Today we’d like to introduce you to Erika Hill, MS, LAPC, NCC, and Jamilah Jones, MS, LAC, NCC.
Erika Hill, MA, LAPC, NCC and Jamilah Jones, MS, LAC, NCC met while obtaining their Masters in School Counseling and a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Contemporary Mental Health Services. After graduating and becoming full-time school counselors for middle and high school children, Erika and Jamilah wanted to provide strategic therapeutic empowering principle skills that would help schools and businesses operate in a capacity that would make a positive impact and build healthy relationships. Putting their minds together, Erika and Jamilah created S.T.E.P.S. Counseling & Consulting, LLC.
To further their knowledge and skills, Jamilah and Erika are currently obtaining their Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision. Both women are nationally certified counselors. They are licensed in Georgia and New Jersey. Today, Jamilah and Erika are operating their private practice located in Brookhaven and providing workshops for counseling based businesses. Their journey in the mental health field and passion for counseling, has helped them create a positive perspective through STEPS that can help break the stigma that African Americans and counseling cannot coincide. While walking in this journey, Jamilah and Erika realized they are more effective when people can relate to them. Yes, they are professionals in the field of mental health, but they are also human beings that have also gone through things. That is what allows them to empathize with their clients; which is why they thought it was necessary to write their book “From the Girls Next Door: Taking a STEP in the Right Direction.”
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has definitely not been a smooth road. We both are doctoral candidates, work full-time jobs, and have personal obligations as well. Balancing personal and professional priorities has been a challenge, so we try to implement self-care as much as possible to help us re-center. We are transparent in our new book and share personal struggles that have contributed to our road is rough. Even as therapists, we still struggle and endure the same challenges as our clients. We are just like them in so many ways.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about S.T.E.P.S. Counseling & Consulting – what should we know?
We are S.T.E.P.S. Counseling and Consulting LLC, which stands for Strategic Therapeutic Empowering Principle Skills. We are a counseling based consulting company that assists youth, adults, and professional organizations with developing their professional and personal circumstances; whether it is with self or others. The overall goal of S.T.E.P.S. Counseling and Consulting LLC is to be an effective STEP for people to embark on to achieve healthier well-being and positive relationships. We achieve this goal by providing curriculum based interactive workshops, and individual and group counseling. Some of the workshops that we offer are: “Taking the Extra STEPS to Build Positive Relationships” (Staff building relationships with clients/students), “The Essential STEPS to Deepen Your Love with Self” (Self-Love workshop available for staff or clients/students), “Taking STEPS to Build Together” (Team building for staff), and “The STEPS to Celebrating Yourself” (Self-Care for staff). Our mission is “Working together to take S.T.E.P.S. in a positive direction.”
We are most proud and super excited about our new book, ”From the Girls Next Door: Taking a STEP in the Right Direction.” Our new book is available paperback and kindle on Amazon. It is a book written by two counselors who wanted to be candid and demonstrate we are human and also go through real problems. It is filled with personal moments that we know so many women will be able to relate and connect with. As counselors, it is only right we give you some motivation to continue to push through because we are taking S.T.E.P.S. in the right direction together. We are also accepting new clients at our private practice location in Brookhaven. We are ecstatic to announce our podcast that we will premiere this summer titled “Tea & Therapy.” We will discuss a wide range of topics that our STEPbrothers & STEPSisters can relate to. We will give advice from a therapeutic perspective and we will use our platform to promote mental health awareness.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Our family deserves credit. There are times where we have to submerge ourselves into our business. Unfortunately, that may make us miss certain family events. Our significant others and children still support us regardless of having to share us with our clients. They deserve the credit for always supporting and loving us unconditionally. We also sincerely appreciate our friends and family for being such great supporters. Our cheerleader squad is definitely huge.
Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.