About Lorna Benton

For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in who people are, what makes people tick and why they do what they do.

Like so many of us, if you were to shake my family tree, trauma, mental illness, and family dysfunction would fall from various branches.  Because of this, I was motivated to ask questions about human nature and behavior. I’ve also always been interested in change—given that impermanence is the only thing we can absolutely count on as humans—and how we can affect change meaningfully and positively in our lives. As a therapist with three decades of experience, I honestly believe that people can change. Every day, it’s an honor to hold space and offer guidance and support so my clients can experience greater ease in the midst of challenges, as well as figure out what it is that they need to live as their most authentic, joyful and vibrant selves
Fascinated by the human experience, I knew that I wanted to study psychology in college, which led me to working with children in a residential treatment center. I quickly realized that depression was prevalent amongst these children and within their families. It became my goal to work toward insulating them from depression and the other mental health issues that are often borne of trauma. I witnessed how children who were provided services early in life gained the skills, abilities and resources needed to become healthy, functional, happy adults. The absence of these kinds of tools and support is often what limits people to living as shadows of their best selves.

My Approach

INTERIOR OF LORNA BENTON'S OFFICEToday, I work primarily with teenagers and adults, although my goal is still to provide my clients with a safe space to explore their shadows—the dark, shameful and embarrassing parts of their selves and lives—that must be accepted and embraced in order to heal and grow. Many of these shadows stem from unresolved trauma, which is prevalent in today’s world and breeds feelings of shame, blame and guilt. It keeps us disconnected from others and ourselves. However, once we’re able to increase our capacity for self-compassion and bring that self-compassion into our anxiety, depression, grief, etc., we can truly begin the process of healing. It can take a long time to get there, but learning to love oneself through this exploratory and healing process is one of the bravest things that anyone can ever do.

I’m a very open, compassionate and practical therapist who knows both personally and professionally that none of us get out of this world without facing hardship. I know what it feels like to work through trauma—that there are days when you feel angry at everything or just want to hide under the blankets. But, I also know that being vulnerable and having the courage to ask for help is what leads to true connection and healing. I truly believe in therapy and how much relief can come from compassionate support, practical guidance and a trusting relationship.

As a therapist, I’ll never ask you to try something I haven’t tried and found useful myself. I understand, however, that we all have different needs and heal differently, which is why I draw from a variety of approaches to figure out what works best for you. Whether through specific mindfulness techniques, positive psychology, Brené Brown’s Daring Way™ or one of the numerous other tools I have gathered, we can work collaboratively to create a therapy strategy that feels authentic, real and helpful for you. And, regardless of the approach(es), I will hold space as you explore anything and everything that is coming up for you. Sessions are a space for you to really be you and/or figure out what that means. They are a place for you to get really curious about your experience, let out the blame and guilt and step into who you really are.  

My Values and Passions

As a New Yorker and long-time therapist nothing shocks me anymore. Regardless of past mistakes or how you may feel about yourself right now, I truly believe that you are inherently worthy of love, belonging and connection. All your life experience is part of the fabric of who you are. It does not define you, although it can help you understand where you’ve been, accept where you are and decide where you want to go. Life is journey, not a destination, which we all sometimes need help navigating. With a willingness to self-explore and make thoughtful changes, it is possible to truly enjoy the path.

Brene Brown image quote that says, "Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we'll ever do."

Outside of my practice, I love spending time with my family and friends. I also really love nature, yoga and live music, all of which make Boulder a great home for me. I practice meditation, and still often struggle with it, although it helps me stay centered on those really tough days that are an inevitable part of life. I’m also passionate about giving back and volunteer my time to efforts such as public policy, national advocacy, humane treatment of animals and consuming local meat wisely. As someone who felt small and without a voice for many of my young years, it’s important to me to contribute how I can now and to act as a good force for positive change in the world.

If you or your teenager is struggling with trauma, anxiety, depression, grief or feelings of shame, blame and guilt, please know that you are not alone. If you’re in Boulder, CO or the surrounding area, feel really ready to do the work and are looking for an active, collaborative, compassionate therapist, I can help. I invite you to call me to schedule a free 30-minute in-person session to see if we’d be a good fit and decide how we can best work together. I’m happy to discuss your specific situation and needs and answer any questions you have about therapy and my practice.

Lorna Benton, LCSW earned her M.S.W. with a focus on children, youth and families from the University of Denver and B.A. degrees in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Lorna is a certified Daring Way™ Facilitator, in the work of Brené Brown, PhD and Shame Resilience Theory (SRT). Lorna has also engaged in other advanced certifications and trainings, including EMDR Levels I and II, Beck Institute Trainings: CBT for Depression/ Suicidality, CBT for children/ adolescents, and Nonviolent Crisis Intervention. Lorna is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychological Association, Internaltional Positive Psychology Association,  and the Academy of Cognitive Therapy.