About Vanessa Whalen

Vanessa Whalen is a psychotherapist in private practice with over 20 years of experience. She sees children as well as adults in her practice, doing play therapy with children as young as three. Vanessa draws on numerous theoretical frameworks in her practice and has assisted clients in dealing with a variety of issues. Vanessa has degrees in psychology and social work and is a member of the Association for Play Therapy. In addition to her practice, Vanessa is co-founder of Snappy Kids LLC. Snappy Kids makes therapeutic mobile apps for children to help them learn about and manage feelings. She serves on the board of the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center and is a member of the League of Women Voters. She is a musician as well and enjoys playing whenever her schedule permits. Vanessa enjoys music, gardening,cooking, good books, good movies, and the New York Times Sunday crossword. She is an ardent yogi and student of Eastern thought. She and John have two teenage sons, one of whom attends college in Chicago. Vanessa and John have been married since May 2015, and Filimin is a project they share. When they are not working, they enjoy riding the tandem bike, travel, family time, and college basketball. Through her posts in Reflections, Vanessa hopes to share some of the knowledge and insight she has gained over the years, and to maybe start a conversation or two.

Gifts from Mom

We just left June, the month in which we celebrate fathers, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my mother. Her birthday was in June, and she would have been 86 this year. I lost her when I was 24, and have now lived my life longer without her than with her.

I’m not feeling […]

By |2017-05-19T00:20:50+00:00July 12th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Let’s Communicate

As a therapist in private practice, one of the most common complaints I hear from couples or family members is “we just don’t communicate well.” Usually, people mean that they don’t communicate well verbally. When this is the case, we generally work on active listening, communicating clearly, using good voice tone, etc.  But verbal communication […]

By |2017-05-19T00:20:51+00:00May 1st, 2016|relationship|0 Comments


Ritual is an important part of our lives. Although we tend to think of ritual as religious in nature, we all may engage in regular rituals in our homes and families. As a therapist, I often suggest ritual as an aid to healing. Ritual can be simple or complex, shared or private, daily or yearly.

By |2017-05-19T00:20:52+00:00April 17th, 2016|self-care|0 Comments