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Meet Lori Vann of Vann Counseling, Speaking, and Consulting

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lori Vann.

Vann Counseling was founded on two beliefs: that “mental health should not be a luxury item” and to provide “Experienced professional, caring, and non-judgmental therapy”. The practice began in Irving in 2001 but established itself in its current Carrollton location in 2008. Lori Vann has been a Lic. Professional Counselor since 2001, an LPC Supervisor in 2003, a professional speaker since 2000, branched out in 2009 as a media guest for local, state, and national outlets, and wrote the first of her current four books in 2014.

Her passion has been working with those who practice Non-suicidal Self-injury (NSSI), and started the only exclusively self-injury support groups for teen girls, caregivers of those who self-harm, and women in 2009 for the North Texas area. Three of her four books are on the topic of self-harm, and she has been nicknamed the ‘Guru of Self-injury’. She has presented on the topic Internationally and Nationally, and trained over a thousand counselors on the subject matter.

Counselors consult with her on a regular basis in regards to the cases that they are seeing in schools and their own practices; to date, she has personally counseled just shy of 500 individuals with a past or recent history of NSSI and consulted on hundreds of cases of her interns and peers. Recently, she has developed the Self-injury Prevention & Intervention Program for school districts and hospitals, in addition to working on another book on the topic.

Her most recent book is a co-authored work with Plano ISD Board member, Yoram Solomon; it is called Cause of Death: Political Correctness. It addresses the unintended consequences of political correctness, the financial implications, the legal issues, and the psychological impact of its potential consequences, including suicide.

Lori is a Native Texan who grew up in the DFW area. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University where she received with honors her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and is a graduate of Chapman University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Arts degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling.

Has it been a smooth road?
I am amazed about how much graduate school did not teach me about the professional counseling world, which is why it has become another passion to help educate my counseling peers, interns, and graduate students on the ‘real world’ practice of counseling. I have put together 3 talks for the fall that will help to address some of the deficiencies of things not covered in graduate schools, such as marketing, management of employees, and how to give a non-boring presentation. My annual talk, Ethics: how to avoid getting the #?!! scared out of you!!! is a favorite among attendees because it addresses many of those “cruds, I didn’t know that was in the law” or “ugh, I never thought of that situation” moments.

Some of the struggles have been learning how to navigate insurance companies and moving from a place of not understanding why counselors did not want to be providers to completely understanding it and moving in their direction. There were so many nights of frustration, screaming, and crying in my office because I did not understand why insurance would deny a claim, why I couldn’t get a human on the phone after being hung up on by the automated machine, or trying to understand taxes as a contracted provider for insurance companies. There have been frustrations with interns who may not have been ready to be interns on a professional level, having to let them go, and creating a new section in the Intern agreement to address the issue.

There have been, and continue to be, many long hours at the office. It is often times in regards to the administrative side of things, but also program development, prep for talks that I am giving, and books that I am writing. I have learned just enough about marketing, insurance filing, and social media to be dangerous. Thankfully, I have found some great coaches, interns, and social media people to help me along the way.

My family has been the absolute backbone of my support. I could not do what I do without the help of my parents and husband.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Vann Counseling, Speaking, and Consulting offers individual, family, couples, and group counseling services. In addition, we also provide presentations on a wide variety of topics, including what we are best known for, Non-Suicidal Self-injury (NSSI). Lori Vann also provides consulting services for the media on mental health issues, has been a guest on various media formats over 240 times, and provides business consulting for other counselors.

There are 3 counselors at Vann Counseling and an associate who practices at the office. We offer a variety of affordable treatment options with rates as low as $40 a visit, which is less than most co-payments.

What makes us unique is that we provide the only exclusively self-injury support groups in all of North Texas for teen girls, caregivers of those who self-harm, and women who self-injure. Lori Vann is regarded as an authority on the subject, and counselors go to her unique training events to understand how to help this population.

We are most proud as a company for our highly ethical, professional, client-centered treatment that has produced some incredible changes in our clients. We do not believe in keeping clients coming to sessions any longer than needed; our goal is to get to the core issues and offer feedback and recommendations that the client to quickly implement.

Our approach is interactive, we do not sit back and occasionally ask “how does that make you feel”, we are engaging the client in the process of their treatment and helping them take ownership of it.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think the DFW area is filled with opportunities to spread mental health awareness and services. The more people that can serve those in need, the healthier a community becomes. Many crimes are correlated with untreated mental health issues, such as substance abuse, domestic violence, and assaults. It is unfortunate that in many communities, mental health is still not being discussed.

What can be done on a local and state level is to have more funding provided to the county mental health treatment groups and the non-profits. Many do not seek out counseling because they do not believe that they can afford it or they simply do not know of the treatment options.

I think that we can all work on ending the stigma associated with getting help for what we call ‘life’. I do not think that anyone escapes life without some type of trauma, whether it be divorce, a serious breakup, the death of a loved one, being unexpectedly fired, having a child with special needs, being bullied or harassed, loss of a pet, etc. Our society does a poor job of demonstrating healthy coping skills and how to communicate our emotional needs in productive ways.

Location-wise, there are certain parts of the Metroplex that are pretty full with counselors, ‘Therapist Row’ off of LBJ, but there are so many new communities popping up that those areas need counselors in them.


  • Individual counseling sessions start at $40

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Steve Wozniak, Mark Wahlberg, Christie Brinkley, Gene Simmons

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