Photo: Julia Henderson and Jeremy Erickson in front of Lifeworks Counseling in Southaven. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)
Life is hard and it was never meant to be lived alone. Even from the very beginning, God made Eve to join Adam in existing on the newly-made globe.
Today, we have an abundance of people to spend our days with, come alongside us, befriend and support us. But there are also as many people and influences that can be quick to hurt, harm and cut off the love and joy of life we were made to savor and enjoy.
To heal from that hurt and harm are counselors such as Lifeworks Counseling of Southaven, one of three Mississippi locations for the Biblically-based therapy center, said therapist Jeremy Erickson.
“We don’t shy away from that and it also doesn’t mean that people who are not believers cannot come and get therapy,” Erickson explained. “If someone who is not a believer doesn’t want us to utilize that then we won’t. That’s completely up to them.”
Julia Henderson, one of the counselors on staff in Southaven, believes her work offers care for emotions like doctors care for our physical well-being.
“I’ve found people just want to find a safe place so they can be seen and heard,” Henderson said. “We have doctors and M.D.s for the pain in our body, and pastors for the pain in our souls. Sometimes what we really need is someone who is skilled to help us with the pain in our emotions. That’s the part that we play.”
Erickson adds Lifeworks Counseling helps people walk through a lot of the suffering they have, individual, couples, whatever it might be.
“A lot of times, a lot of people haven’t had anyone to love them through their hurt and really just sit with them and their pain,” Erickson said. “It is amazing just how powerful that can be. And then we want to help people get out of the pit too.”
Erickson does add that Lifeworks Counseling takes speaking the truth in love very seriously.
“A friend or buddy may tell you what you want to hear but not what you need to hear,” Ericksno said. “Being able to help people get out of that pit doesn’t necessarily mean hearing what you want to hear.”
There are a number of ways for clients to be connected with Lifeworks Counseling. Word of mouth has been the most reliable means, while others look to the internet search engines. Erickson added the location, at 5740 Getwell Road in Southaven, has helped people from their offices.
Henderson explained that the first time a client comes to see her, she sets ground rules but also is aware of the courage it took just to come to her.
“I want to make sure they understand the ground rules, setting the groundwork for you to feel safe,” Henderson said. “We come from a culture where ‘my business is my business.’ Walking through the door is 60-70 percent of the issue. Walking through the door is a deescalating event. The rest is then up to us.”
She said meetings are typically one hour in length and the first session also sets up the frequency for future meetings, preferably weekly or biweekly.
“We do not recommend monthly because it wouldn’t be effective,” Henderson said.
Meetings can be done in person but telehealth sessions are also available, which she said can allow her clients to feel more comfortable and transparent with feelings.
“A lot of times people can come into the office and be more nervous,” Henderson said. “Most of the time people have a tendency to really display what they’re feeling a little more because they’re in a safe environment.”
As mentioned earlier, Lifeworks Counseling is Biblically-based therapy center and Erickson said clients are reminded of that when they first meet with counselors.
“I straight up ask my clients if they’re comfortable with me bringing that aspect in,” Erickson said. “If they say no, I respect it and I move on. We don’t force it on anybody, but we just ask them if it is a tool we can bring in. The more tools we can have the more access we can have.”
Erickson said clients with a faith background can allow him to open doors to church communities.
Compensation for Lifeworks’ services ranges from insurance to self pay, and what Erickson said is a church partnership plan where churches can contribute to a client’s fees.
“Churches may be willing to pay for a few sessions,” Erickson said. “We have a document we send them. The church knows nothing of the therapy other than a person showed up and they need to pay for said session, or 50 percent of six sessions, or something like that.”
Henderson said the most satisfying thing about what she does is seeing relationships being restored.
“What has been so gratifying to me is for people to begin ro say, ‘I really am OK,’” Henderson points out. “I think we always want harmony but I think what I like doing is teaching people the cycle of relationships. There’s harmony, repair, and then, maybe harmony again.”
Lifeworks Counseling is located at 5740 Getwell Road, Bldg. 10, Suite D in Southaven. For information or appointments, call 601-790-0583 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the website at Lifeworks Counseling.