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Local Veteran Counselor provides healing and hope for other Veterans in Colorado


WOODLAND PARK, Colo. (KRDO) - Those looking to transition out of the Military and into civilian life risk a daunting and difficult leap.

To Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) Eli Varney, going from absolute structure and well-defined purpose to civilian life was difficult. Now, he helps other veterans heal from what they've been through, to make the transition easier for them.

"It's feeling lonely. It's feeling like we're lacking a, lacking purpose," Varney said.

Varney practices in Woodland Park and says around 85% of his clientele are veterans. His 18 years of experience in the Army and Reserves have helped him relate to his client base.

Eli Varney - During his deployment in the Army.

When he was a Platoon leader during his service in the Army, he realized that many of the soldiers he was in charge of were going through mental health struggles or personal crises that required a therapist's help. That's when he decided to apply for his Master's degree in counseling at the University of Colorado.

"I was like, I need  I need to find a way to help," Varney said.

He uses Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, or EMDR therapy to help his clients process trauma.

"It takes it from a festering wound that hurts every time they touch it to now it's it's a scar that's there," Varney said.

He says that often Veterans need to process their trauma before they're ready to reach an "Equilibrium," finding their new normal after their transition.  

"Just watching that progress is just hard to put into words," Varney said.  

But Varney says that in order for healing to begin to happen, there needs to be the courage to ask for it.

"Our biggest barriers are ourselves. It's that ego of 'I need help' [and] being willing to reach out for help, because there are resources there," Varney said.

For mental health care access, click this link to get started.

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Emily Coffey

Emily is a Reporter for KRDO. Learn more about her here.


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