Testimonials

I started seeing Lori less than two years ago for continued support and recovery from alcoholism. I had been actively drinking for almost 40 years.  Lori was able to take that darkness of addiction, get deep into the heart of my issues and reveal to me where I was suffering. I never knew how much grief, resentment and control issues were blocking me from a successful recovery.

 

Lori has lead me on path of self discovery to grow as a woman, mother and wife. My false self started to evaporate and my true self started to appear each week. I became more and more confident and began to think positively.  My friends and family started to see a total different person.  I now stayed engaged throughout every single day, I am much more supportive, more honest and more reflective than I have ever been. 

 

As Lori guided me on a path of self-sufficiency, my children were also seeing a transformation and Lori helped them navigate the transformation.  She has guided them on their own journey with compassion and honesty.  My older daughter and I are now connecting in a way that I never thought possible. I truly know what unconditional love feels like and that bond is unbreakable. 

 

My younger son has been dealing with self-confidence and anger issues and was more than a bit reluctant to see Lori. In just three weeks he has begun an incredible transformation. He’s now respectful, he’s doing much better in his classes, and he’s fun to be around again! 

 

I have been given the gift of a second life and I owe so much of it to Lori.

 

     D.P.

My panic attacks reduced by half after my first visit with Lori and stopped completely after our second visit. She gets to the root of the problem so much faster than any other therapist. 

When you are drowning, you need her strong hand to lift you up and out of the water. She will give you tools right away to begin making changes and will hold you accountable in meeting your goals. 

Lori’s positive outlook on every negative event in my life has helped me find love in my heart for myself again. It is easy to show love for others, but not for myself. She battled my fear and anxiety quickly and gave me various methods to help me get out of my head and out of my own way. 

Lori has brought so much peace into my life and filled my heart with warmth. The only way to escape your inner pain is to wade through it. It won’t be easy, but with commitment and trust, Lori will guide you in finding your inner peace. 


-C.M.W

Grief is the most alone place.  Lori grasps the intensity and pain of that space and holds it with you.  She has an inherent ability to sense seconds of openness of feelings and reflects those small moments back to a mind and heart that has been crushed with pain.

Grief is my very own desolate island of nightmares where once lived a loved one, my son.  With the murder of my 27 year old Alexander, Lori tapped into the far reaching impact of the immediate loss, the future without my son, the legacy of my life that suddenly and persistently became lacking in purpose. I’ll have no grandchildren, no one to pass on what I’ve held so dear to my heart. Treasures that Alexander would  give to his future family…now sit in a room occupied only with stunning grief surrounded with  memories, smells, sights, collections, books, pictures, and the most unreal…ashes of my child.

Lori helps change the focus of this immense loss, to surviving and refocus  despite the radical change in my daily life. How do you fill a hole in your heart when everywhere you go is filled with a memory shared with Alexander? The split second I was not aware of the loss would be met with the reality, the yin/yang of pain but the negative was totally in control.  It is only 20 months since the murder but it is still impossible to imagine I’ll feel any different in 18 years. The murderer has finally been captured but how to face that person and that family in a trial would be impossible without knowing Lori will provide the emotional support to face the impossible.

 Lori gives hope that the pain, the tears that pop out of nowhere, the heart that flies out of my chest, someday, will change, in part, from the horror that is my life, to finding a purpose again. It will never be the same…but perhaps now I have a glimmer of a moment, a day, a future, which can be different in a way that doesn’t break my heart and spirit of purpose in any life. And the challenge to explain existence at all levels.

Can one actually recover?  If anyone can shed light on this lonely road of absence, of broken dreams, that person is a very gifted woman, Lori Allen. She shares my pain of loss and my love of my son and that is a gift for which I am forever grateful. God blessed me with this woman, a talented and skilled therapist and counselor.

Lori: Focused. Always present .Supportive. Calming. Empathetic. Intelligent. Honest.

 

Thank you Lori.

      P.

Lori has been helping me for only a few short months now and has already invoked a completely different wave of positive energy into my life. I've been seeking therapy for well over 5 years now through other sources, and all of them combined haven't been as effective. Lori took the time to truly get to know me, and in that short time has provided me clarity about the deeper rooted things that have been holding me back most of my life. Lori always made sure I was comfortable and right at home by offering me a fresh cup of espresso or water before beginning every session. I also find the wonderful furnishing she decorates her office with make for a very therapeutic and relaxing space to be yourself in. Lori has always given me fresh perspectives and very plentiful advice when it comes to taking action to move forward to a happier, more fulfilling life. Lori's exercises, insight, and encouragement are unparalleled. I truly lucked out when I found her. She has become a crucial part of my balance and routine now. Some examples of how my life has shifted so far:

 

1. I am a better person, daughter, friend, and partner with an optimistic outlook on life. 

 

2. My focus on my career shifted, and I learned not to sell myself short. As women we tend to do that, but that all changed.

 

3. Helped me completely rebuild my confidence.

 

4. Enjoying "me time", and focusing more on myself. Self-love is the best love. Take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. 

 

5. Gratitude for the insight into my current and past relationships, and learning to let go and move forward. 

 

6. Gained insight into my new relationship and the areas we need to work on together. It has made our relationship blossom. 

 

Thank you Lori

 

      Danielle

In the past year of seeing Lori I have experienced so much growth in my life. Prior to starting counseling, I was anxious, overwhelmed, and inundated with past traumas I hadn’t known how to process. In order to deal with this pain, I developed unhealthy habits in an attempt to protect myself. Lori has helped me understand my behaviors, the things in my life in which they are rooted, and how to change my habits to release anything that no longer serves me. She has taught me to understand my emotions, give them the space in which they deserve, and process in order to let go. I have learned how to establish healthy boundaries, without isolating myself, and how to stop feeling guilty for setting those boundaries. While I may not be able to control when I experience anxiety or other emotions, I am learning how to respond to those feelings in a healthy manner. Lori has held my hand as I step into the fear of dealing with past traumas and guided me as I learn how to release that pain. I’m so thankful for my time with her as it has helped me greatly. 

      O.S.

In trying to put into words all that Lori is and what she encompasses, I’m left with two words:  “Healing Warrior.” Lori approaches counseling unlike any other therapist, counselor, or coach out there, and it’s because she allows her own spirit to freely flow into the process.  The result is an authentic, uniquely personal approach to walking through grief, pain, trauma, and addiction.  Lori’s energy, her passion, her tenacity is palpable.  But equally so is her compassion, empathy and thoughtfulness.  You’re not met with a blank stare, a stoic response, or someone furiously taking notes when you’re with Lori.  Rather, you’re met with understanding, empathy and gentle yet persistent guidance.  Lori brings all of herself, including her own experiences into her counseling approach, while also allowing God in to do His work and this is SUCH a game changer. She is a vessel of God’s comfort and healing, and does so with the passion and purpose of a warrior.

I am grateful to God that I was led to Lori.  I came to her in a state of survival, feeling stuck, numb, alone and helpless and just barely hanging on as life seemed to be passing me by.  In my time working with Lori, I have learned how to feel feelings and experience emotions that I had pushed away and become numb to for so long, I have sifted through the pain of grief and loss and begun to experience the freedom of healing, and I have experienced spiritual breakthroughs and real growth.  The result is that I’m actually living my life – I’m actively participating in my life rather than letting it pass me by, I’m making changes, I’m taking risks, I’m pursuing my dreams (dreams I didn’t even know I had).  My relationships are healthier, my work is more fulfilling, and overall, I feel a sense of purpose and contentment in my life.  But by far the most profound result has been the impact on my faith walk.  God has taken me to places I never could have imagined, and has been doing and continues to do such amazing work in me and in my life.  I have such overwhelming gratitude to be on this journey and am so thankful to Lori for being an integral part of it and a true “Healing Warrior.”

       Danielle B.

I was hesitant to leap into counseling. I knew it was my gateway to healing, but I had so many apprehensions - How would I know when I found the right fit? Would this person understand my season or the specific things happening in my life? How could I express years of hurt in a matter of hours? Will I be ready to fully dive in to whatever challenge awaits? Will it be worth the money? But my soul's desire was deeper than its fears. And so I leaped.

Here I am almost five months later. And it's been worth EVERY. SINGLE. PENNY.

From the moment I first spoke with Lori, my heart was completely at rest. I expected to be anxious, nervous, judged or overly emotional but she had - and continues to have - such an warm and inviting spirit. She's so relatable and easy to talk to, quick to listen and slow to speak, led fully by the Holy Spirit and she's one of the most insanely knowledgable people in my life today. Through our many conversations, I realized just how much junk I'd been suppressing over the years. By the end of our first session, I had a laundry list of issues to tackle. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the challenge ahead, Lori explained their connection to one another and with that information, I was encouraged to officially begin my journey to healing. We navigated everything from self-worth to shame, boundaries to grief and co-dependency and after that first session, I found myself with a weekly craving for time on the couch. I would await my homework assignments and eagerly count down the days between sessions. The particular manner in which she assessed my needs, created the game plan to address each one and selected corresponding information for each of those sessions always left me wanting more and I was often sad when our hours were over. She never rushed through our time together, often encouraging me to press pause and really sit and "feel" each emotion before moving to the next thing. She carved out time at the beginning of each hour to just review the highs and lows of the previous week, calling specific attention to my feelings and emotions.

To have someone pour into ME, focus on ME, remind ME that I matter was priceless, especially this year. And I'm thankful for Lori. Ever so thankful. I have been singing her praises for months and will continue to refer any and every one I know her way (as long as they don't steal any couch time from me!)

Thank you, Lori!
You have greatly impacted my life!

       Monique

Throughout the majority of this year I have received grief counseling from Lori Allen.  I had come from a background of recently losing my mother and although I had made progress there were so many areas in which I was not dealing with grief properly.  


Lori has helped me realize that I had been avoiding grief for a long time. That is why I was still getting hung up in some areas. She helped me realize that it was important to accept and face grief head on if I was to move past where I was.
She also helped me to apply certain tools to deal with negative thoughts and emotions. At the same time tying in a biblical perspective and how God is able to carry us through.  A huge take away from my grief counseling has been that everything I was feeling was normal and it helped me feel that I was not alone and have a sense of hope.  

     Byron

I am so thankful for the way God has used Lori in my life to bring freedom from years of mental bondage and strongholds I had developed over the years. She has been able to help me identify unhealthy thought patterns that I built over time and really shine truth on the areas of deception I was believing about myself. She knew how to guide the conversations and allow how I felt or the thoughts that I was having, to guide the healing the process. Lori facilitated each session to discuss what was pressing most at the moment and identify what was causing the reactions I was having. She would then help me work through those things in such a way that I could learn to identify the issue and work through it on my own, giving me the tools and understanding to deal with them. Lori graciously allowed me to realize how I carried many hurts from my past into my present and how those things affected my every day life. I now have a better understanding that what we do not deal with from our past will eventually manifest in some form into our future and how fear can mask itself in so many ways, keeping us from our destiny to walk in freedom. She has inspired me not to allow those fears to dictate my future and steal the potential God has for my life, relationships and the joy God has for us as we learn to allow him to restore and redeem our futures. I love how spirit led she is knowing how to lead my heart where it needs to go and her knowing Gods timing seems to be perfect every time. I look forward to every session with Lori as it has been such a safe place to open up and go on the journey with her of healing and discovering who I am underneath all of the shame and hurt. As my mind is being freed from wrong and negative thinking, I realize everything in my life benefits from the mental health I am developing through counseling including my relationships and the potential in my future endeavors in life.  Mental health is such a powerful asset and is a priceless gift that has been given to me through Lori, which  I am so thankful for the vessel God has used.

     Amy

To say that receiving counseling for about 4 months from Lori has helped in my walk through life of grieving at the time is an understatement.

I met Lori when reaching out to her after being at my wits end on how to grieve some losses in my life. Lori quickly helped me take action to develop coping strategies by first understanding who I am, what I wanted to gain out of the sessions with her, and working with me to implement practical strategies at a pace that was right for me.

She has been supportive through helping me understand that grief in different areas of life is normal, and in no way did I have to follow certain “steps” in a certain “amount of time” to “get over it.”

Best of all, as a Christian, it was really special to me when she kept Christ at the center of everything during our time together.

Lori didn’t just help me with my initial call for help on grieving, she has helped me understand who I am as a whole in Christ. I have become a more confident woman, and am truly grateful for the sweet blessing that God has given me through Lori and her gift for helping others.

     Sheila

Addiction and grief counseling has been a huge asset to my recovery. The connection between addiction and grief is something that is often overseen, in my eyes. It’s so important to be able to talk about grief during your recovery. Lori has taught me that to be successful in recovery, one must let go of all of the comforting aspects of using/drinking. These things must be grieved in order to move forward. Acknowledging that it is OK to grieve the loss of the substance has been essential to helping me  move through that initial fear of giving up or losing something. It is no different than acknowledging the passing of a loved one or the end of a relationship. I think of it like this….Would counselors take that away from a client who is mourning? Of course not. This is why grief and loss issues are essential to explore when working with people living with addictions. I personally believe that grief must be faced and experienced as part of the healing process. Often, the lessons learned from the loss can lead to an enriched way of living, both for the family and the person in recovery. Lori, thank you for your guidance.

 

     Kelly S.

I have seen counselors when I was younger. My father was physically and emotionally abusive, my mom broke her back when I was 6 with surgery following at 7 and my brother turned to drugs to handle the stress and pressure of taking care of me. Our mom was limited with what she could do given the severity of the surgery. She was confined to her hospital bed the majority of the time. My brother ultimately chose drugs over the family and left my mom with no choice but to kick him out. This left me to handle grocery shopping, helping with bills, learning how to cook and still keep my grades up in school.

My father was not there in any way and I only saw him on the weekend as he would bring me back after church on Sunday. I thought he would see me struggling…he didn’t. No one did. I didn’t want people at school to feel bad for me so I became quiet, blending in to the background. This continued on throughout my adult life, giving in so as to avoid conflict and compromising who I was.

I was in abusive relationships, held my tongue when I saw things that were morally wrong, I turned to food as it was always there and didn’t judge. My life has been full of loss and grief and Lori was the first counselor to get through everything and reach the core of my low self-esteem and self-harm. Although the loss of my best friend in a car accident brought me in, Lori used that as an entry point and over time has allowed other issues to be worked through. Teaching me that grieving is natural and healthy as well as knowing who I am in Christ and not to be ashamed of what I have gone through.

I have finally felt like who I was when I was younger, before everything became so bogged and mired down. The joy has returned, I no longer self-harm and I have begun establishing healthy boundaries with those around me.

Lori has been amazingly supportive, encouraging and Christ centered during this time. Although grief brought me to her, so much more has been addressed because of it. Thank you Lori. This is truly where God wanted you to be.

 

     M J

I had no idea what grief was until 2 deaths in my family. One was my mother to cancer, and 6 months later my brother to suicide. Total shocker!  But I am so glad I could see Lori in the midst of my grieving, to guide me through the journey of readjusting my life with these losses. Through Lori’s counseling, I learned about grief and how it shows up in my life in its many forms. Lori is excellent with resources to other recovery tools to use in conjunction with my individual therapy sessions. She is very knowledgeable about suicide grief, and that one is a toughie. Grief counseling has enabled me to enjoy those special memory moments, bringing my loved ones back to me as I live my life without them. 

 

     Jackie S. 

I recently received grief counseling from Lori Allen and it was life changing! I was at a place in my life where I felt stuck and unable to move past a few tangible losses I had gone through years prior. Every few months a wave of sadness and loss would hit me and I would be overcome with depression. I knew there were things I needed to work through and so I reached out to Lori to receive help.

 

Over the course of a few months, she led me through mapping out the losses I had endured in my life. She helped me work through a few of the biggest ones-the loss of a relationship and the loss of a home. Through the work we did both together and me individually, I was able to recognize these losses, mourn them, and then find healing and peace on the other side.

 

I’m so grateful for Lori and the time she has invested in me. I’m more whole and healthy and my loved ones are reaping the benefits of the peace I’ve received through my grief counseling.

 

   Desiree

Grief can be an isolating, fearful thing and yet a time where support has never been more necessary.
Grief has highs and lows, peaks and valleys. You can feel normal one hour and fall apart the next. There are days when you feel numb and days where you shake with emotion. Grief can consume and confuse you. But I have learned so much about what grief is, how necessary it is, how healing this grief journey can be through the care, guidance, love, and counseling of Lori Allen. It has given me a hope, a clarity, an understanding that this grief I feel, while sometimes so deep I tremble, that it is part of the healing, the loving, the living. 
"Lean into it"! This nugget of encouragement and wisdom about not pulling away from grief but leaning into it has changed the course of how I experience grief, how I can even embrace it. A whole new relationship begins when a loved one dies. It doesn't end when they are no longer physically present. That is where this amazing counsel has brought me to: an appreciation, an understanding, a cherishing of this new relationship with my son even while grieving for him and a respect for how others are grieving. My faith has never been stronger and I am not afraid to let God show me who He is and how much life and love He wants me to experience. THANK YOU Lori for your guidance throughout this process. 

 

   Patty

I was in such a low place in my life before I met Lori. I was suicidal and was mentally, emotionally and spiritually dead. I had no reasons for wanting to live, was disgusted at myself and so lost. I had lost hope.

 

I had buried so many bad events in my life in the back of my mind, buried my emotions in drugs, alcohol and infidelities. A good friend of mine suggested I talk to someone find out my purpose in life to keep fighting. Then I met Lori. I was scared and thought, "This isn't going to work". Little did I know God placed me in Lori's path for a reason.

 

I loved that every time I'd meet with her God shined right through her, she knew just how to help me pour out everything I've been through. Although very professional she was also very kind, understanding and even used her life experiences to relate to mine. 

 

I thank God for Lori's grief work. For allowing me to see life as it is and be open to continue fighting for my life and rebuilding relationships that were broken. I am spiritually alive again and due to her great counseling I am able to be myself but a better version of myself! Thanks Lori!

 

   J.A.

I started drinking and using at the age of 14. Although it was fun and exciting throughout my high-school years, it would lead me to living a life of chaos for the next 14 years; including a 10 year heroin and meth addiction with MANY relapses in between. I was never able to put together any significant time of sobriety. I lost all hope, and my mother had lost all hope in me as well. I figured that I would end up dying as a heroin addict. In 2014 I decided to go to treatment. I knew nothing about treatment, and I definitely did not want to talk about any of my problems- to anyone. But then God placed Lori in my life as my counselor. I specifically remember thinking to myself, "I'm not telling her anything!" That lasted all of about 5 seconds. Lori had the ability to pull things out of me that I never thought I would talk about. I felt, and still fell like I can trust Lori with absolutely anything. I knew that she wouldn't judge me, or look down on me.  She made me feel comfortable throughout this process. Lori comes from a place of love. God truly shines through Lori, and He is present in every counseling session I've ever had with her. 

 

  Lori and I were able to work through a series of amazing family sessions, where I was able to have a relationship with my mom restored and have her back in my life, and ultimately get her to a place where she was able to have hope once again. She also guided me through the process of dealing with and overcoming fear, anger, resentments, and codependency. But most importantly, God used Lori as a vessel to reconnect me back with Him and to once again rekindle that relationship that was lost due to drugs and alcohol. Through all of this, I never felt like Lori had "forced" me to talk about anything. She just knows what to ask to get me to be open and honest, which in return has helped me stay sober.

 

 Today, I have a relationship with my mother, friends, and I have sobriety. Through all of this, Lori planted a seed of becoming a Drug and Alcohol counselor- which is what I'm doing today. I never would have thought that I would be sitting on the other side- sitting in the same chair- doing the same thing that Lori has done for me. And now I get to do it for for someone else today. I learned in school that as a counselor you have to have what clients want. And when I met Lori, all I wanted was the peace and 1/2 of the relationship she has with God. Through working with her I have gained much more. I'm now able to put into words how grateful I am that God has brought her into my life. 

 

   Max

I am in my 80's. A widow who has outlive all 3 of my children. While healing from the loss, I tried hard not to live in fear and become a victim, but it gradually became a part of my life. I came to Lori to find ways to live with the grief and the accompanying addictive co-dependent behaviors with my older grandchildren. I felt that this part of my life was out of control. 

 

Lori came recommended by family members who were blessed by her guidance and faith in God. I was comforted by our common bond, as she helped me recognize my accountability in this behavior. I set guidelines and goals, and came to realize the crippling effects of enabling, and my part in the perpetuation of it. 

 

I am grateful for this counseling experience, and the chance to change the direction of my life. 

 

Thank you Lori.

 

   W.P.

Lori is not just a counselor; she is a coach and a teacher. My counseling experiences in the past have been without a clear vision of where I am going. With Lori, I'm not only heard, but I  have tangible tools I can apply in my day to day life. Setting boundaries and learning to say "No" are just 2 of the things I struggled with prior to working with Lori. Understanding why I have struggled with those has been a powerful tool to free and protect myself. I feel as if I'm getting a part of my life back. I now understand it's not just okay; it's necessary for me to take care of and help myself by setting healthy boundaries, even with my family. Just for that alone, I am so grateful for her. 

 

I am looking forward to continuing down this path with Lori, learning more about myself, and how I can continue to create a life without fear, pressure, or any unhealthy need to please others. 

 

   J.S.

For many years, I took care of everyone in my life, but myself. I was holding my life together on the outside for the world to see, when in reality I was really an emotional wreck on the inside. While I knew that God loved me, I felt shame from growing up in a dysfunctional family. After hearing my story, Lori took me through an amazing process to grieving what I have missed in my youth. She poured God's truth and wisdom into my life. 

 

As a result, I am finally able to love myself and be the person that God has made me to be. I will forever be thankful to Lori for standing beside me and leading me to freedom and wholeness. 

 

   J.M.

Life coaching helped me deepen and solidify my walk with Jesus. For many years after I became a Christian, I thought I had it pretty much together. A prayer here and there, weekly church attendance, but nothing deep. My life was relatively on the surface- no major highs or lows. I had often times felt this nagging in my heart that there must be more to life than I was experiencing. But I would push that though away, or at least try to. By God's sweet grace, He opened a door for me to receive life coaching with Lori Allen. I cannot begin to convey how much my life has changed since then. My life journey has meaning; every moment counts. My relationship with Jesus has deepened and grown tremendously. There has been such a powerful healing with my family; something I never dreamed was possible. I have gained direction and clarity. I have learned how to lean on Jesus, and trust God to guide me with his "eyes" (Psalms 32:8). My daily prayer is that people will see Christ in me and hunger for Him, and that they too will be set free from the bondage of sin and mediocrity in order to live their lives bountifully; according to God's design and purpose for them. Lori- thank you for your wisdom and discerning spirit. I am forever grateful. 

 

   Pam (age 56)

   I am in my 70's, and have a very stressful time dealing with a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease, and a very dysfunctional family with a history of substance abuse. Though a friend's recommendation, I sought the expertise of Lori Allen. I had 12 sessions with her, and it was a very rewarding experience. She gave me so much insight into dealing with my family relationships, and helped me realize that I can't change anyone's behavior. I can only change the way that I deal with situations, and take charge of my own feelings, and express how I feel, and act accordingly. I did not expect to deal with my own childhood, and negative experiences that I have had in my life. This has helped me to understand myself and my always striving to be a "people pleaser". 

 

    Consequently, I now assess situations from a completely different, and more honest perspective; and feel that I am making better decisions regarding my situations. Thank you Lori, you are the best. 

 

   S.B.

   Having never had counseling, I came into my sessions with Lori very guarded; walls up, thinking I was being examined by everything I said, and how I acted. 

 

   As a Mom, I felt my job was always to put others before myself. My identity, along with my husband and hobbies went to the back burner so that I could focus all of my attention on my children and helping others. 

 

   With Lori's help, I see now that I needed to take care of me first. When I am healthy, and have healthy boundaries, I can enjoy the life God gave me without being consumed with other circumstances. I have learned that it is okay to say "No" and to stand firm, even if it doesn't please my family or others; to live with a filter so to say. To filter in and out those things that come daily, with a much healthier perspective. When I learned to put my needs first, I am able to reach out and help others in a more positive and productive way. 

 

   Lori has helped me see how my family dynamics growing up had impacted me, and became a part of how I operated with my thoughts, attitude, and actions. Even if they weren't the most positive circumstances, I have realized it all can be used for good, and good can come from these experiences. I just need to look at them in a different way; owning what is mine, and letting the rest go. Change me, take care of me, and leave the rest to God, for Him to change others. 

 

   I needed to see myself the way that God sees me; as a precious daughter loved, valued and accepted just the way I am. I no longer need to live with guilt and shame. I have learned to give up control, listen more, and speak less. Crying is a great release, and it has helped me not to be that over-wound, EverReady bunny, that is wound so tightly I didn't know when or where to stop or go. 

 

   Lori, thank you for your heart for others and for using your life experiences to reach out to others in need. 

 

Love you,

 

   D 

    I grew up in an alcoholic and abusive home. The last 20 years of my life, I have been addicted to either alcohol or some sort of drug; whether pharmaceutical or street drug.... Heroin, Crystal Meth, Cocaine, LSD, etc... Until I was introduced to God in my mid teens, that's what I thought life was all about; working, getting high, and providing a paychecks for my family. I went to a private Christian high school where I was introduced to Christ and the real meaning of life was taught. A seed was planted there, and a foundation of God was built.

 

   Little did I know the darkness that I would witness. Abandonment by my father and the other father figures would show through my anger and addiction for the next 20 years of my life. On one hand, I found a wife, had children, and started my own business. Everything looked good on the outside, but in all reality I suffered from a broken heart. The only other coping mechanism (besides God) that I found was drugs and alcohol. But obviously that solution turned into another problem, and ultimately lead my life to destruction and deeper and deeper heartbreak. After many, many rehabilitation facilities, many visits to jail, and handfuls of huge losses (because I never really dug deep to examine the issues I had put away in my heart) I surrendered my life, my heart, and my mind to Christ. I prayed for help for healing from the inside out. I was led to Genesis Recovery where my brothers Tommy and Dennis were able to help me. Along with that, there is Lori. In answering my prayer, God placed her in my path, knowing that she would be a part in the threshing and healing process of my heart and life. In the 5 months she has been working with me; praying with me, and most of all spiritually connecting me and challenging me; my life has been changing and my heart has finally started healing. I am very blessed and thankful for her and what she is doing. I will continue to see her, and be challenged by her until the Lord decides otherwise. 

 

   Frank S.

  In the loss of my father to suicide, paralyzing grief had become a reality in my life.  The first 6 months after my dad’s death, I was busy, doing all of the responsible things I was expected to do as the oldest sibling, as well as run my business and continue to be the provider for my wife and two sons.  I was not grieving at all.  Grieving was something I did not need to do. I was pushing the grief deep within me, ignoring the healing I needed to do.  Not only was I busy, but I was a great actor.  Putting on the right faces for the right crowds or people, to show I was strong.  I was OK.

 

After 6 months of not confronting my loss, my world came crashing in on me.  I went from a great sleeper all of my life, to a person who would wake up 2-3 times a night for 1-3 hour stretches.  Running on a few hours a sleep a night I developed anxiety and nervousness during the day which became debilitating some days.  This effected my relationships in all areas of my life, including those most important, my wife and two sons.

 

I knew I needed to do something.  I was asking God to somehow take the situation and make it right.  Somehow if he could take my situation and turn it into good.  If anyone could, I knew the Lord had his special way of taking pain and hardship and using it for his work.  For his good.  This prayer continued for 8 months until I met Lori.  At the time, I did not know it but the Lord was beginning the process of answering my prayers by guiding me to Lori.

 

My step sister had lost her sister to suicide about 7 months after I had lost my father to suicide.  Her and I have built a bond out of our loss of a loved one to suicide.  She recommended I read a book called the Grief Recovery Hand Book.  In doing so, it recommends you read the book and go through the process with another person.  Again, I look back and see God’s hand guiding me to go on line and find someone, which led to my discovery of Lori.

 

Lori has been a tremendous blessing to me in so many ways.  She was able to get to know me.  She asked great questions to understand who I was.  What was I dealing with?  She came to understand I had unresolved grief beyond the loss of my dad, that had built up over my lifetime through traumatic events.  I had grown up in an alcoholic and abusive home.  My parents divorced when I was around age six.  I experienced abandonment, abuse and exposed to inappropriate sexual situations by a neighbor.  Her ability to understand me and my situation was her guide to understanding how to take me through the healing process I needed to experience.  Not only in the traumatic loss of my dad, but a lifetime of unresolved grief.

 

In working with Lori, she was able to take me through a process that allowed me to deal with those past traumatic experiences.  She allowed me to connect with those negative emotions and experiences, as well as do the work I needed to do to resolve the pain and loss.   This was a huge eye opener for me, to see so much junk was still playing out in my life.  The other area she helped me to see that was hindering my life was my own grief around my own shame and regrets in life.  In dealing with these two areas early in the process, I came to realize that God was using my dad’s loss to deal with other grief that was unresolved and stealing away the life that God had intended for me.  As Lori helped me to forgive myself, I realized for the first time in 20 years that I could now allow myself to accept God’s forgiveness he offers us through his son.  This release of my own shame and experiencing this forgiveness of myself, opened up my opportunity to truly experience God’s grace and forgiveness he offers all of us.

 

Through this process, I have come to understand some key things.  First, grief is a normal thing.  God gives it to us to let us know something is not right.  To let us know that we have lost someone or something important in our life that we loved and cared for.  Second, grieving is healing and we need to take steps to grieve.  We need to allow the process of healing to occur.  Third, unresolved grief affects us, limiting what is possible in our life and preventing us from living the life God intended us to liv.  Lastly, we can have healing, we can move beyond grief and that God does have a plan for our life.

 

Lori has been given a gift to help people in pain.  She has been given a gift to help people recover and begin living a life of hope and purpose.  She has been a blessing in my life and it is my prayer to those reading this, that you, too, can experience the healing you need in your life, through the guidance and help of Lori.

With Love,   

 

     DRB

  I had the experience of working with Lori for several months. During that time she was able to help me navigate through some really rough waters. She provided me with guidance and insight about myself and what I was dealing with daily, and unknowingly. I was shown patterns of behavior that I never knew I had. It was an eye opening experience for me- and it was life changing! Lori is able to connect with people through her experiences and her knowledge of addiction, and it's effects on my life and the lives of others. She was able to help me discover who I am, and understand the effects of addiction in my own life. I would highly recommend addiction counseling with Lori!

 

   David

   I was a newcomer to sobriety when I met Lori. As a resident at a treatment facility, trying to recover from nearly 20 years of alcoholism, Lori was assigned as my counselor. At first I was resistant. I didn't really subscribe to the concepts of psychology- especially as a guy who didn't like to sit around an chat. Well, Lori kept it real and we could connect on the same level. She shared her own story of recovery, and how I could learn from her experiences. 

 

   The biggest thing I learned was that my addiction was merely just a symptom of underlining issues. Over the next few months, Lori had helped me to become a better person. She began to uncover what was really going on in my head with all the terms I could understand. I recommend Lori to anyone with addiction issues, but especially to those who actually want to RECOVER from their addictions. 

 

   C.B. (age 44)

   I used to think counseling was for people with "real problems". I was happily married, doing work I loved, and in the process of an adoption. Everything was going great. So why would I need counseling? I had 2 miscarriages in the past, and I was worried that my unresolved issues would wreck my chances at being a good mom. 

 

   Counseling taught me that unprocessed grief will manifest itself in many other ways. For me, it was anger, bitterness, and resentment. Not exactly the characteristics I wanted to instill in my new daughter. I'm now able to stop and listen to my thoughts and feelings, and reflect on them before acting and reacting. 

 

   My sessions with Lori have been life changing! I have found the strength and courage to speak my truth and create healthy boundaries; not the giant stone-walled type to keep people out, but rather a fence of demarcation that can be moved back and forth as appropriate to let others know when I begin and where they end. 

 

   Grief counseling has brought me clarity and hope, forgiveness of self, and forgiveness of others. Thanks Lori. You are pure awesomeness! 

 

   R.E. 

   Meeting with Lori on a weekly basis for the past 6 months has opened my eyes to things I would have not been able to see on my own. Lori is very insightful, and communicates to me the issues she sees in a very loving and supportive way. I love the fact that she gives me homework weekly. This has helped me grow emotionally and spiritually. 

 

   I was dealing with a lot of issues; such as fear, OCD, anxiety attacks, etc. Of course many of these things go back to my childhood. She helped expose things that were so difficult to dig up in my soul; that I didn't even know I was still grieving these things in my heart. I have grown so much emotionally and spiritually. Even my physical symptoms that would cause anxiety have lessened dramatically. I feel much lighter in my soul and mind. 

 

   I thank God that Lori was put into my life!! 

 

   Elizabeth

   I came to Lori at a time when I was so exhausted and sad, I didn't even know what I felt anymore. After many, many years of recovery and counseling, and Bible study, and really a lot of growth and breakthrough- I just came to a place where I was "stuck". Everything looked sort of "ok" on the outside.

 

   I met Lori at a women's "Freedom" event, and thought, "Why not.... Let's try this."  In the first 10 minutes, of our first meeting, Lori's wisdom and discernment pierced right through my, "I'm just fine; pretend" game. I had no idea how sad I had been. The grief I had been avoiding for years and years had taken a toll on me, and it had turned to anger, isolation, and imprisonment that just seemed..... "Normal". 

 

   Once I began to work with Lori, and was willing to see and be guided through the grief I had been unaware of, my spirit began to grow in a way that I have been thirsty for, for a very long time. I think I cried for the entire first month of our meetings. Hard to hear from the "tough girl" image that I've always had. The more I wrote and listened to what Lori told me, the more I acknowledged what I though was "silly" and "normal" as unfortunate loss and abandonment. 

 

   It has been very healing to be able to FEEL the sadness without minimizing how this has effected my heart and soul. Lori has guided me through this difficult yet amazing process. 

 

   It has been difficult for me to see these issues I had either been avoiding or become numb to. But the fight has been so eyeopening, that I am excited for the freedom that I am receiving through this process. I more than recommend Lori's wisdom, discernment, and training to anyone wanting a better life. A life of health and wholeness. I have been craving this freedom for so long, and I am forever grateful that God sent Lori my way, and that He guided me to choose to do the work she had to offer. I'm on my way to a better..... (fill in the blank). 

 

   Gris

 First I would like to thank God for allowing me to be in a position to physically write words on paper. I've had an extremely tough journey, filled with resentments, selfishness, and relapse after relapse. Secondly I would like to thank Lori for asking me to write something for her website. I am honored that she asked, and I am grateful that Lori has become a part of my life. 

 

   I am a person that has been blessed to be able to write. Writing comes very easy to me. I just put pen to paper, and words just seem to write themselves. This has turned out to be one of the hardest thing I have ever written. I have gone through draft after draft, with this being what I feel is an accurate representation of Lori Allen. 

 

   Angel: A spiritual being that serves; especially as a messenger from God, or as a guardian of human beings. 

 

   How do you explain how a spiritual being exists here on earth? This is the best explanation I could come up with. Lori lives life through her soul. Allot of people say things like, "They wear their heart on their sleeve", "That person leads from their heart", "Wow- that person is really speaking from their heart". Living life from the heart would seem too easy for a person like Lori. Lori obeys God; because of that, Lori gets wisdom. Lori is able to put her entire being and her entire soul into what she does, and the into the people that she helps; maybe even the people she leads to Christ.

 

   Lori adapts to situations and to people like I have never seen, and she is able to adjust to anything in a matter of seconds. When I first started to see Lori she threw a whole bunch of worksheets and Halzenden packets at me. I'm not saying that approach doesn't work; I have just been through them over and over. It took about a month of so, but Lori changed her approach with me. She led me towards the Bible, and led me towards a more meaningful relationship with Christ. 

 

   Lori is a Godly woman. She knows exactly Who's she is, and she walks like it every day. Through her kindness, love, compassion, and humor, I have been able to walk on that same path. After my last relapse in October of 2013, Lori gave me hope. What is better than that?

 

   Lori is real. Lori can let her guard down. When you meet a person, your soul begins to create a relationship with the other person. Lori becomes real because she is prepared to become translucent. She allows others to understand her story, and where she came from as well. What you see is what you get with Lori. She doesn't sugar coat anything. She gets in your face and lets you know what the truth is. Sometimes the truth hurts, but the truth is what will set you free. 

 

   Lori is an intellect. I have seen allot of psychiatrists, psychologists, and so on. In my experience, all of the see you for about an hour, collect the $300, and when you come back the next week, they ask you what your name is, and what you're coming in for. Lori is able to meet you half way. I do my work, and she does hers. I have never seen any of the above named professions research the stuff that we have talked about in our previous sessions. 

 

   Lori cries. If your in the field that Lori has chosen, you are told not to cry, or not to get close to your client. I say this is crap! I am telling you right now, if it weren't for Lori, I wouldn't be writing this right now. When God touches someone, you respond through feeling and emotions. This is a deal that Christians made with God. Love others..... Unconditionally. 

 

   Last but not the least in any shape or form. The most important thing is that somewhere along this journey the two of us are on, Lori and I became friends. Our sessions became no longer about packets. It was about relationships at this point. relationships with others, and a true relationship with God. Lori led me back to Christ period. 

 

   So this is what we have; we have a woman; a God driven, Christ centered angel. We have a woman who truly knows what it means to say, "I am second", probably in all areas of her life. For the present purpose, Lori is second to Christ, and second to to others. We have a woman who adapts to others to make them feel comfortable. We have a person who is intelligent enough to be real, and to stare this world in the face and say "NO!".  We have a woman that cries at all the right times, implement strong boundaries, and is able to share life with you. 

 

   Lori is the best counselor I have ever had. Like I said before, the best trait Lori possesses if the ability to be my friend. I see Lori every other week. A couple of weeks ago, it wasn't my week to see her. I was sitting on the front patio at Genesis. Lori had just finished a session and it was late, It was her last appointment for the day. Lori sat down quietly beside me and asked how I was doing. 

 

   Relapse happens, people come and go, and relationships fail; but friendships last forever. 

 

   Thank you Lori for everything you have done for me. Thank you for having the courage to become my friend, and thank you for watching me become broken, and then leading me back to the Lord. 

   Scott Saya (RIP 1981-2015) 

   Who knew a pet could become so attached to your heart. She was my baby girl. Indie was an 8 year old, German shepherd lab mix that I loved like a daughter. When I found her dead unexpectedly my heart was shattered. I felt betrayed by the Lord and couldn't forgive myself for feeling like it was somehow my fault. Praise Jesus for Lori's special gift to walk me through the pain into the mystery of joy in the grief that I didn't know was possible. Only after a few sessions of deep processing I feel completely free and refreshed of the burden of pain. I have never met anyone as Lori so confident in their purpose to do such thorough work with such gentle yet profound guidance. Thank you girl for carrying my pain in your heart. True compassion and friendship to birth true healing. Hallelujah!

 

   M.W. 

For 18 years I lived a life in which accomplishing and achieving numbed me from emotions and feeling. A life in which I was always fine and absolutely okay with it. It wasn't until I began working with Lori and experiencing actual healing from the loss of my dad 18 years earlier that I realized all that God in store for me in living a life that was full and alive. A life in which it is beautiful to have emotion because in numbing the pain I also numbed all the joy, love and happiness we are all meant to experience. 

 

   L.B.

I approached Lori Allen at Designed with Purpose about 5 months ago. Ultimately, Lori helped me by confronting my past; family, grief and loss that I didn’t know I had, addiction and feelings that I didn’t want to face. These were all things that I had avoided for many years and hadn’t talked to anyone about.   

 

The result was greater than I could have imagined. Having a safe space to talk to someone with no judgment was something I never had the opportunity to do before. 

 

One thing I liked was the way that Lori was able to connect with me on a personal level when needed and that she was able to bring God into our counseling space by reading his word and praying at the beginning at the end of each session. Lori is very knowledgeable about grief, counseling, addiction, and recovery. I was given many tools to take away from our sessions that will help me the rest of my life. 

 

I found the experience very helpful and I am so blessed that I was able to meet Lori and gain her guidance and experience at this time in my life. I will continue to go back to Lori and check in with her as needed. 

 

I would recommend Designed with Purpose to anyone who is in need of guidance, counseling, or just someone to talk to. Lori is great and I cannot thank her enough for the tools and guidance that she has given me. Don’t wait any longer to make the changes that you need in your life, if you’re unsure of how to do that… go see Lori, she will help you change your life!   

 

   L.

I started counseling to get some help with a family member who struggles with addition. I have learned so much over this last year with Lori. I have come to see that when I put up boundaries my life changes, regardless of what the addict chooses to do. I have learned that I do have power, just not in the ways I though I did. I have started to become able to look at myself with love and compassion, to feel my feelings instead of pushing them away. I have learned about grief, longing, guilt, and shame. Lori has shown me how to heal old wounds that I was not even aware were still open or relevant. Lori takes the time to listen and points me in the direction that will bring out a more wonderful life. I look forward to our meetings together and consider her a lifeline.

 

O.

Lori has been a huge asset to me in hearing my own voice; to support me in bringing that to the forefront of my life. She encouraged me and given me tools to hear myself saying out loud the things I hadn't ever processed out loud. And, to then hear validation and balanced perspective back from her has been a gift to my healing journey.

She is kind and gentle, yet I know she is strong enough to hold space for me to speak and share even the heavier things I usually would not share with others. She doesn't pity me and my experiences, yet reflects back to me compassion and a chance to see my own resilience and strength in my story. She offers resources and opportunities to help [me] through those experiences. I have grown immensely in many areas as a result of the support from Lori.

Sara T.