Hi Lena, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Wow, this is a loaded question. I started out as a Mass Communication-Theatre Major at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff. I quickly realized that this was not the major for me. I loved acting however, it was not where I belonged. On a quest to find another major. I remember thumbing through a roommate’s Psychology book and instantly becoming interested. I changed my major to Psychology and the rest is history. Throughout my journey to find my purpose in the Psychology field. I realized that counseling would be my area of interest. I loved talking with people and found that people felt comfortable to open up to me as well. I can remember complete strangers would tell me intimate details about their personal life in settings such as the line at the grocery store. I could remember thinking, “Why do people feel so comfortable with telling me their business?”
Well, now I know it is a calling. A purpose on my life. Through the years my purpose became more clear on how I would support people with their mental health. Honestly, it feels good to know that I am walking on purpose and I am HAPPY doing so.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Absolutely NOT!!! (You could probably hear my tone through the sentence.) I have had so many setbacks along the way. First setback was finding who I was. I was walking in my purpose but I was lost within myself. I didn’t know who Lena was. I remember suffering from depression and finding unhealthy alternatives to fill those voids. I became distracted along the way with finding myself. My distractions began to affect my grades in graduate school and I was put on probation. That got my attention. I felt it was God telling me to straighten up. I begin to seek God and find myself in Him.
That’s when I was given a second chance and let back into school. I had a hard time again with school but I finally finished. Once I finished, I also hit more bumps in the road with doubt that I was capable of becoming licensed. Fear was put into my thoughts because of the issues I had in graduate school. I avoided taking the licensure test for 5 years and even convinced myself that I did not want to be a therapist anymore. However, God has a purpose, plan and TIMING.
I was able to take the licensure test and pass it on my first try. I was able to start a private practice and move into my calling. However, again that was not easy as well. So many struggles, tough decisions, tears were a part of the journey as well. However, it taught me so much about myself and how to learn from my mistakes and push forward.
As you know, we’re big fans of Haven of Light Christian Counseling. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about the brand?
Haven of Light Christian Counseling is a private practice agency that provides mental health services to the community. We specialize in Christian counseling. Many Christians find it hard to seek counseling because they are looking for someone that shares the same beliefs. Christian Counseling is our specialized area (our purpose), we serve and support ALL people. I personally not only support clients through counseling, I also support the church with mental health awareness workshops/trainings.
What sets us apart from others? Well, I like to find that we are all working toward our purpose with our specialties. Haven of Light Christian Counseling provides mental health services for homeless shelters in the Saint Louis area. We also have a school in the making (Haven of Light School of Mental Health) that provides hands-on Mental Health Trainings/Workshops and educational degrees and much more. Prayerfully we will be up and running by Fall 2022 in our own training campus.
I am very humble to be chosen for such a time as this and support people. Haven of Light Christian Counseling provides a safe place, non-judgmental, supportive environment for people to get rest and healing.
What are your plans for the future?
Our plans are so much bigger than private practice. The plan and vision for Haven of Light Christian Counseling, as stated before, is to create an agency that supports the community. As we grow and Haven of Light School of Mental Health obtains its campus (which it will be paid in full) we will be expanding to educational degrees, trainings/workshops and a full-on holistic approach to healing of the soul. The holistic approach is to provide different kinds of therapy such as music, art, drama, worship, physical therapy. (Thinking outside of the office setting of therapy.)
- $100 Individual counseling- 50 min session
- $130 Marriage, Couples- 60 min session
- $140 Family-60 min session
- $50- Child/Adolescent Counseling-30 min session
- $35 Sliding Scale Fee- 45min session
- $200 Mental Health Trainings/Workshops
- Free Mental Health Awareness Training (for Churches)