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Founded in 2009 by Shawn Dinkel, New Directions For Life, Inc. began as a local mental-health agency in the Denver-Metro area. The agency offered a variety of mental-health services for individuals, couples and families, until early 2015 when Shawn relocated with his wife to the Colorado high country. At that time, Shawn scaled back his practice and remained the sole treatment provider within the organization. In 2018 Shawn decided to redo this website with the intent on creating a repository of information gained from his many years of direct personal and professional clinical/therapeutic experiences. Please visit the the Resource Library, Blog, and Podcast pages for more on these accumulated resources.


I hold a Master of Arts (MA) in Community Counseling, and am both a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), and a Certified Addiction Counselor (CACII) in the state of Colorado. I began my formal clinical training in 2002, and started practicing early 2005. Since then, I have now facilitated well over 10,000 sessions, with approximately 5,000 of those being group format. I could never have anticipated what I would come to learn about the psyche and human spirit during that time.

The work has been the most rewarding work I could have imagined, but also the most challenging and exhausting at times as well. Recently, as my current lease was coming up for renewal, I was pushed to make one of the more difficult decisions ever: I decided to not renew, and I will instead be closing my practice for the foreseeable future. My last day working with clients will be December 15, 2021.

My passion for the work remains, and I have no plans of abandoning it completely. Instead, after so much time in the therapy room, I feel two things strongly: 1) the need for some personal energetic recovery, and 2) the desire to invest my energies in “new directions” myself. While I may return to direct services at some point in the future, at this time, I feel a greater calling to do more writing and/or speaking about the lessons gained from all those years and the thousands of hours spent in the therapy room. At this particular time, I believe this is where I can have the most significant impact on the lives of others and the world at large, but trying to manage both was becoming too taxing. Additionally, I’ve even considered producing some videos and starting a YouTube channel where I can speak about some of the more important lessons, while also answering common questions. I must say, these possibilities excite me, but first, it is time for some extended rest and renewal in 2022.

I deeply appreciate any and all support and encouragement, and I look forward to adding more useful content in the future. As such, again, please visit the Resource Library, Blog, Podcast pages, or… check in on Facebook for additional information and resources going forward. To all my brave and courageous clients and various supporters over the years, I offer my sincerest appreciation and gratitude: THANK YOU! And to everyone, I wish you all success on your therapeutic journey: there may be nothing more challenging or rewarding in the end!

Other general info: As an avid therapeutic explorer, Shawn spends a great deal of time studying, researching, and/or directly participating in a variety of therapeutic mediums designed for personal improvement and change. Outside of such endeavors, he has a profound fondness for music and the arts; cooking, diet and nutrition; and a deep appreciation for nature and the outdoors, where he and his wife spend most of their free time. Contact Shawn