We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanessa Lumpkin and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Vanessa, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
It is through the actions and our relationships with people that we experience the world the way that we do. As a licensed mental health professional, working with people who want to be better, feel better and live healthier lives, undoubtedly helps our community and the effects of being mentally and emotionally healthy, as a people, are generational. For each person I connect with at my practice through a counseling relationship and as we work collaboratively to achieve a higher purpose for them, the impact can extend to occupational success, relational success, intrapersonal success, familial success and so on. With every individual who beats addiction, who no longer is debilitated by trauma, who overcomes depression, who is no longer suicidal, who learns how to communicate with people better, who becomes a better parent, our community and world become more positively impacted and the reward of that can extend throughout generations.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I own a private practice where I have the opportunity to connect with others on matters concerning their mental health care. I do this by counseling individuals who simply need an outlet to express experiences from the past and present that may have impacted their life in a way that prohibits them from functioning at their optimal level. I also target specific areas such as anxiety, depression, adhd and trauma by educating people with effective coping strategies or eliminating certain symptoms altogether. I absolutely love seeing people set free from certain conditions that they have struggled with. What I think sets my practice apart from others is the specialized training I have being a certified practitioner of Accelerated Resolution Therapy and Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories to treat post traumatic stress. I have seen people have a remarkable recovery from the devastating effects of trauma. I feel very honored as an African American business owner who seeks to change the long-standing stigma associated with various mental health conditions. The door has definitely been opened on these matters, so we can discuss the issues more, but I know as a community we still have a long way to go to normalize this type of healthcare. I believe there is strength in asking for help and not trying to do everything on our own. Building healthy relationships with people impacts us all. I want counseling to also be seen as a preventative measure to promote a healthy emotional state of being for all people, no matter their background. When I first started out as a counselor, I didn’t exactly know where I would go with my career. As I got more established and continued to expand my knowledge and experience in working with people, the desire to start my own practice grew and I went for it. It hasn’t been easy. Opening a private practice is about business, I soon realized, not just being a good counselor. I found myself quickly understanding that I was embarking on a world I knew little about. I soon found myself wearing multiple hats; I was now learning so much more than just counseling and mental health but learning about marketing and business strategies. I was totally out of my comfort zone but then found myself practicing what I often preach to clients about the growth that often sprouts from our discomfort and planting seeds. I was planting a different type of seed now and I was excited to see what would come of it. I knew something would if I just kept going. Those challenges I faced in getting uncomfortable and in learning about another field continues to open me up to greater opportunities. If I could send a message to everyone across the world I would tell them accomplishing your goals starts with a vision and that vision is made into reality by believing in yourself, pushing beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone and just taking another step forward. Often, we face more internal distress by the disappointment in holding ourselves back as opposed to the challenges that we may face by going for it.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
So, a large part of what I find enjoyable in life is doing something new. I love trying new things and meeting new people. Having said that, one thing my family and I love to do is try new restaurants. A new one we tried recently was Poor Calvin’s in Atlanta. I would take anyone to this restaurant. The presentation of the food, and the flavor combinations are clear that this comes from a true visionary. I love outside of the box thinkers and this restaurant provides a different experience when it comes to dining. To walk off that delicious meal from Poor Calvin’s I would take a friend to Kennesaw Mountain in Kennesaw, GA. This mountain has a total elevation of about 1800 feet and you get quite a workout walking up this large mountain. It’s great because of the scenery you get to experience along the way. There’s a spot on the mountain where you get to see the beautiful city of Atlanta. You can see the distinctions between downtown, midtown and Buckhead from this one spot. For those who want to experience the mountain without walking or running, they provide a shuttle where you get a guided tour learning about the vast history of the mountain and you still get to see the beauty of it. The new Braves stadium, Truist Park, now in Cobb County, is beautiful and a great place to hang out with friends to eat, socialize and watch some baseball. Anytime we go here we have a great time.
I also love the theater and The Fox Theater in Atlanta hosts a variety of plays, musicals and concerts that always provides a fun night out with friends.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I actually have to give a shoutout to my husband. His encouragement, support, and love throughout my journey to pursue my calling and career has helped establish a path towards success that has helped me see far beyond what I initially thought was possible. His business sense has placed my practice on a level that likely would have taken me years longer to achieve had he not been in my corner. In the area of business, he’s been an excellent guide in teaching me the ropes, so to speak, and has opened my eyes to a field I never thought I was really interested in but now find quite fascinating. It’s rewarding to experience the process of turning the idea of starting my own practice into reality and seeing the positive impact it’s making in the lives of others and the growth in my own. He definitely has to get some credit here!

Website: PassionCounseling.com

Instagram: traumafreeme

Linkedin: Vanessa Lumpkin, LMHC, LPC

Twitter: @traumafreeme

Facebook: traumafreeme

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