When Tiffany Lewis was growing up, she dreamed about a future career in a field that would make a difference in the lives of people. Now, the Ole Miss alumna has made good on her wish by opening a Christian family counseling service close to her alma mater in Oxford.
“I believe counseling can be very beneficial in helping others have a place to explore and promote change in their life,” Lewis said. “Life can be hard, and we all can use help in dealing with stressors that we experience.”
Lewis was drawn to the counseling field when she took an abnormal psychology class as elective while an undergraduate at Ole Miss. “I absolutely loved it,” she said. “I started talking with people in the field and looking into graduate programs in counseling.”
Lewis found the marriage and family therapy program at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson and after taking a tour of their clinic, she knew this was the ideal program for her. “I loved how they took evidence-based practices in psychology and integrated it with scripture to provide a holistic approach to counseling,” she said. “This program combined several areas I was passionate about, which seemed like the perfect fit for me.”
Aptly named Grace Counseling Services, Lewis opened her first practice in June with the mission of providing a holistic approach through the use of scripture and evidence-based practices in counseling. “Since we are a faith-based practice, we believe using the scriptures can be very beneficial in counseling,” she said. “Evidence-based practices give us sound research and proven therapeutic interventions, and when this is matched with scripture, we feel clients are given the most holistic approach to care for their mental and spiritual health.”
To help people adequately deal with the ins and outs of daily life, as well as cope with tragedies and emotional issues, Lewis’ practice offers services in crisis intervention, abuse and trauma recovery, grief and loss, spiritual issues, marital therapy, parenting and more. Sessions are offered for individuals as well as families.
Although many people shy away from receiving counseling, Lewis believes that people should make their mental health a priority in this day and age. “We often focus on the outward parts of our health and we neglect the internal,” she said. “So much of our outward flows from inside, which is why I think it is important that we take the time to care for our mind and soul. When we are dealing with stressors on the inside, it becomes hard to manage the day-to-day activities such as work, family and just life in general.”
To make reluctant clients feel at ease about receiving counseling, Lewis said it starts with putting her own personal information out for all to see. “I have a detailed therapy website and bio available online,” she said. “That way, someone who is interested in counseling can find out more about me and my services before they start the journey.”
Before starting the recovery process, Lewis recommends that potential clients ask themselves “in what areas of life do they want to bring about change?”
“This is a question we discuss in our first session as we explore together the direction of the therapy journey,” she said. “If someone were still unsure about starting, I would then ask him or her how important it is to them that they do have change. If change is important, then therapy should be important. Therapy provides a great opportunity for growth, and it’s hard to have growth without change.”
Lewis lives in Oxford with her husband, Webb, and their son, Jack. For more information about her or Grace Services, visit the website here.
Beth Harmon is managing editor for HottyToddy.com. Email her at email@example.com