I’ve never met a woman that was so passionate about helping other women. Dr. Shana D. Lewis is a licensed professional counselor, a motivational speaker, an advocate, and the list continues. Her experience in her work has only deepened her passion for helping uplift women and young girls around the world. In this exclusive interview with Sheen Magazine, we got to know Dr. Shana D. Lewis a little more as she discusses the many roles she has in life and her true passion to help others.
Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
Well, my name is Dr. Shana D. Lewis but my friends just call me Dr. Shana! I am a licensed professional counselor, a motivational speaker, a transformation leader, an advocate, a professor, I do a lot of things but in essence, I’m really just a servant. My work is really just to be able to help people shift from where they are to where they’re destined to be. I want to help others be the best they possibly can. I do that in a lot of different ways. I am an owner of a private practice, Living Well Professional Counseling Services. I am also the founder of Her Voice, which is a non-profit organization that supports victims of domestic violence.
What inspired you to take on so many roles in life?
One of the things that I’ve realized as a counselor is that a lot of people in this world are not going to come see me in my office. The message that I provide in my office is still a message they need to hear even if they never come see me. It requires that I package in a way that they can get a receipt of it. It causes me to go to a stage because people will come to a conference instead of coming to therapy but I’m going to give you the same message. For instance, people will go to a workshop, they will listen to blogs or podcasts so I just have to package my message in different ways to reach the people that need to hear it because they’re all just not going to come see me or any other counselor for that matter so that is what has caused me to do so many different things.
Can you tell us why discussing topics such as women, mental health, and domestic violence recovery is so important to you?
As a counselor, I have 17 years of experience and my specialty is women and adolescent girls, that is what it has become over the last decade. In working with women, I have realized that if momma ain’t right, ain’t nobody right! I think as women, we are the heartbeat, the pulse of this world, and so we need to be okay! So much of what happens in this world really does depend on us. I love us. I work really diligently to pour into women so that we are okay and we have what we need emotionally and psychologically. What I’ve learned from my clients, specifically women who are survivors of domestic violence is that it is a major struggle. That became another area of specialty out of the work that I do with clients in my office. This actually inspired me to create my non-profit for survivors of domestic violence. It is tough being a woman in this world and so I work to help us navigate this world as best we can to really have good lives.
I would also like to state that I know there is a stigma on mental health and a lot of people don’t want to reach out and admit they need help. While I work and introduce people to the idea of therapy, I want women to understand there is no shame in seeking professional help.
What is the main message you want your audience to take away when you speak to them?
One thing for sure is that I inspire change but really, I teach transformation. I really want to help folks convert from one space to another space. You don’t just have to have the life you have, you create the life you want but you have to be able and willing to do your work. Its not easy work but its necessary work that you have to do. I also want people to understand that no matter what you’ve been through or where you come from, you have everything you need inside of you to shift and make those changes to create a life you can be happy with. I really want folks to walk away and know that for sure.
Do you mind telling us about your most recent speaking event that happened last weekend with Dr. Yamma Brown?
She Persisted in Atlanta took place last weekend and it was such a great event! That event was created in honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and realizing that at least 50% of girls from the ages 18 to 24 are going to suffer from some type of violent relationship. It is a very necessary conversation to have. I teamed up with Dr. Yamma Brown to create this event for teen girls. We had a panel discussion from women of different aspects of situations that included survivors, a woman in law enforcement that spoke from that perspective, resources from the local area, and myself as well. It was a conversation to teach young girls what teen dating violence actually is, how they can protect themselves, how they can protect a peer. The biggest thing for that is education because if a young woman isn’t educated on that, they are not empowered to do anything about their circumstances. We had a mission to empower other women to know what violence is, that she doesn’t have to accept that if it shows up, and that she has resources and options. It was a nice, interactive event with the girls in Atlanta. We would love to take it to different places because the message applies on a national level.
Where do you hope to see yourself in the years to come?
Wow! I would love to see myself on a national stage and I say that because again, this message is for every woman, wherever she may be. If I get what I want, I would love a talk show. The Dr. Shana Show sounds really good to me. I just want to have an environment where I can help, reach, and touch as many women as I can. I would love the opportunity to speak at more conferences, national events, television, radio, and being in an area where I can share this message with as many women as possible.
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All images by Ferrell Phelps | provided by The Topps PR Firm