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Elan Vital

an agent, or person, that provokes or accelerates significant change

Bergsonism (the philosophy of Henri Bergson) emphasizes the creative life force, élan vital, as an original life force governing all organic processes and is responsible for change, growth, and necessary or desirable adaptations.  I believe that young children and teens possess their own creative “life force” that will enable positive, healthy changes.  


Philosophy on the Therapeutic Process

Cindy Benger NCC, LPC

My name is Cindy Benger, and I am excited to move into Private Practice as a Licensed Professional Counselor. For the past 30 years I have worked in a public education system, both as an educator and as a counselor. I hold a Master’s degree in Gifted and Talented Education from the University of Northern Colorado and a second Master’s degree in Counseling from Colorado State University. I am a Nationally Certified Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Colorado. I am also the parent of  3 Gifted children – who are now young adults!

Over the past 30 years I have worked closely with Poudre School District’s Gifted Coordinators, advocating, educating, and training others in the nature and needs of the gifted population. I ended my career in PSD as a high school counselor at Fort Collins High. My caseload was all identified Gifted students. I have worked as a coordinator for gifted at the middle and high school levels. Last spring, we had our first graduating class from FCHS earn honors as they completed the rigorous course work in our 4-year Honors Academy for Gifted students. It took many years of coordination, research, and dedication to finally earn approval for the Honors Academy – a “school” within a comprehensive high school and recognize this first graduating class of Gifted students at the high school.

There is a need for mental health support for this population of Gifted.  I specialize in the Social-Emotional needs of gifted and talented students.  I look forward to meeting you.


I believe that all gifted children and adolescents have a creative “life force” within that is supportive in the process for growth, change, and desirable adaptations.  Since 1986 I have been involved with gifted children and teens. I have first-hand experience with the social-emotional needs of this population and a true understanding of what these young people go through.  My hope is to provide understanding and guide them in finding the purpose and value of what it means to grow up gifted. Through the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Play Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy I will help them overcome the emotional barriers and empower them with “tools” that will benefit them as they continue to transition through a successful life.


When I am working with gifted children and teens I believe it is vital to involve the parent(s) and/or guardian(s) in a significant way. Because children and teens continue to grow and develop, they experience emotional difficulties, trauma and other stressful life events in a way that is very different from adults. As their needs are different, mental health treatment options should be tailored to meet those needs.


I will spend the first session with you exploring the issues and problems for which you are seeking therapy. If I feel capable of helping you with your problem, and you feel comfortable with me, we can proceed with the therapy process. However, if I feel I am not capable of helping you resolve your problem, or you are not comfortable with me, I can refer you to other therapists who may be a better fit. We will also generate goals to accomplish during our time together.


Change has costs and benefits, all of which cannot be foreseen. Some possible benefits that may be gained from participation in therapy include improved relationships, a greater understanding of personal goals and values, and the ability to solve specific concerns brought to therapy. In working to achieve these possible benefits, however, therapy will require that efforts be made to change and may involve the experiencing of significant discomfort. Remembering and therapeutically resolving unpleasant events can arouse intense feelings of fear, anger, depression, frustration, and the like. Seeking to resolve issues between family members, partners, and other persons can also lead to discomfort, as well as relationship changes that may not be originally intended. There can be no absolute guarantee of progress, or cure in the practice of psychotherapy.

Creation of  My Practice

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Philosophy on the Therapeutic Process
Catalyst Counseling


As I was completing my degree at Colorado State University I would spend time perusing the old volumes of Psychology and Philosophy books in the basement archives. I came across Henri Bergson, French philosopher, the first to elaborate what came to be called a process philosophy, which rejected static values in favor of values of motion, change, and evolution. Bergsonism- the philosophy of Henri Bergson-emphasized the creative life force, élan vital, as an original life force governing all organic processes and is responsible for change, growth, and necessary or desirable adaptations. I believe that young Gifted children and teens possess their own creative “life force” that will enable them to impact positive, healthy changes.

My  philosophy for my practice aligns with élan vital!

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