > STEP 3: Schedule Appointment
- dating and remarriage
- premarital (SYMBIS certified)
- divorce and separation
- blended families
- women’s issues
- parenting/single parenting
- teens and young adults
- domestic violence/verbal/emotional abuse
- chronic illness/autoimmune
- life transitions
- MA-Level Counseling Intern
Philosophy and Therapeutic Approach
There is hope! Although the path to growth and healing may seem and feel like an unsurmountable challenge at times, growth and healing are possible. Quite often, the path to healing will not look like or unfold the way we want or expect. Many times, though, God uses other people in our lives, such as counselors, to help us along our journey.
One of my foundational beliefs is that many of our wounds happen within relationship and in response to that, true, lasting healing also happens within relationship. We were made and wired for connection with others and with God. Therefore, it makes sense that we desire healthy relationships and connections on such a deep level. It is the way we were designed. The counseling relationship provides the safe space and opportunity to learn, build, and foster healthy connections and relationships with ourselves, others, and God.
I also believe that rather than simply addressing the hurtful, destructive, or unhealthy outward symptoms that show up in our relationships, behaviors, and personal performance, it is essential to address the root of our pain, hurts, struggles, and the difficult pieces of our story, When we address the roots, we are able to tend to and provide the necessary nutrients to our hurt and broken parts so that we may heal, grow, and thrive. Just as we nurture a plant through the soil and at its roots, we also need to be nurtured and fed at our roots with grace, truth, and time. The results of which will bring healthier and more abundant fruit to our lives. Ultimately, the goal of counseling is to help move us from simply coping and settling to restoration and redemption, and into a more confident, meaningful, fulfilling, connected, and authentic life.
Expectations of Therapy
I am a relational being. My strongest desire is to truly and deeply connect with others and offer my real, genuine and authentic self to each and every relationship. This is not only how I engage with clients, but who I am as a person. I am attentive, aware, and I love to listen. When working with clients, I offer support, compassion, respect, thoughtfulness, encouragement, trustworthiness, as well as my full attention and presence. I feel that it is an honor to connect with others in their pain and vulnerability, as they share their own personal hurts and struggles.
My style is collaborative, creative, exploratory, playful, and thoughtful. I aim to engage in real and meaningful ways, that are helpful and beneficial for clients as unique individuals. In the process I am considerate of both the brain and the heart, the behavior and the emotions, in order to encourage and facilitate meaningful growth. I think it is worth mentioning that the growth and healing process takes time. Although we desperately desire instant relief, healing, and growth, often times does not happen instantly. More often, the journey to healing and growth is a process. It is one step at a time. I honor and cherish the process because this is where the good stuff happens. The gifts of learning, insight, and reconciliation that come along the way can be life changing and truly transformational.
I am currently in my last year of the Master of Arts in Counseling program through The Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine. In 2018, I graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Prior to that I managed a small business that allowed me many opportunities to function in a leadership role and continually engage with people in a multitude of ways, including managing teams, resolving conflict, problem solving, and facilitating business and personal growth. This experience taught me how to connect meaningfully, focus on solutions, and engage creatively. Currently, I am a co-leader for Divorce Care® classes at Bethlehem Lutheran Church and I also serve as a mentor to the high school youth group at Bethlehem. I have had my own personal experience working with counselors. My own work with counselors is one of the most significant contributors that inspired me to pursue a counseling career. I have benefited greatly from my personal counseling experiences and have grown and healed in sometimes seemingly small and insignificant ways. Yet I have also grown, healed, and matured in profound, wonderful, and immeasurable ways through my personal counseling experiences. My strongest desire is to offer others the same opportunities and experiences for personal growth, healing, and transformation.
I am a single mom of two lovely and very active teenagers. I am a member at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Lakewood, Colorado. After experiencing separation and ultimately a divorce in 2019, I have had the opportunity to experience many positive life transitions, including moving back to Colorado after living in Portland, Oregon for 17 years. I miss being close to the ocean, but I do not miss the Pacific Northwest rain. I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to experience the glorious Colorado sun again! I love the mountains and enjoy hiking and practicing yoga. I love spending time with family and friends and traveling at any opportunity that arises. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in 2016. In the process of restoring my health, and learning how to honor my body, I have learned to take naps. This has been a learned skill. My daughter suggested recently that I check into whether or not I might qualify for the napping Olympics. ☺ I guess my skills have improved, but I think I will continue to practice!
Shannon McClanahan has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Liberty University and is currently a Master’s level intern for counseling with the Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine and is working towards program completion. She is not yet licensed by the state of Colorado as a professional counselor. However, she is working under the direct supervision of a university faculty member and a site supervisor who are both licensed and certified. The information for those supervisors is available upon request. She is SYMBIS certified.
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